It may have been 30 years since the team from Trumbull, Connecticut, won the 1989 Little League Baseball® World Series, but the legacy of that small-town team has continued to resonate throughout the community year after year. This year, in celebration of their 30th anniversary, members of that 1989 Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League team will be once again making the trip back to Williamsport to reunite and relive those magical moments.
For the players of that 1989 team, the historical journey started well before they stepped foot off the bus in Williamsport and, most importantly to the players, it was all about having fun and spending time with their friends.
“That was a summer we would never forget,” said David Galla, member of the 1989 Trumbull National Little League team and one of the organizers of this year’s reunion. “It was a much different time in the Little League world back then and so many of us didn’t understand the magnitude of what was happening because it wasn’t as widely shown as today. For us, it was just time spent playing baseball with our friends and having a good time, and that made it really special for us.”
Playing in the Regional tournament, the boys from Trumbull got an early feel for the spotlight during their time in Bristol and never backed down with a 4-0 record, outscoring their opponents, 51-14, to earn the right to head to the biggest stage in Williamsport.
“My first memory of going to Williamsport was when the bus pulled into the complex and stopped looking right over center field of the stadium,” said Mr. Galla. “That was a memory I will never forget.”
Competing in the Little League Baseball World Series was no easy task for the team from Connecticut, who narrowly defeated East Little League of Davenport, Iowa, in the opening round, 4-3, before taking down Eastview Little League of San Pedro, California, 6-3, to earn a spot in the championship against Kang-Tu Little League from Taiwan.
Heading into that year’s tournament, Taiwan had taken home the last three LLBWS titles, making Trumbull National LL the clear underdogs in the 1989 championship game. With chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A.” echoing throughout the stadium, and Chris Drury (current Assistant GM for the New York Rangers and GM for the AHL affiliate, Hartford Wolf Pack) on the mound, Trumbull National LL was able to battle back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat the Far East representatives, 5-2, and become the 1989 World Series Champions.
“Being on the mound, watching the ball head towards our left fielder for the final out was such a thrill,” said Mr. Drury. “Knowing that all the hard work and dedication that the players, coaches, and parents put in for the last few summers was about to pay off was a feeling I will never forget.”
Now, 30 years later, the team is looking to come together in celebration of their historic championship journey, this time bringing along their families to bask in the glory of the Little League Baseball World Series experience.
“Last year, my family decided to take a trip out to Williamsport for Championship weekend and the entire experience was a lot of fun. On the way back, I immediately thought we should get the team together and make that our destination for our 30th reunion,” said Mr. Galla. “Little League is such a great organization, and not just because of the experience we had 30 years ago. It’s great because of the people that put in hours of volunteer time to make it a great experience for kids and we’re really looking forward to seeing the excitement through the eyes of our children.”
In total, the boys from Trumbull finished that historic 1989 tournament season with a 15-1 record, their only loss coming in the final game of round robin play at the district tournament, and are to this day the last team from Connecticut to earn the title of LLBWS Champion. The win also marked the first U.S. Championship since 1983 and was secured in front of a crowd of approximately 45,000 fans. For everyone in Trumbull, especially those who got to experience that magical season first-hand, the 1989 season will be a summer that nobody will ever forget and will continue to be an inspiration to Little Leaguers across Connecticut.
“It’s always interesting to me how people remember that championship,” said Mr. Galla. “We always hear ‘I remember exactly what I was doing when that happened.’ There aren’t many moments in your life that you can remember exactly where you were, yet everyone from our community has a story they can relate to based on their experience during that time. There’s a sense of nostalgia, and some pride from being from this area, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
This story is featured in the 2019 Little League World Series Official Souvenir Program. To read all of the stories in this year’s program, visit the Little League Baseball World Series on August 15-25, 2019, in South Williamsport, Pa. To learn more, visit LittleLeague.org and plan your visit today.