With the entry of the Keystone Little League, the 2011 Little League World Series was the most local in the history of the event.
The local team's success on the field at the Series made record crowds almost a nightly occurrence and brought a unique electricity to the Little League Complex in South Williamsport.
This year's Series featured a different kind of electricity.
With the entry of a team from Lugazi, Uganda, this year's Series, it can easily be argued, was the most purely international in the history of the tournament.
And like the Keystoners, the kids from Uganda did not disappoint.
They played with heart and carried themselves with a joy and wonderment that made it easy to adopt them from the Grand Slam Parade right through their historic win in their third Series game.
A genuine African entry gave the Series a global quality that was special.
And that was coupled with all of the usual elements that make the Series special a purity of competition, a high level of play, sportsmanship and joy from the players, and friendships developed that will last a lifetime.
We can honestly say our area possesses an event unlike any other in the sports world or any other industry. And we should all feel good about that.
On the field, congratulations goes to the kids from Tokyo, Japan, who stood out as champions in a field of 16 teams that exhibited phenomenal athleticism over 11 days of competition. And to the Tennessee kids who won the American championship in an historic, 24-16 game.
The Japanese kids can cherish their title even more because it was gained amid the most worldwide of all the Little League World Series.