I remember seeing the email from one of Auburn Little League’s board members that on September 2, 2010 the City of Auburn would welcome home their All Star team and any current or past players were welcome to march in the parade behind the finest baseball team Auburn had sent to the regional in San Bernardino, CA just weeks before. No one had ever thought (of course they hoped) this team of 12 year olds could make it to the Little League World Series from our unknown city. This team not only qualified to go to Williamsport, PA, they put Auburn, WA on the map as true baseball contenders. They ended up in the top four teams of the U.S. pool and were finally defeated by Texas after beating the undefeated team a day earlier by three. These boys became overnight movie stars as they made quite a showing on ESPN and won the hearts of baseball fans nationwide as the underdogs that just wouldn’t quit. I remember a friend of mine from another city telling me that he didn’t think they’d last the first game in Williamsport to which I proudly replied… “Did you ever hear of a horse named Sea Biscuit?”
As I gathered up my own family (my son Dallon is a 2010 9/10 All Star) that day to march and support our incredible team I could not have been more surprised at the turn out and excitement that the buzz of this parade had stirred up. The media poured in from Komo 4 TV and Kiro 7 to capture the moment for the late night news and Auburn Chevrolet provided brand new trucks and convertibles for the winning players and their coaches to ride in style. A marching band played and a cheer squad rallied behind as the parade drove down Main Street to City Hall where Mayor Pete Lewis awaited these great players.
Christine Gregoire, Washington’s Governor, spoke to the boys (she is originally from Auburn) and Congressman Dave Reichert also addressed them. Pete Lewis gave the team a key to the city and announced that September 2nd will from now on be known as Auburn Little League day. The Muckleshoot Casino donated $10,000 to Auburn Little League to assist the players and their families with the travel expenses they incurred from the journeys to California and Williamsport, PA.
I think the attached photos capture the day well and the graciousness of these boys posing (with my son in one of the photos), signing autographed shirts and balls and being true examples to their younger followers has made Auburn proud and has brought the limelight to our sleepy city for years to come. I never thought I would have spent the last month glued to my television set and computer watching these boys impress time after time but I truly am an Auburn Little League convert and hope that next year it might be my son on the same journey.