I’m back at home. It feels great.
Before we tie this excursion (officially) up with a ribbon and a bow, I first want to say that I’m stunned that Washington beat Texas tonight. However, I am kind of excited too, because now we get an if necessary game, which hasn’t been necessary yet. I still think that Pearland will win tomorrow, but I bet Casey Manning throws for Auburn, which means that Washington has a chance.
Tom Fox from the Lock Haven Express told me that Hawai’i is the team to watch. I’d be stunned if the USA Championship Game was anything other than Pearland vs. Columbus, Ga. But who knows?
Also, just to report some celebrations for the team. Fairfield will be honored with an arrival party when they get back to Fairfield at about 2 p.m. on Thursday. The team is leaving at 10 a.m. and it is about a four hour trip. There will inevitably be traffic. We hit traffic on our way home and the trip (which should’ve been four hours) ended up being about five.
Anyway, let’s wrap this up in style, with some awards.
Best athlete at the World Series: Isaiah Hatch, Auburn, Wash.: Hatch is becoming the most talked about player at the tournament now between his pitching performance against both Fairfield and Pearland (he had 15 Ks in 5 2/3 in two relief appearances) and his 4 for 4 performance at the plate against Fairfield, he has done it all.
Most ridiculous travel experience by press members: Kristin Gold and Jeremy Babin, TV, Georgia: The two are competitors, yet chose to stay for more than a week in the same house to keep costs down. Gold has slept on the couch and Babin has slept on the floor. The most ridiculous part of the trip? Due to rights fees by ESPN, neither can shoot game footage!
Best name: Brooks Robinson, Hamilton, Ohio. The best part about this story? He wears #5! His dad is evidently a diehard Orioles fan.
Best fan chant: Japan. “Let’s go Fairfield!” is great, but nothing will top the Japanese faithful singing “Popeye the Sailor Man” against Mexico in Japanese. I didn’t get the explanation behind it, but it was entertaining.
Best fan outfits: Pearland, Texas. Japan’s have been good, and Mexico, with its sombreros, was a nice touch, but cowboy hats and flannel shirts won’t be beat. In my opinion.
Most media friendly player: Nate Klein, Fairfield. In case you haven’t heard or noticed. The 4’8 kid loves to play baseball. It takes every bit of that frame to muster his talent, but his smile and personality can’t be beat. ESPN ate him up.
Most valuable late-night eating establishment in Williamsport: Denny’s. Perkins was the place where we spent the most of our time, but Denny’s was the place that was open late. We ate there twice after midnight after 8 p.m. games. Very convenient, especially since hardly anything else was open.
Highest profile former athlete seen: Dave Winfield. He’s a Hall of Famer and I didn’t see Orel Hershiser up close and personal. I guess that is my fault.
Best entertainment: Dugout. I honestly couldn’t praise the fan- (and kid-) friendly mascot enough. He represents everything that is awesome about the World Series, plus no matter what the weather is or how bad a day it was, he always put a smile on my face, and after working for 12 straight hours, that isn’t easy.
Best Fairfield dancer: Liam Wurzel. He was the only Connecticutter that did “The Worm”! Nate Klein was a close second though.
Best non-baseball related thing to do in Williamsport: Reptiland. Where else can you pet an alligator and see a real life Emu?!
Best quote from Fairfield coach Chris Daley: “It was the trip of a lifetime.”
Look and listen for any big news about the team. The boys from Fairfield will undoubtedly be honored by teams in the area. I know that the Bluefish and Rock Cats have offered to honor them. I’d look for the Red Sox and Yankees to as well.
The entire trip was a blast for me, and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a week then watching baseball and writing. I hope you all enjoyed our coverage, I hope you continue to read the Fairfield Citizen and Connecticut Post sports sections.
I also hope you follow me on Twitter for (attempted) witticisms and live Fairfield high school game updates.
Until next time…