The Uganda flag draped upon his shoulders, manager Henry Odong picked up Devin Bratcher in one arm and Brett Falkner in the other, carrying the delighted baseball players as thousands stood and cheered.
At the same time, Lugazi, Uganda, Little Leaguers waved their caps and shared hugs with Gresham, Ore., Little Leaguers. It was one of the best moments in Little League Baseball World Series history and it seemed right out of the movies.
After all, logic dictated that Uganda never would be in such a place.
Tom Agaku of Lugazi, Uganda, left, is hugged by Davon Bratcher of Gresham, Ore., after Uganda won the Tuesday’s consolation game 3-2 . All players on the Oregon team presented their batting gloves to each of the members of the Uganda team.
They arrived with no shoes and baseball pants that looked like capri pants.
They have endured hardships that most players at the Little League World Series cannot comprehend. So many things have worked against them, but there those players and coaches were Tuesday at Lamade Stadium celebrating.
A team that some would say has so little did something so big. It won a Little League World Series game.
Daniel Alio threw 5 1-3 brilliant innings and Job Echon stranded the go-ahead runs on second and third as Middle East/Africa champ Uganda edged Northwest champ Oregon, 3-2, in Tuesday's consolation game.
That Uganda even reached South Williamsport was amazing. That it won, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to do so, is Hollywood material. It almost seems to good to be true, but it is all real.
"This win is so great," Odong said. "Being here is a great experience for sure."
It also is a true Cinderella story. A third-world country, Uganda is hardly a baseball bastion. Christian missionaries introduced the game years back, but the country's leagues have limited and/or poor equipment and shoddy fields.
Poverty is a huge problem and that kids even have the opportunity to play in those conditions is a triumph. Odong has worked with Uganda players for years and it seemed like the miracle had become reality, though, last year when it won the Middle East and Africa Regional championship.
But just as quickly the dream turned nightmarish. Visa issues prevented Uganda from coming to the Series and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, replaced it. It was the latest obstacle these kids and those who helped them faced in a lifetime of doing so.
"(Major leaguers) Jimmy Rollins and Derek Lee came and talked to some of the kids because some of the kids said, 'I don't think this game can take us anywhere,'" Odong said. "'Let's leave this game.'"
Rollins and Lee encouraged the players to keep playing and keep fighting and once again, they obliged. And this year, the dream finally came true.
Uganda overcame a 1-3 start during the all-star season and once again won the MEA championship. This time there were no visa issues and Uganda arrived to a heroes' welcome. Everywhere players went they were treated like rock stars.
Nearly everyone who came in contact with players and coaches talked about becoming friends with them. Players who could be bitter, instead make others smile with their kind spirit and tremendous enthusiasm.
Someone else will win the world championship, but no team here made a bigger impact on Series fans. Every time Uganda played, it clearly was the crowd's favorite. Nearly everyone loves a great underdog story and they do not get much better than this.
Little League has received numerous inquiries from those offering to donate equipment and provide other assistance. The Great Lakes champ New Castle, Ind., Little League started a clothing drive back home and has filled its concession stand while also sending 18-20 gloves to Uganda.
That makes Uganda's playing here special.
But the way it has played has made it even more so. Uganda played International winner's bracket finalist Panama tough in its Series debut before making some good plays in a loss to Mexico that eliminated it from world title consideration.
Uganda was a huge winner for just reaching South Williamsport. But Tuesday it proved that it is not just a feel-good story. It also is an excellent team.
Uganda trailed 2-0 in the fourth inning before scoring on consecutive wild pitches. It took the lead in the fifth when Ronald Olaa singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Oregon threatened with two outs in the sixth when Odong called timeout and approached Echon.
"I was telling the pitcher you are not playing the game alone. If you were playing the game alone you wouldn't have all these other guys," Odong said. "It's not your fault if the ball is hit, they will catch it. Stop thinking about the strikeout. Throw a strike and we'll leave this place, and that's what he did."
It was a Hollywood ending to a storybook run but one never would have known by Uganda's reaction. After Echon caught a slow liner back to the mound, he and his teammates simply ran off the field. Nobody pumped his fist or jumped around. It was a team that never doubted it would win, no matter the odds stacked against it.
As great as the win was, the best part came moments afterward. The cliche is that everyone is a winner who competes at the Little League World Series. That never was more true than Tuesday. Oregon, a fiercely competitive team, seemed as happy for Uganda as if it won a world championship itself.
All the players gathered at home, arms wrapped around each other, and shared one last, great moment as thousands snapped photos, understanding how big it was.
"They are our friends," Olaa said. "We were talking and congratulating each other for reaching this level because many teams have tried to reach this level, but they didn't."
Uganda did, and in doing so wrote the ultimate comeback story. Every player also is 11 years old, so what might be the best story in Little League history could have quite a sequel.
Get the movie cameras ready.
Masse is a Sun-Gazette sports writer and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org