BANGOR, Maine — Eleven-year-old Drew Lally of Glenburn has watched virtually every inning of every game in the Senior League World Series since 2010.
In addition to his passion for baseball, he is also a collector and when a team is at bat, he wears that team’s hat.
“I like to collect hats and wear them,” said Lally. “I love baseball and getting to see teams from all the different regions.”
The team he is cheering for this year is the Clear Ridge team from Chicago.
“I rode the bus down to Boston to pick them up and bring them back,” said Lally. “They’re really nice.”
The 2011 team from Hilo, Hawaii, that captured the championship also has a special place in his heart.
“They were nice and they all had good attitudes,” said Lally. “Some of their parents sent me some palm leaves.”
It is very much a family affair for the Lally family at the SLWS.
His father, Dennis, is a volunteer, and his 14-year-old brother, Cody, runs baseballs out to the umpires during games and is an umpire himself at the Little League level.
The Lally brothers also provide support for the umpires.
“Drew gives them a pep talk and he’ll tell them a joke [before the game],” grinned Dennis.
“I told them today that people who have more birthdays tend to live longer,” smiled Drew Lally, who is a second baseman on his Little League team.
Dennis Lally said the experience has been wonderful for both of his sons.
“They’ve met people from all around the world,” he said.
Trip doesn’t hurt Pennsylvanians
The 12-hour bus ride from Kennett Square, Pa., to Bangor certainly hasn’t hampered the United States East champs.
They beat Laredo, Texas, 4-2 on Sunday and followed that up with an 11-1 win in five innings over Europe & Africa champ Italy on Monday.
They were going to fly to Bangor but tournament director Mike Brooker said a bus trip would eliminate the hassles attached to changing planes, like potential long layovers in airports, and they would probably reach Bangor at the same time.
“We were probably safer doing it the way we did,” said Kennett Square coach Rob Jones. “We had such bad weather, we would have had to worry about them canceling flights. I give our bus driver a lot of credit. It was a long bus trip pouring rain. It was a tough one to drive.”
“It was a long bus ride but it was well worth it,” said pitcher Alex Pechin.
“We stayed occupied. It was fun,” said catcher Eric Duerr.
Andrew Jones and Pechin, who pitched the first two games, are the center and quarterback for the Unionville High School football team, respectively.
“We’re missing two-a-days [workouts] but our football coach has been generous enough to let us be here,” said Pechin.
The Pennsylvanians have enjoyed their experience so far.
“It has been fantastic,” said Rob Jones. “The facility is great and the people in Maine are fantastic. We’re having a super time.”
“This is one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life,” said Duerr.
“It’s awesome,” said Pechin.