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Little Leaguers enjoy food, fellowship on eve of Series play


LLWS logoWith convenient proximity to the start of Wednesday’s Grand Slam Parade route, and historic community ties to Little League Baseball, Pennsylvania College of Technology warmly welcomed visitors to the 73rd annual Little League Baseball World Series (Aug. 15-25). For the 11th year, the college hosted a Wednesday picnic for players, coaches, team “uncles,” umpires and officials outside the Bush Campus Center; students and employees also participated in the evening’s parade through Williamsport, for which five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson served as grand marshal.

– Photos by Tom Wilson, writer-editor/PCToday;
Tim Wegman, student photographer;
Kimberlee R. Rusczyk, manager of social media/online marketing;
and Tom Speicher, writer/video editor

Waiting for the teams' arrival, the Wildcat joins Residence Life volunteers (and, at left background, D. Robert Cooley, associate professor of anthropology/environmental science) in an impressive preview of friendliness.
Waiting for the teams’ arrival, the Wildcat joins Residence Life volunteers (and, at left background, D. Robert Cooley, associate professor of anthropology/environmental science) in an impressive preview of friendliness.

The very definition of a "good sport," Penn College Police Officer Jeffrey E. Kriner makes a fashion statement in a photo op with Mexico players from Guadalupe, Nuevo León. "Making a child smile takes little effort," Kriner explained, "but leaves a lifetime of memories."
The very definition of a “good sport,” Penn College Police Officer Jeffrey E. Kriner makes a fashion statement in a photo op with Mexico players from Guadalupe, Nuevo León. “Making a child smile takes little effort,” Kriner explained, “but leaves a lifetime of memories.”

Randy Johnson, a 22-year Major League veteran acknowledged as one of the greatest pitchers in history, turns the spotlight on his preteen audience ... saying that HE looks forward to watching THEM in action!
Randy Johnson, a 22-year Major League veteran acknowledged as one of the greatest pitchers in history, turns the spotlight on his preteen audience … saying that HE looks forward to watching THEM in action!

New Englanders (from Barrington, R.I.) are heartily welcomed by Penn College students, comprising Resident Assistants and Connections Links, as the 16 Series teams are bused from South Williamsport to the Bush Campus Center.
New Englanders (from Barrington, R.I.) are heartily welcomed by Penn College students, comprising Resident Assistants and Connections Links, as the 16 Series teams are bused from South Williamsport to the Bush Campus Center.

The team from Canada makes its way through the food tent ...
The team from Canada makes its way through the food tent …

... where it was unscientifically confirmed, by this Mexico player, that brownies are an essential part of a balanced meal.
… where it was unscientifically confirmed, by this Mexico player, that brownies are an essential part of a balanced meal.

President Davie Jane Gilmour applauds this year's Series participants, recounting their rarified status among the 6,500 teams who vied for a championship berth.
President Davie Jane Gilmour applauds this year’s Series participants, recounting their rarified status among the 6,500 teams who vied for a championship berth.

Waving college employees and students add to the sunshine throughout a festive 2-mile journey.
Waving college employees and students add to the sunshine throughout a festive 2-mile journey.

When you're 9,781 miles from your Sydney, New South Wales, home, it helps to enlist the comfort of a trusted mascot. These Australian guests enjoy a replay of last year's Series final with their equally attentive friend.
When you’re 9,781 miles from your Sydney, New South Wales, home, it helps to enlist the comfort of a trusted mascot. These Australian guests enjoy a replay of last year’s Series final with their equally attentive friend.

A.J. Lacomba, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, makes a Canadian player earn his literal "high five" as members of President's Council greet the teams.
A.J. Lacomba, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, makes a Canadian player earn his literal “high five” as members of President’s Council greet the teams.

Members of the Baja team take their vehicles on-road ...
Members of the Baja team take their vehicles on-road …

... traveling east on West Fourth Street, past the Community Arts Center.
… traveling east on West Fourth Street, past the Community Arts Center.

The Southeast players have learned (along with the other 15 teams in the Series bracket) that their on-field success all along the tournament road does not escape media notice.
The Southeast players have learned (along with the other 15 teams in the Series bracket) that their on-field success all along the tournament road does not escape media notice.

Montoursville's Tom O'Malley, a Major Leaguer who also played six seasons in Japan, fluently assesses the technique of a Chofu City player ...
Montoursville’s Tom O’Malley, a Major Leaguer who also played six seasons in Japan, fluently assesses the technique of a Chofu City player …

... while Kyle T. Hansen, the team's escort from Waldwick, N.J., employs Google Translate to give communication the ol' college try.
… while Kyle T. Hansen, the team’s escort from Waldwick, N.J., employs Google Translate to give communication the ol’ college try.

Players from Bologna, Italy, this year's Europe and Africa entry, add their names to "The Rock" adjacent to the picnic area.
Players from Bologna, Italy, this year’s Europe and Africa entry, add their names to “The Rock” adjacent to the picnic area.

President Gilmour joins members of the American Welding Society student chapter, who fashioned the metal Wildcat head on the float.
President Gilmour joins members of the American Welding Society student chapter, who fashioned the metal Wildcat head on the float.

Penn College's Tom Speicher – who doubles as the "Man in the Crowd" on radio during the Series – interviews Midwest's Maddie Freking (joined by coach Jason Law). The 12-year-old Freking, of Coon Rapids, Minn., is the first girl since Mo'ne Davis in 2014 to play in the Little League Baseball World Series.
Penn College’s Tom Speicher – who doubles as the “Man in the Crowd” on radio during the Series – interviews Midwest’s Maddie Freking (joined by coach Jason Law). The 12-year-old Freking, of Coon Rapids, Minn., is the first girl since Mo’ne Davis in 2014 to play in the Little League Baseball World Series.

A young fan scores a pawshake from a campus celebrity.
A young fan scores a pawshake from a campus celebrity.

The Canada squad, representing Vancouver, British Columbia, sits down to a picnic feast.
The Canada squad, representing Vancouver, British Columbia, sits down to a picnic feast.

The president leads the college community in welcoming the world to Williamsport.
The president leads the college community in welcoming the world to Williamsport.

The faux facial hair of Mexico's Jesus Garcia understandably sparks a smile.
The faux facial hair of Mexico’s Jesus Garcia understandably sparks a smile.

The college mascot, accompanied (at right) by students Josh Rosenberger, of Waynesboro, and Bria O. Schneider, of York, meets a Mid-Atlantic player – representing Elizabeth, N.J. – over the pingpong table.
The college mascot, accompanied (at right) by students Josh Rosenberger, of Waynesboro, and Bria O. Schneider, of York, meets a Mid-Atlantic player – representing Elizabeth, N.J. – over the pingpong table.

Sporting Penn College sunglasses, Joey M. Morrin, of Morrisville, snags a photo of the Mid-Atlantic team's banner moment.
Sporting Penn College sunglasses, Joey M. Morrin, of Morrisville, snags a photo of the Mid-Atlantic team’s banner moment.

With energy and enthusiasm to spare, banner-carriers march through the college's surrounding neighborhood.
With energy and enthusiasm to spare, banner-carriers march through the college’s surrounding neighborhood.

Southwest's Ryder Planchard, of River Ridge, La., is interviewed by Eddie Matz, a senior writer for ESPN.
Southwest’s Ryder Planchard, of River Ridge, La., is interviewed by Eddie Matz, a senior writer for ESPN.

Members of the 1969 Newberry Little League team, minus only one player since they played in the Series a half-century ago, are photographed with the Hall of Famer. Behind the cellphone camera is student Emily K. Conklin ...
Members of the 1969 Newberry Little League team, minus only one player since they played in the Series a half-century ago, are photographed with the Hall of Famer. Behind the cellphone camera is student Emily K. Conklin …

... who shows off the commemorative pin she was given for escorting the team to the cookout.
… who shows off the commemorative pin she was given for escorting the team to the cookout.

Great Lakes players – joined by students Olivia C. Ferki, of Richboro, and Pavel Dariychuk, of Leola – gather 'round the Wildcat in front of a campus landmark.
Great Lakes players – joined by students Olivia C. Ferki, of Richboro, and Pavel Dariychuk, of Leola – gather ’round the Wildcat in front of a campus landmark.

A Caribbean player (from Willemstad, Curacao) signs the T-shirt of Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon.
A Caribbean player (from Willemstad, Curacao) signs the T-shirt of Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon.

Penn College's brand is reflected on the parade float ...
Penn College’s brand is reflected on the parade float …

... and in these learned faces of the imminent future! From left are Jordyn M. Kahler, of York; Emily K. Conklin, of Port Allegany; and Timothy E. Singer, of Rimersburg.
… and in these learned faces of the imminent future! From left are Jordyn M. Kahler, of York; Emily K. Conklin, of Port Allegany; and Timothy E. Singer, of Rimersburg.

Johnson (taking a photo with the Great Lakes players from Bowling Green, Ky.) definitively answers the question: Who needs a selfie stick when you're 6 feet, 10 inches tall?
Johnson (taking a photo with the Great Lakes players from Bowling Green, Ky.) definitively answers the question: Who needs a selfie stick when you’re 6 feet, 10 inches tall?

Patrick C. Ferguson, of Williamsport, president of the college's Student Government Association, supervises a game of cornhole involving his assigned Latin America team from Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Patrick C. Ferguson, of Williamsport, president of the college’s Student Government Association, supervises a game of cornhole involving his assigned Latin America team from Maracaibo, Venezuela.

The college float passes beneath the overhead lens of Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer.
The college float passes beneath the overhead lens of Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer.

A selfie with the coolest 'cat in town
A selfie with the coolest ‘cat in town

The Wildcat baseball team (with coach Chris Howard at right) gather around Johnson, Howard's Seattle Mariners 1990s teammate.
The Wildcat baseball team (with coach Chris Howard at right) gather around Johnson, Howard’s Seattle Mariners 1990s teammate.

Shepherding the Southeast team from South Riding, Va., Jacob T. Bowers is treated to some original tabletop artwork.
Shepherding the Southeast team from South Riding, Va., Jacob T. Bowers is treated to some original tabletop artwork.

Keeping the conversation flowing, Natascha G. Santaella, of Puerto Rico, makes Mexico's Carlos Oliveros feel at home.
Keeping the conversation flowing, Natascha G. Santaella, of Puerto Rico, makes Mexico’s Carlos Oliveros feel at home.

When it comes to autographing "The Rock," Southeast's Noah Culpepper isn't shy about leaving his mark.
When it comes to autographing “The Rock,” Southeast’s Noah Culpepper isn’t shy about leaving his mark.

A group photo evolves into an exuberant display of dance-floor prowess by two members of the Asia-Pacific team, hailing from South Chungcheong, South Korea.
A group photo evolves into an exuberant display of dance-floor prowess by two members of the Asia-Pacific team, hailing from South Chungcheong, South Korea.

A Wildcat Charging Station proves a hit in providing a quick power-up.
A Wildcat Charging Station proves a hit in providing a quick power-up.

The college's Grand Slam entourage makes its way toward City Hall and the end of the parade route, which was lined with an estimated 40,000 fans.
The college’s Grand Slam entourage makes its way toward City Hall and the end of the parade route, which was lined with an estimated 40,000 fans.

 

Comments

Ed Thompson,

We had planned on attending one of the games this year when the Pirates play, but found out it’s more of a “closed event” for the players and their families than a public event that we were hoping for … but we understand completely. Hope everyone has a great time and makes great memories with friends and family. “Play ball!”

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