Friday morning at SFO and a flight to the Little League World Series. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Looking out on a portal of parched landscape 34 thousand feet above Nevada, I travel east for my fifth World Series. Mind you, this is unlike any World Series I’ve covered for the Press Democrat.  Major League Baseball may call their version of the fall classic a World Series, what with players from all over the Third Rock from the Sun playing in the league.  But it’s not a true WS. The MLB doesn’t play the winner of any other country for the championship, to be the worlds best.  Little League does and any kid that plays knows that Williamsport PA. is the place to be in late August.  It’s the pinnacle of youth baseball.

Almost every kid who has played baseball in one form or another has dreamed about playing in the World Series, hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases juiced to become an instant hero.  That’s true for my son I know, and it resonates clearly for me also.  Alas, only a tiny fraction of one percent will ever know exactly how it feels to be that type of hero.  Consequently, we hit those milestones within in our lives by getting married, witnessing the very life changing experience of our children’s birth;  obtaining that much wanted job promotion or any other momentous milestone that dunks our cookie.

With fascination, the entire Press Democrat newsroom watched as the Petaluma National Little League took the Western Regionals in San Bernardino by storm, rolling in to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.  What has happened in the days since San Bernardino is equally amazing. Those 13 kids have have pulled Sonoma County a little closer together, Petaluma in particular.  Always a tight knit community, P-Town has rallied around Petaluma National with awe and a little whimsy.  Maybe you are not much in to baseball and that’s okay.  As with any sport, countless hours are spent training for these moments.  Baseball to some may seem trivial and boring, (I’ve fallen asleep while watching baseball on the tube- who hasn’t?)  from experience though, every five minutes on that field is equal to at least an hour working out.  So spend a few hours on Saturday and watch these kids try and achieve something that is a true milestone in their lives.

On the flip side, Nevada is still looking mighty parched from seat 22a.

-Kent Porter