Friday, August 22, 2008

Westbrook boys bring glory, again, to hometown

That sun out there this morning sure is nice. Looks like we’re in for a nice weekend ahead with a chance of a slight glitch Sunday. I’m happy Wife Gator and I won’t have to do the lawn as it got its haircut yesterday.

Tonight at 7:30 our time the Westbrook Babe Ruth League all-stars will be playing for Babe Ruth World Series Championship. No matter how tonight’s game turns out, and we have no reason to think it’ll be anything but the title, those boys from Westbrook have really put their town on the map. It wasn’t too long ago many of these same kids were earning the hearts of just about everyone at the Little League World Series.

They said they went to the LLWS with the goal of having a good time, doing the best they could, and represent their city well. Having fun was the watchword for the team, and have fun they did. This time around, though, they said the adventure was all business. Having fun was part of it, but they had tasted what it was like to play in a real championship and their goal was to be in the Babe Ruth championship game.

The kids did have some losses in the World Series, three to be exact, along the way, but they have reached their first goal and tonight they will play the final game that ends with the Babe Ruth Championship. Of course the ultimate goal is to win that game. Westbrook will be facing a tough challenge as their opponent, Torrance, CA, has gone through the tourney with just one loss. That won’t scare Westbrook. The team they beat last night, Eau Claire, WS, had been undefeated in the tourney, including a win over Westbrook in the first game.

The Babe Ruth League Championship doesn’t grab the attention that the Little League World Series gets. There’s no national television for the BR kids. I wish there were as I’d be among those watching. But here in Southern Maine, we all should be cheering on the great effort of the 13-15 year-old boys from Westbrook as they play for their league’s championship tonight.

The teams for the championship rounds of the Little League World Series, which does get national TV coverage, have been set. Tomorrow the Southwest Champs will face the West Champs for the American championship and Japan will face Mexico for the International championship. Those winners play for the LLWS title Sunday afternoon.

Let’s turn for a moment to the national political scene. Barack Obama has found an issue to hang his hat on. John McCain didn’t know right off the top of his head how many homes he owns. Obama’s camp has even released an advertisement asking how McCain can earn the White House when he has no connection to home owners. McCain fired back wondering if Obama really wants to get into a debate over home ownership. He mentioned the home Obama contributed to buying worth more than a million dollars. He had help from a questionable friend, convicted felon Tony Rezko, in making that purchase.

I would agree that McCain probably should have know how many houses his family held, but I’d rather know how Obama is planning to make all those changes he’s promising. How will he change the economy? The energy situation? America’s relationship in foreign policy? Housing? And all the rest? Wouldn’t they be better topics for a presumptive Presidential candidate?

A weekend is now just a day away. One of the highlights of the weekend is the 43rd annual WCSH-TV Sidewalk Art Festival in Downtown Portland. Tomorrow will be a nice weather day. Those 43 years ago, two WCSH employees, Art Director Art Hahn and weatherman and Promotions Director Lou Colby, did an extensive research on a good summer day for the art festival. They concluded that the 4th Saturday in August had the least inclement weather in the history of weather statistics than any other day. They chose that day for their first festival. And, indeed, throughout the years, the weather has disrupted the festival only two or three times.

I hope the walking trip through downtown Portland (I think the business community now prefers it to be called “Intown” Portland.) is on your list of things to do Saturday.


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