One More Hill To Climb For Toms River East Little Leaguers
So here we go again as a group of 12-year olds from the Toms River East Little League prepare to take over Bristol, Connecticut for the first time since 1999 when the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament gets underway on Sunday. The Windsor Avenue gang has been dominant while winning district, section and state titles and due to a change in format you have to like their chances to advance to the Little League World Series.
The New Jersey State champions are among six teams taking part in the region and they begin their quest on Sunday morning (10am) against Delaware’s title winners from the Bear Little League. Who they play and when after that will be based on whether or not they win or lose their first game in the double elimination tournament which includes teams from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington D.C.
Due to the global pandemic international teams are not taking part in this year’s World Series but still wanting 16 teams in Williamsport the revised format means the top two teams in each of the eight regions around the country will qualify. So in essence should Toms River East make it to the Mid-Atlantic Finals on Saturday, August 14 they are assured a trip to Pennsylvania which could keep the dozen boys occupied until the week before school begins.
Of course most people are aware that Toms River East has some history when it comes to the birthplace of Little League Baseball, a city of some 30,000 people which of course swells during the latter part of August. The “Beasts of the East” not only won it all in 1998 but took part in the 1995 & 99 tournaments all under the direction of Mike Gaynor.
Now it’s the 2021 group which looks to write its own history and continue a magical summer of baseball.
PS-The team leaves for Bristol on Friday and will hold its final practice today and around 5pm will be given a send-off by the East Little League and Toms River officials. Join me “live” on the 92.7 Facebook page for coverage of the event.
KEEP READING: What were the most popular baby names from the past 100 years?