What can best be described as an incredible summer, the Petaluma National Little League All-Stars baseball season has come to an end.  Oh sure, there will be travel and fall ball, but the team that traveled to South Williamsport for the Little League World Series is one for the record books.  With older kids moving up to new age groups, the players will face a realization that a dichotomy is taking place.  These kids will be bonded by their baseball accomplishments for the rest of their lives, no matter where they go or what they decide to pursue over a course of their own unwritten history.

As a thunderstorm pounded the site of Petaluma’s win over Panama, the Howard J.Lamade Stadium (pronounced something like LA MAH DAY) seemed almost lonely Sunday evening, barely an hour after Japan became the new World Series champion.  I couldn’t help but find the finality of it all as the severe storm flooded the field.  The darkened stadium, a steel gray sky whipping the rain to a frenzy made it seem like summer had given way, grudgingly, to the inevitable march toward autumn.

 

A severe thunderstorm puts a cap on the Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A severe thunderstorm puts a cap on the Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrtat) 2012

Line-up cards used for reference by ESPN at the Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Cumulus clouds build over the Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrtat) 2012

Japan wins the Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrtat) 2012

Lamade Stadium, Sunday August 26, 2012 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2102

Fans leave Lamade Stadium after Japan wins Little League World Series, Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrtat) 2012

Petaluma National's good luck charm Teddy Belove, 4, has his head rubbed after Petaluma took batting practice prior to their All-American final against Tennessee at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport Pa., Saturday August 25, 2012. The all-stars have rubbed Belove's head when he's around, or a picture of hime throughout Petaluma's run through the post season. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Porter Slate fields a line drive as Petaluma National Little League beats Panama in the Consolation game in South Williamsport PA. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Petaluma National take the field during their game against the Southeast, Saturday Aug 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Children carry on the tradition of sliding down the grassy slopes of Lamade Stadium on cardboad, Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Kempton Brandis watches his hit sail over the fence in the sixth inningduring Petaluma's loss to Tennessee in the Little League World Series American final in South Williamsport, PA., Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Hance Smith smacks a home run in the bottom of the sixth during Petaluma's loss to Tennessee in the Little League World Series American final in South Williamsport, PA., Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Petaluma National gets ready to greet Quinton Gago after his home run in the sixth inning during Petaluma's loss to Tennessee in the Little League World Series American final in South Williamsport, PA., Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Petaluma fans and players parents give Petaluma National a standing ovation after their heartbreaking loss to Tennessee in the Little League World Series All American final in South Williamsport, PA., Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Bradley Smith gives an autograph after their loss to Tennessee, Saturday Aug 25, 2012 (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

Porter Slate is comforted by his father after Petaluma's heartbreaking loss to Tennessee in the Little League World Series All American final in South Williamsport, PA., Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Umpires take the field during introductions of the Petaluma-Tennessee game, Saturday August 25, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Petaluma National Little League team give their parents a standing ovation after Petaluma beat Latin America for the consolation title in South Williamsport PA. Sunday August 26, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

 

-Kent Porter