After the final out was recorded, the players celebrated together near the pitcher's mound, turning the infield into a mass of blue and gold uniforms. The crowd stood and cheered loudly, appreciating the efforts of the newly crowned champions.
This scene didn't take place on a big league diamond or on a college campus, but on a little league field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The athletes celebrating triumphantly were 11, 12 and 13-year-old ballplayers. They weren't famous sluggers, just big-time sports fans who are now Little League World Series champions.
Chula Vista: The Little League World Series champs played the entire tournament with a never-say-never attitude. Even in the championship game against Chinese Taipei, the Blue Bombers fell behind 3-0 before coming all the way back for a 6-3 win. Chula Vista, which is a town near San Diego in southern California, didn't hit a home run throughout the game, meaning that the players had to rely on teamwork, pitching and defense to win the championship. Chula Vista never gave up and the players' long summer of hard work paid off with a victory lap around the field in front of thousands of delighted fans.
Chinese Taipei: The international champions, Chinese Taipei travelled nearly 8,000 miles from home in order to play in the tournament! They made themselves at home in Pennsylvania, though, emerging as one of the world's top Little League teams. Throughout the tournament, they only made three errors. They put in many hours of practice to show that defense is an important part of baseball. Even after they lost the championship game to Chula Vista, the Chinese Taipei players gathered around the mound and scooped up dirt to bring home as souvenirs. This showed that they weren't upset about the loss they were proud of their effort and will always remember the experience of playing in the Little League World Series.
Sportsmanship: In one of the tournament's most memorable moments, the champions from Chula Vista invited the Chinese Taipei players to join them in the victory lap around the stadium. Together, the two teams celebrated the sport of baseball and the influence it has all over the world. They showed that there is much more to the game than winning and losing. Even though they competed hard against each other, the players from the two teams ended the game as friends.
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