Phew! What an amazing welcome home party the town of Petaluma threw for our little league boys yesterday! Thousands turned out to welcome home the Petaluma Nationals, aka the West from the Little League World Series where they battled it out in extra innings, ultimately finishing second in the U.S. and third in the world.
Above photo taken by Wes McCoy.....SO cool!
Everyone in attendance came with huge smiles across their faces, where they stayed all afternoon as they cheered for these boys. Each player was driven, in their own classic car, with their families, along the parade route in downtown Petaluma.
But first, to start the parade off with a bang, a flyover.
Even Teddy had his own car. Teddy was the team's 'good luck charm' where before every game, the team would rub the back of Ted's head and while in Pennsylvania, they would rub a photo of the back of Teddy's head for luck.
These kids are living the dream. They got to play their hearts out all the way to the Little League World Series, in a game they love and are so obviously passionate about.
They are welcomed home by more than 10,000 with a celebratory parade and a party.
They took it all in with the innocence a 12 or 13 year old should have.
Maybe not quite yet realizing the impact they've had on the community.......
Cole Tomei sits with his mom and his dad, Trevor, 1st base coach in a 1967 Camaro.
Awestruck by how many came out to welcome them home.
Logan and his entourage......
Hance Smith with his family, his Dad is Coach Eric Smith.
The Marzo family, Danny shouting 'hi' and 'thank you' as they drive along. Mom, Nicole, cheering and yelling thank you from the passenger's seat and Dad, Ricardo concentrating on driving the car.
Cheers for all of them.
After the parade, the crowd gathered in Walnut park where free hot dogs were served along with Hostess apple pies.
Clover was also stationed, scooping up free ice cream cones for the crowd.
The celebration continued, the boys were presented with a Key to the City, signed autographs and had their photos taken for an hour at least.
'West' t-shirt and hat sales were fast and furious where proceeds will go to the Uganda Little League team at the request of the boys. There was also a booth accepting baseball gear donations that will be sent to the Uganda team as well. If you haven't been following the Uganda team's story, the back story is they made it to the L.L. World Series playing barefoot and with bare minimum gear. They became the adopted team of sorts, among the Little League teams playing in the World Series, with many of the boys wanting to help them in any way they can.
It was a fantastic 23 days of action, watching these 13 stars, finished off by a warm welcome home.
I guess now I'll have to go back to watching MLB.
A Roaring Welcome Home
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