Baseball team struggles to get to World Series

July 18, 2011 8:12:49 PM PDT
In Oakland, they are celebrating a baseball championship, and no, not for the A's. These champs are 11 years old, with boundless potential. Now, only an absence of money stands in their way.

In Oakland, they are celebrating a baseball championship, and no, not for the A's. These champs are 11 years old, with boundless potential. Now, only an absence of money stands in their way.

When boys of summer are 11 years old, a baseball diamond can be the center of their universe.

"It took us at least four years, now, and finally made it," said baseball player Kavon Roque.

For Roque, "making it" means being a champion and every one of these kids can make that claim because two weeks ago, these Oakland Babe Ruth Cal Ripken All-Stars went undefeated in a tournament to become Northern California champions. For their coach, Luther Crouch, it's especially gratifying.

"A lot of these kids. They don't have a lot of fathers at home. So, it's like I'm a father, brother, uncle, sometimes grandpa," said Crouch.

And this week...add the word worried, because even in these best of times, they are the worst of them. They qualified for the 11-year-old World Series in Beaver, Utah.

However, it's a long way to Utah and the problem is money. Right now, they have enough send three kids out of 13 and they need it by Saturday.

"It's stressful. I've been stressing for about the past week," said Holly Brown.

Brown is Roque's single mother. She would spend $500 for his trip, except that she has been out of work so long she said she doesn't even have a bank account.

When asked if Roque thought he would make it, he said yes. Score one for the optimism of youth.

"If we don't check in by Monday 3:30 p.m., we forfeit," said Crouch.

"I've tried doing fund raisers, I've tried doing bake sales," said Brown.

So these really are desperate times or these boys and their coach. You know, Luther Crouch has sent some kids to college and other to professional contracts. Yet, after all that, Beaver, Utah, and a possible world championship, seems far, far away.

"We're trying not to leave anyone behind. We won't leave anyone behind," said Crouch.


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