The Red Land Little League team is getting support from around the country. There are some other Midstaters who know what it is like from their view. A team from Shippensburg won the U.S. championship game 25 years ago.
There were a couple of standout players. One of them, Bobby Shannon, shared his story with abc27 News.
During the game to qualify the team for the U.S. Championship game, Shannon was the pitcher. He threw the last strike.
“Just trying to pull the game out,” said Shannon, in an interview after the game in 1990. “I was nervous so I thought to myself throw harder and they ain’t gonna touch me.”
Twenty-five years later, Shannon reflected on that game.
“The pressure was building a little bit there so on that very last pitch, I put a little bit more into it than I wanted to,” said Shannon. “Once you threw that last strike it was the adrenaline is what came out of you. Twelve-years-old, throwing the last strike. On TV,” he said.
The next game was for the U.S. championship title. Shannon hit a home run. He was also the catcher for that game.
At the bottom of the sixth inning, Shippensburg was up five to four. There was one out with a player on third, who ran home, but Shannon tagged him out at the plate. Shippensburg went on to win the game.
“When we made that play and you got 30,000 to 40,000 people just going crazy in that stadium, I mean it was more the emotion thing,” said Shannon. “I think the biggest thing was that I thanked God right away for allowing me to hold on to the ball,” he said.
Shannon had some advice for the Red Land team as they head to the Little League World Series.
“The style of the game that they play right now has got them this far, so why change it? The biggest thing is they need to maintain their game plan. Go in with the same focus. Go in with the same mind set,” said Shannon. “You know whatever comes out of it comes out of it. They’ve already done something special,” he said.
Shannon said the Red Land team’s playing style resembles that of the Shippensburg team. Shannon said he hopes Red Land wins the Little League World Series championship.