Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Safe at home

By Mark Rogoff and Jesse Caputo
Special Correspondents

Jeff Wood, Northeastern Regional Manager for Lenel Systems International, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s United States Semi-final game featuring Washington and Hawaii.

For 11 years Wood has donated his time and expertise at the Little League Baseball World Series, helping Little League with its security needs by using Lenel’s state-of-the-art technology.

Every square inch of the Little League property is being watched by surveillance cameras provided by Wood. The cameras, computer software, player and staff identification badges, and card-swiping machines make the Little League World Series the ultimate safe environment for participants and fans alike.

Some say Wood and Lenel provide more equipment at the Series than the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) combined.

Lenel Systems International is a leading provider of software and turnkey security systems for corporate and government markets. Lenel focuses on developing products that enable organizations to effectively protect and manage their people, property and assets by maximizing IT and infrastructure investments.

Congrats, Grad

Prior to the game, former major league pitcher Kent Tekulve received the Bill Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award from Little League Baseball and Softball President and CEO Stephen D. Keener.

Tekulve played for the Lindenwald Little League of Hamilton, Ohio. He went on to enjoy a 16-year major league career, and was a part of the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series-winning club.

Tekulve, 61, is now a color analyst for Pirates telecasts on Fox Sports Net in Pittsburgh.

This marked Tekulve’s first visit to the Little League World Series. He called his Little League playing days “a special time.”

The Bill Shea Distinguished Graduate Award was established in 1987 to honor former Little Leaguers who went on to play Major League Baseball and still best exemplify the spirit of Little League Baseball.

Can’t Say It’s a Wash

Mill Creek, Washington players voted unanimously after their 9-4 loss to Hawaii to stay in South Williamsport for the duration of the World Series. They’ll head back to the Evergreen State on Monday.

Washington on Thursday has scheduled an 11:30 a.m. cross-over exhibition game against an International team. Canada is the likely opponent.

“They were shocked,” Washington manager Scott Mahlum admitted after telling his players of the exhibition contest.

Mahlum said his kids are excited to not have a set schedule for their remaining time at the Series.

“They’re kids, they’re looking forward to it,” he said.

2008, Little League Baseball Incorporated
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