WILLIAMSPORT, Penn.--Patrick Vinson’s son Graham hit the game winner last week that sent Hagerstown to represent Indiaa in the Little League World series. Now in Williamsport, the proud dad, also the team manager, says ten years ago, he hoped it would happen.
“We visited Williamsport in 2012 when Newcastle was here,” he told WIBC’s Terri Stacy. “I remember walking all the way up to Lamade Stadium and I remember thinking, wow what would this be like to have a team here? It would be just incredible.”
LISTEN: Patrick Vinson talks with Terri Stacy
Vinson says he and the team realized during the season that the team had a spark this year.
“We were doing well and everything was rolling and it was like, hey we’ve got something here and then we got to State and it was kind of the same thing and then we got to The Great Lakes and here we are.”
Vinson said the first game for Hagerstown is Thursday at 3 p.m. against Iowa.
He said the support from the Hagerstown community, with a population around 2,000, east of New Castle, has been incredible.
“I was just telling the coaches last night, man, I wish I could just go through town to feel the buzz. But, man, I like being here (in Williamsport)!”
Vinson said he’s proud of the team and glad they will have that memory for the rest of their lives.
“You know you see it on TV and you see the dugouts and stuff. But, when you’re down in the dugout and you walk up out of the dugout and actually get out on the field, it’s got to be heaven on Earth. It was just awesome,” he said.
He said Hagerstown is having a blast with the other teams.
“Australia is right next door to us. Canada’s under us. Hawaii got here and the kids were in awe,” he said.
Vinson said the team will enjoy the parade Monday. Vinson said 50 to 60,000 people are expected to line the streets in Williamsport.
Vinson said the team spirit, even though they’re getting ready for one of the biggest events in their lives so far, is still intact.
“With this team it’s not gonna be ‘I did this, I did that’. It’s you know what, it wasn’t for these guys behind me, I wouldn’t be here. So, they’re taking it in stride. They’re doing well.”
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