Little League World Series

Day 1: Notebook

Post No Bills


Author(s): Mark Rogoff, Teddy Cahill, and Mark Price

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date: Friday, August 20, 2010 ET

Longtime Japanese interpreter Bill Lundy was in attendance for Japan's opening game against Mexico Friday night at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, a stunning come-from-behind 4-2 victory. For the third year in a row, Japan has brought its own interpreter, placing Lundy in the stands to cheer on his adopted sons. He was seated in Japan's family section along with his wife Valerie and their six-month-old daughter Margaret Kyuji. Kyuji means "child of baseball" in Japanese.

Lundy served as Japan's interpreter for 10 years from 1997-2007 (Japan did not have a Little League World Series entry in 2004). In 2008, his first Series without the Japan team, Lundy still befriended manager Shingo Ariyasu, who has returned to Williamsport this year as manager once again.

Lundy traveled to Japan last December to see old friends and the premiere of "Baseball Dreams," a Japanese film about the game. He visited with Ariyasu and some of the players of the Edogawa Minami Little League to offer them words of encouragement as they began to prepare for the upcoming season.

A profile of Lundy from this space in 2003:
http://www.littleleague.org/series/2003divisions/llbb/obbp/21thu.htm

Thrown a curve

After watching opponents force feed curveballs to Ramstein Air Base during the European championships, manager Gary Harrington would like to see the pitch regulated.

Harrington said teams resorted to throwing almost all curveballs against Ramstein because they believed it was their only chance to win.

"I saw kids we played against holding their arms in pain because they threw 70 percent curveballs against us," he said. "I think it's a shame we let kids throw so many curveballs."

Harrington doesn't believe Little Leaguers are old enough to throw a curve ball. If Harrington had his way, none of his players would throw a curveball. But he allows it if the parents are alright with it. Mackenzie Mueller, Ramstein's starter against Puerto Rico on Friday, did throw curveballs.

Last year, Little League instituted rules that imposed strict pitch counts and restricted players from pitching and catching in the same game. Dr. James Andrews, who has become one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in America, helped create the rules.

Harrington said he found himself up at 4 a.m. Friday and spent time reading them. He is glad they are in place because the rules protect the players, especially those that want to continue pitching in high school and college.

"I've seen so many kids' arms ruined by the time they get to high school," he said. "Kids end up quitting because of the pain and they love baseball."

Back for more

The Reyes family of Vancouver, British Columbia is making their second trip to Williamsport in as many years in support of one of their children playing in the Little League World Series. Last year, their daughter Katie played for Canada's Hastings Community Little League. This year, son Matthew will be taking the field with Little Mountain Little League.

Katie chose to play for Hastings when her family moved into its district several years ago. Matthew chose to stay with his friends at Little Mountain. Little did the family know that their children's decisions would one day allow them each to be part of a Canadian national champion.