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September 9, 2009 > NCLL honored by A's

NCLL honored by A's

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photos By Bill Mancebo

Two months ago, Niles-Centerville's District 14 Senior League All Star team couldn't have imagined they'd be walking onto the field of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to be honored for their remarkable baseball play. On Sunday, Sept. 6, that's just what happened.

Over the course of six weeks, the NCLL senior league all stars went 25-3, outscoring opponents by more than 50 runs in reaching the Senior League Baseball World Series Championship before falling to Texas, 9-7, on August 22 in Bangor, Maine.

The run certainly brought the community together, and many eyes in the Bay Area were fixated on the team as they went deep into their run. Even the Oakland A's organization was impressed of the run, as they invited them onto the field at the Coliseum to honor them prior to their Sunday afternoon game vs. the Seattle Mariners.

Perhaps the NCLL team inspired the play of the A's - last place in the AL West - as they prevailed on a late-inning grand slam by Scott Hairston to propel them to a 5-2 victory.

District 14 Administrator Reggie Torres feels this experience will only benefit the little league going forward.

"Maybe we'll see an increase of players at this age to help us," said Torres who feels the exposure may lead to better facilities in Fremont. "I think more sponsors will be more in tuned to looking out and helping the little league teams."

Coach Perry Romero concurs with Torres' sentiment to the experience leading to bigger and better things for Fremont's little league.

"I think it will do a lot for District 14 and for all of little league," said Romero of what his team did for baseball. "You never know what's going to happen, and for us it was a dream come true.

"The community has totally been behind us the whole time," Romero continued. "When we started, it was the Niles and Centerville communities that were behind us. Then all the leagues and the whole Fremont area were behind us; and then I was getting calls (of support) from people in Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, and ever people from across the Bay ... it was awesome."

All the recognition to the Niles Little League will culminate with a moving parade Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. beginning in Downtown Niles and ending in the Niles Community Park.

Once in the park, there will be speakers, such as the mayor of Fremont, and some music entertainment, as well as a picnic which will run until 2 p.m.

"I think that's what is going to put the little league in Fremont over the top," said Torres, who mentioned the community, including the Merchant's Association, City Council and Mayor staff, are excited about the parade. "I think it's really going to not only spotlight the little league, but Fremont as well."

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