Saturday, August 27, 2011

Little League Honors fallen players

Today is the United States Championship of the Little League World Series, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Today's championship game is between California, representing the West, and Montana, representing the North West.

The winner of the California-Montana game today will face the winner of Japan, the International Champion, on Sunday for the World Series Championship at 12 NOON.

I love Little League baseball.
My brother Robert and I played Little League baseball in Portage, Michigan in the early 1970's.

It was the greatest time of my life.

I couldn't play baseball enough, weather it was a game of catch with our friends, a pick-up game on the Portage sandlots, with my brothers and my Uncle Bob, or playing in the Little Leagues.

Today in South Williamsport,  Little League Baseball honored two of it's players, as the country prepares for the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.

That day, September 11, 2001, Michael Cammarata, a former Little League baseball player from Staten Island New York, was a New York City firefighter, and like so many other NYC fireman did that day, Michael charged into the burning World Trade Center.

He was there do do his job, to help save lives.

And, as so many others did that day, Michael made the ultimate sacrifice, becoming one of the thousands of victims of a horrific act of cowardice terrorism. 

Michael Cammarata was the youngest victim of 9-11.

That same day, amongst all the honor and grief, many new lives were born, including Christina Taylor Green.

Christina was born into a baseball family that included her father, John Green, now a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and her grandfather, Dallas Green, a former big league pitcher and manager of the 1980 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Christina fell in love with baseball, and played Little league baseball in her home town of Tuscon, Arizona.

She loved proving all the boys in town, and on her team, that she could play baseball as well, if not better, than they could.

On January 9th of this year she attended a gathering in Tuscon held by Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords was holding a meet and greet for her constituents that day when a gunman open fired, severely injuring Giffords, killing 6 people, including 9 year old Christina Taylor Green.

The Canyon Del Oro Little League field, Field #1, where she played in Tuscon, was re named in her honor during a ceremony earlier this year.

Both Michael and Christina were special people,  together forever on a single day a decade ago that no American will ever forget.

Today, and for the remainder of the weekend, all players uniforms will have a special patch on the left side of the uniform, honoring both Michale Cammarata and Christina Taylor Green.

As we pause to remember both these young people today, isn't it great that both of them enjoyed playing the great game of our youth, America's National Pastime, the grand game that is baseball.

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