Players, parents still in awe of experience with pros

Members of the Pittsburgh Pirates interact with various teams from the Little League World Series in South Williamsport on Sunday. (KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette)

Sunday’s MLB Little League Classic featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Bowman Field was definitely a success if you ask the Little Leaguers who sat feet away from their heroes.

While playing at the Little League World Series is enough to change a Little Leaguer’s life, getting to meet some of the biggest names in baseball and get front row seats to a Major League Baseball game is an opportunity that many Little Leaguers and their parents think shouldn’t only happen one year.

“I think it would be awesome for them to keep doing this,” Angela Weston, mother of Washington’s Keegan Weston, said. “That’s probably the only time these boys were able to see an MLB game.”

During the Classic, all 16 teams of Little Leaguers were at Bowman Field, filling the first few rows.

“I know it was a small setting but 2,500 fans and a lot of them Little Leaguers, it was phenomenal,” Dan Lawler, father of California’s Danny Lawler, said.

During the day, the players were able to meet both the Cardinals and the Pirates after they arrived at the Little League International Complex to catch a few games.

Some Little Leaguers were even lucky enough to ride with the players in their bus from Williamsport Regional Airport to the Complex, while others played ping-pong and video games with the players.

Texas’s Christian Mumphery, the Southwest regional champions, weren’t able to meet the players but was excited to know they were watching him play.

“It made me want to play better because I wanted them to notice me,” Mumphery said.

For the parents, Little League and MLB setting up a game like Sunday’s is a no-brainer.

“I think it’s a must do. I could guess a lot of the MLB teams would want to be a part of this,” Bill Duncan, father of Washington’s Billy Duncan, said.

“My son had the time of his life,” Kris Duncan, Billy Duncan’s mother, said. “I think the venue was excellent everyone was polite and helpful. it was definitely a success.”

The Little Leaguers loved the Classic, but the MLB players were just as excited to see the Little Leaguers play.

“Looking forward to reliving my time in Pony League,” Paul Dejong of the Cardinals said Sunday morning.

“You can tell our players and their players were having an awesome time,” Dwayne Weston, father of Keegan Weston of Walla Walla Valley, said.