PEARLAND – The Pearland Little League team has amassed quite an audience as they inch closer to the Little League World Series Championship.
Neil Davis understands the excitement more than most. The former left fielder has been there and done that. It was the year 1963 with the North Houston Little League All-Stars.
“Our team only trailed two times and that was the final game against Kentucky,” Davis said. “We came back and won that game 6-3, and then the time when we lost to a Grenada Hills the first game of the World Series.”
Kenny Rodgers was the team’s third baseman.
“Back in those days, it was single elimination games,” Rodgers said. “You lose one game and you’re out. And we had wooden bats instead of aluminum.”
He said he often recalls that summer and what his team could have done differently during that final game.
“It makes me sad that we lost,” he said. “And I forget that I was just playing a game.”
Rodgers said all these decades later he still keeps in touch with his teammates and even the pitcher from Grenada Hills -- the team that won the 1963 World Series.
“We still talk, the ones that are still alive, [we] still communicate one way or another... through Facebook or email or telephone. And we get together every once in a while,” he said.
Davis said playing in the Little League Championship was a unique experience that he will never forget.
He added that his team got to meet the Astros, which were then the Colt 45′s, and even traveled to the nation’s capital. He said he’s rooting for the Pearland Little League Team and would advise them to just have fun and cherish their memories.
“When I was watching them play, I just would encourage them to take in every moment that they can. Kinda get a snapshot of the big crowd,” said Davis. “Most of those guys will be just like me. It will be memories. But it will be a few that will go on and play in the big leagues and have a career.”