Tampa, Fla. – Something special happens when these people come together.
There is usually a lot of laughing. But these baseball players aren’t just hanging out.
Together they will win.
“Most of them have been together since they were eight years old and played together on the same All-Star team every season,” coach Dan McCaffrey said. “So they’re paired up and best of all, they’re friends.”
The bond of this Keystone Little League team carries over to the baseball diamond. And it resulted in multiple wins and back-to-back state championships.
Now in Williamsport, Pa., the mecca of minor league baseball
“They’re having fun,” McCaffrey said. “They laugh in the dugout. And they come to play every day to have fun. I don’t think they realize the magnitude yet. But they’ll get there when we get there.
Since 2001, only four Sunshine State teams have won the Southeast Region title. And no Florida team has ever won the Williamsport Little League World Series. Keystone wants to change that.
“We’re really happy with where we’re going,” first baseman Lee Melamut said. But we still want to grow more.
Melamut has been playing baseball since he was three years old. There was something about the sport that caught his heart.
“It’s just the sound of the ball hitting the bat,” he said. “It’s just a perfect sound.”
These young men make their television debuts this week. ESPN broadcasts their games. And these minor leaguers are ready to close.
Maybe it’s because Keystone has been in the national spotlight before. In the year In 2015, Keystone won the state championship and advanced to the regional round, and thanks to parents who shared the good news, big-name players including Tim Tebow and Derrick Brooks wished the youngsters the best of luck.
The Keystone Little League hat has toured the sports world.
But now is the time for this generation to shine.
“We’re ready for it,” McCaffrey said. “The kids talk about it. So it is a big place for them. But once we get there and settle down, I think they’ll get the cameras fixed and ready to play.