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Little League World Series in Grapevine

by TED MADDEN / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on July 5, 2010 at 5:06 PM

If you're a fan of baseball, you don't want to miss this.

The USTSA (United States Travel Sports Association) is holding its world series in Grapevine, at the new Oak Grove Ballfield Complex, next to the lake. The complex opened up last year, has nine baseball fields and is arguably the best of its kind in the country.

There are 100 teams competing in the tournament, which begins early Tuesday morning with the first games, and won't end until Sunday night. Over the first couple of days, the first pitch of the first game will be at 7:30 am, and the last game ending close to midnight.

I was out there today to shoot a story and met a couple of neat kids. One was McKinley Charles, the only girl I saw out there. She's 11 years old and bats lead-off for her Grapevine team. Keep in mind, these ball players are on select teams -- they're elite players. And this girl is one of the best players on her team.

And then I met a huge man-child named Nick Espiricueta, who plays for a team from Mesquite. He was taking part in the home run derby. To make the contest a little more exciting, the organizers had the players batting from the pitcher's mound (I think centerfield was marked at 265 feet). Anyway, this Espiricueta kid was just hitting frozen ropes to left -- just laser beams. He only hit one home run, but only because he couldn't elevate the ball. Three or four of his hits banged off the fence, not more than two feet below the top. And he stood about a head taller than all of his teammates. Great swing.

So like I  said, head out to Grapevine if you get a chance. I'd never heard of the USTSA before today, but I know what a good baseball player looks like, and this tournament will be full of them.

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