(Oct. 3, 2014) Following a season filled with unparalleled successes, Berlin will honor its more than 500 area Little League players during a parade at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10.
Berlin approved the parade during a Mayor and Council meeting on Aug. 25.
“It’s going to honor all of my all star teams,” said Berlin Little League President Norman Bunting.
That includes District 8 all star teams, tournament teams and 7-8-year-old pitching machine teams. The 13-year-old Intermediate all stars finished as a United States runner-up in the Little League World Series in Livermore, Ca., and the 9-10 all stars won a state championship and played in the regional tournament in Cranston, RI.
“I attribute their success to good volunteers, to having good baseball people, and I will give a lot of credit to travel baseball in our area,” Bunting said. “A lot of these kids do play travel ball, which gives them year-round training and year-round baseball. That really helps these youngsters in playing ball.”
Bunting said the teams’ success is a big plus for Berlin.
“Our little town of Berlin – it’s put us on the map, especially for baseball,” he said. “The Intermediate League team has won the state tournament four years in a row, so they know what Berlin baseball is about.”
More than 535 players participated in Berlin Little League programs in 2014.
“With lacrosse and soccer and other sports in the area – to have that many kids that have come in to playing baseball is a great thing,” Bunting said. “I think some of that can be attributed to the success of these teams. Other people from other areas and other towns have definitely called and praised our organization and the training and the coaching, and just the way that we play Berlin baseball.”
The parade will include a ceremony highlighting the Intermediate team’s championship run as well as recognizing all of the players.
“We obviously have an exceptional Little League,” said Berlin Mayor Gee Williams. “America’s coolest small town has a very cool Little League. There’s no doubt about it.
“It’s very positive,” Williams continued. “It sends just the right message about the kind of community that we constantly work to be. It’s a great place for families, it’s a great place for traditional American values. Little League baseball is just like mom and apple pie. With the exposure they got on regional TV and national TV – it’s a first for Berlin and it can only be a great benefit over time.”