Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oregon District 4 Honors Tourney: Day 2

Crazy evening weather in the Portland Metro area led to the postponement of today's last game in the 2008 District 4 Oregon 11/12 "Honors" Tournament at Alpenrose. After record heat Saturday, Sunday's temps were pleasant, if not a little on the muggy side.

At around 8pm, a few large raindrops began to fall. Then a drizzle, then pouring rain and thunder. Then a little more thunder. Then LIGHTNING and thunder, sending the teams into the dugouts and fans out of the stands into the covered area. Game 12 between Sunset Park LL and Sun Creek LL was suspended in the 2nd inning, and will resume on Tuesday, July 1.

Here are the results from games earlier in the tournament:

Game 6 (Saturday night): Murrayhill LL (red) 14, Hillsboro LL 3

Game 7: Tigard LL (green) 11, Wolf Creek LL 1

Game 8: Tigard LL (black) 8, Lake Oswego LL (blue) 4

Game 9: Hillsboro LL 13, Raleigh Hills LL 2

Game 10: Tillamook LL 10, SW Portland LL 7

Game 11: Murrayhill LL (teal) 5, Lake Oswego LL (white) 4

Game 12: Sunset Park LL vs. SunCreek LL -- suspended due to lightning

Tillamook LL vs. SunCreek LL: more pix

The best part of Little League is meeting new kids and fans! I've always believed that Alpenrose is a magical place... Enjoy some more photos! These are courtesy of Deborah Mundorff -- thanks, Deb!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oregon District 4: 11/12 Honors Tourney Results

As triple-digit heat blanketed the Portland Metro area, many people were heading for the coast to cool off. But a lone schoolbus filled with Little Leaguers from Tillamook, Oregon, was heading from the coast inland to begin play in their first District 4 11/12 Honors Tournament. And they were cool as cucumbers as they ignored the afternoon sun and banged out a 7-0 victory over SunCreek Little League in Game 5 on Alpenrose Main diamond.

Below I have posted some pix from the game.

In earlier action at Alpenrose:

Game 1: Tigard LL (black) defeated Sunset Park LL

Game 2: Murrayhill LL (teal) defeated Lake Oswego LL (blue)

Game 3: Wolf Creek LL defeated SW Portland LL

Game 4: Tigard (green) defeated Lake Oswego (white)

Game 6: Hillsboro LL versus Murrayhill LL (red) began @ 7pm

District 4 (Oregon) Honors Tourney Pix

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Let the (tournament) Games Begin!

The All-Star teams have been selected and practices are underway...and now it's time to get the party started!

Our own Oregon District 4 will kick off its run of tournaments this Saturday with the "Honors" teams playing at Alpenrose and Cook Park in Tigard. I love these tournaments -- kids who cannot commit to an AS team schedule, or leagues that don't have enough players for a full set of AS teams, can participate in Honors. For some District 4 kids, it is their last chance to play at Alpenrose, home of the Little League Softball World Series. It is a more relaxed tournament and is a fun way to start "the second season."

As the Honors tournaments are wrapping up, the District 4 tournaments for 9/10, 10/11, and 11/12 year-old AS will begin their quest to move on to the State Tournaments. Here is a rundown of all the District 4 Little League baseball tournaments:

9/10 Baseball Honors
June 28-July 7, 2008: Cook Park, Tigard

11/12 Baseball Honors
June 28-July 6: Alpenrose Park, Portland

9/10 Baseball
July 1-8: Waluga & Westlake Parks, Lake Oswego

10/11 Baseball
July 5-12: Waluga & Westlake Parks, Lake Oswego

Majors Baseball
July 9-16: Alpenrose Park, Portland

Monday, June 16, 2008

LL Selection Sunday + Father's Day

We spent the weekend in Seaside, Oregon, a coastal town with an arcade, bumper cars, big corn dogs, lots of taffy, and several ballfields. Our son's team played in three "friendlies" with one local and two teams from out-of-town at Broadway Park, home of the Seaside Wildcats. It was a relaxed affair, with the kids picking their positions and even coaching the bases -- capped off by a huge bonfire on the beach to end a perfect Father's Day weekend.

As we drove home from the coast, I began to reflect on the date: June 15. I realized that there would be lots of emotions on this day in the world of Little League. I was thinking back a few years when Jack didn't make the LL All-Star team, but was an alternate, and selected to play in the Honors tournament instead. Talk about mixed emotions...

I was thinking about how he still practiced with the AS team everyday, and even when two players left the team over the long 2+ weeks before the first game AND he still wasn't placed on the roster (coach said they would "have a better chance of winning with only 11 players") he still went out and practiced with them and sat at every one of their games (not on the bench, of course), heartbroken, but knowing that the practice time would only make him a better player.

That is our AS story -- a tough one to swallow for us, but Jack has moved on, and at age 14, is on the Westview Sr. Federal team, the top in this age-group, batting fifth (he started out batting last at the beginning of the season) and working hard everyday at the sport he loves.

My reflection for the day for those families celebrating the beginning of tournament play or celebrating the end of the regular season of Little League is this: be glad for the several months that you just spent with your child(ren), encouraging, cheering on, teaching, talking life and sportsmanship. You (hopefully!) modeled for your kids volunteerism and community support. Youth sports do not take place on an island (even though it feels like that on a cold night in April when you are the only ones playing :) ) and the benefits will always outweigh hours playing video games or watching TV. You were part of something, and they can forever tell their children that they played Little League.

If you made the Tournament Team, congrats, and I'll be following the local teams and news on this blog during the summer. If you are done with baseball (for now), thank you and don't put that mitt away just yet -- enjoy a game of catch with your mom or dad just for the fun of it!

Happy (belated) Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Little League at West Union Fields: A Story

Let's say you're up early on a Saturday morning to take your husband to the airport. Let's say that you've had your coffee and breakfast, read the newspaper, and the weather is pleasant enough outside that you wish you had a ballgame on the schedule. But what would you do if it was an open day on the game schedule?

Even though our son's Little League playing days are over, it seems our Little League Fan days show no signs of slowing down. Jack plays for Westview Junior Baseball on the "Senior Federal" team of 13-14 year olds with a 7-1 record in league play. We had a bye on Thursday and a rare weekend with no tournament to attend.

Sooooooo, we enjoyed watching other teams and kids and cheering for old friends and new ones. We attended a doubleheader on Friday night between Mound Time, a local club team, who plays in Tualatin Hills Babe Ruth.

Our open Saturday allowed us to hang out at West Union Fields and catch SunCreek Little League games -- the pictures are posted below. It was a pleasure to watch the kids, and their parents, enjoying a mild day in the Portland area while younger siblings hung out on the grass and the playground.

While I wish we were on the bleachers at one of Jack's games, it sure beats doing housework!

Little League at West Union Fields III

Little League at West Union Fields II

Little League at West Union Fields I