It is hot and sunny at baseball heaven.
It is 79 degrees in Vancouver, Washington.
Seventy-nine degrees is beach volleyball weather.
It is also a bit warmer than the Alaska State Junior All Star Baseball Champions are used too.
“We are making sure the kids stay hydrated,” Gastineau Channel Little League Junior Baseball All Star manager Joe Tompkins said from a secret hotel location that will remain nameless so the boys can stay focused.
“We gave them the day off yesterday. We are on our way to a picnic right now to meet the other teams.”
The team did get up on their own this morning to go out on a run and workout with no prodding, according to coaches.
It may be sunny but the team is focused on playing baseball.
“The toughest part is waiting,” Tompkins said. “The kids are amped and ready to go.”
Teams are not allowed to practice on the tournament field. You can look but don’t touch.
“We got a chance to go by and look at it,” Tompkins said. “Oh man it is beautiful. Brick stands, really nice.”
The Gastineau Juniors All Stars, and state champions, are beginning 12-team (2 pools) Western Regional Tournament pool-play in Vancouver, Washington, on Wednesday against Arizona.
Thursday the Juniors play Utah, Saturday they play Hawaii and Sunday Washington. The only team in their pool they do not play is Northern California. In pool one the teams are Southern California, Vancouver, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. The top two teams from each pool advance to single elimination semi-final games.
And this is how another Juneau team is preparing for the six-team Northwest Regional Little League Tournament in California. The Gastineau Channel Majors All Stars, and state champions, scrimmaged one of their top state competitors.
The Juneau Majors played Anchorage’s Abbott-O-Rabbit on Monday in Anchorage prior to their flight today for San Bernardino, California, the site of their chance to head to the World Series.
The Majors will begin round-robin play against Wyoming on Friday, Idaho on Saturday, Oregon on Monday (Aug.6) and Montana on Wednesday (Aug. 8). The only team they don’t play is Washington, unless both teams make the top four of the pool and are in the single elimination semi-finals.
It should be noted that both teams are wearing the same old uniforms from the state tournaments.
At some point it might be nice if new ones magically appear.
Of course, the winners of the regional tournaments get nice new duds for the World Series.
I would think the kids deserved them after state.
“I would concur,” Tompkins said.
And did you see some of the USA beach volleyball uniforms?
If the Olympic committees are spending cash on some of those flamboyant color schemes, can’t they drop a few dimes on Alaska’s representing All Stars?
They already represent the red color quite well.