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To the Editor:
On behalf of the West Hartford Youth Baseball 10U Bulldogs and their families, the coaches would like to thank everyone who supported the team’s run this summer, ending with a trip to the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken 10U World Series earlier this month in Hammond, IN.
The District 2, CT State and New England Regional Champs fared well in Hammond, being one of six teams to advance to the championship bracket.
We wound up being eliminated by the eventual World Series champion from West Raleigh, NC, but not without putting a scare into them! The game was just 2-0 in the 5th inning with the Bulldogs playing very well, but the boys came up just short losing 5-0, and placing 5th in the country.
The town of Hammond and its volunteers worked hard for 18 months to put together an incredible 11 days and experience for all of the players and families … one that every single one of them will remember forever. The boys forged friendships that will last a lifetime, met and had a lot of fun other players from around the country, competed against the very top-level 10 year old competition and grew in respect for the game, sportsmanship and unity … which aligns perfectly with our league’s long time philosophy.
The community of West Hartford played such a big part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience (although, the boys are determined to make it back!).
The team could not be more thankful for the generous donations that came through the GoFundMe campaign. Close to 150 people and local businesses made contributions that helped fund a portion of the transportation, hotel and meal costs for the players during the 11-day trip. Additionally, the hundreds of people who tuned into and provided encouraging comments on the live streaming Facebook broadcasts (the players loved watching the replays) and the on-going social media posts were a huge hit with the boys!
The coaches shared with the players every day how the community was behind them, supporting them in different ways and rooting for them to simply soak in and remember these special moments. We can promise you they did, and are deeply appreciative of the help and support from their hometown.
We also want to thank the West Hartford Youth Baseball League. The coaches, managers and board members across the league are all volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of their time teaching the fundamentals of baseball, sportsmanship and sense of team.
The Bulldogs were direct beneficiaries of the personal commitment of our coaches throughout the league (Spring/Summer/Fall) as well as the investments WHYBL has made in our young players over the last year – including opening up an indoor baseball facility, providing free instructional clinics to all league players throughout the winter, partnering with WIP Fitness to encourage youth health and fitness, etc.
The league has been serving the youth of West Hartford for 68 years – the support, dedication and commitment to youth baseball and sports experiences continues to grow and be unmatched.
Again, thank you for supporting our WHYBL 10U Bulldogs.
With sincere gratitude and appreciation,
Coaches Rob Hanawalt, Chris Redden, Kevin Hebert and Winnie Tantraporn