Big or small, World Series titles are meaningful

sports@macon.comJuly 29, 2013 

If you think about it, the only true “World Series” is in Little League Baseball.

Major League Baseball has referred to its annual championship playoffs as the World Series since 1903, but the only teams eligible to play in the Fall Classic are 29 from the United States and the Toronto Blue Jays from Canada. That hardly makes it a “World” event. Baseball is played in numerous other countries, but teams in those locations don’t qualify for Major League Baseball’s “World Series.”

On the other hand, the Little League World Series, beginning next month in Williamsport, Pa., will have teams from all over the world, representing Asia-Pacific-Middle East, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe-Africa, Japan, Latin America and Mexico, as well as eight teams from different areas of the United States.

The Warner Robins American Little League’s hopes for a spot in the Little League Southeastern Regional tournament, beginning Friday in the International City, were dashed in the state Little League championship game last week in Richmond Hill by Columbus Northern Little League, 8-7.

Northern and WRALL have been the top two Little League programs in the state for almost a decade. WRALL has won five state titles in the past eight years, with Northern taking the other three. Both have Little League World Series titles to their credit, Northern in 2006 and WRALL in 2007. The Warner Robins teams also made it to the Little League World Series in 2009 and 2011 after winning Southeastern Regional titles.

A Macon team has already won a version of a “World Series” crown, taking the United States Specialty Sports Association 10-and-under All-Star/A World Series in Mandeville, La., earlier this month. That “world” was made up of six teams from Louisiana, one from Mississippi and the Newberry North Macon 10-year-old all-star team that represented Georgia.

The North Macon team began their championship run at the sub-state playoffs in June in Forsyth. The team went 6-1 in those contests, winning both pool games and beating Monroe County 14-7 in bracket play before losing 5-4 to Pike County to go to the elimination bracket. After eliminating Monroe County 12-0, North Macon had to beat Pike County twice to advance. North Macon overcame a 9-0 deficit to beat the Zebulon team 12-11 to force a deciding game, which North Macon won 10-0 to give it a spot in the state tournament.

In that event, which was held in Hampton, North Macon won all four of its games, beating Hampton 13-4, North Henry 9-2, Pike County 14-1 and Hopewell 4-3. The state title earned North Macon a spot in the World Series in Louisiana.

At the World Series, North Macon disposed of three Louisiana teams in bracket play. North Macon had a 6-5 win over the Sluggers, a 10-8 victory over the SBBA Venom and an 11-1 win over defending World Series champion The WF All Stars. The WF All Stars won the elimination bracket and defeated North Macon 7-5 to force the deciding championship game. In that meeting, North Macon rolled to a 20-9 win in a run-ruled, four-inning affair.

The North Macon team was managed by David Newberry, who was assisted by coaches Derrick Knight and Jody Brown. Team members included Cannon and Carson Newberry, Calen Knight, C.J. Seymour, Hunter Alexander, Hunter Bell, Jordan Gray, Lane Spangenburg, Logan Winget, Trey Daniels and batboy Lawson Newberry.

The designation World Series might be a misnomer, but don’t tell it to these youngsters. They have a 6-foot trophy to prove they won their “World Series.”

Bobby Pope is the executive director of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Email him at

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