EDITORIAL: Cheers for the boys of summer

York Dispatch

Deep in the dog days of summer, the most interesting news in Pennsylvania centered on what wasn't happening.

Watching our divided lawmakers fail, day after day, to approve a state budget was hardly thrilling. In fact, it was, and still is, excruciating.

A distraction was in order and the Red Land Little League team delivered a grand slam — good, clean fun that excited and unified us for a change.

The boys from Lewisberry were on a roll all summer, not just winning their ball games but dominating.

By the time they qualified for the Little League World Series last month, the 12- and 13-year-olds had outscored their opponents 241-13.

Simply earning a spot in the series was a huge accomplishment — the stuff of dreams for any kid (or kid at heart) who has ever donned a glove and swung a bat.

That explained the outpouring of support here at home in York County. Signs of encouragement were everywhere — on businesses, churches, online — long before they took the field Aug. 21 for their first game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Of course, Red Land was the home team in this series, and the cheers actually came from all over the Keystone State. And the more they won, the larger the crowds grew.

For the tournament, 499,964 fans attended the 32 Little League World Series games, a new record. Red Land alone attracted more than 186,000 fans for its five games.

After the team clinched the U.S. championship, more fans from around the country tuned in to ESPN for Red Land's world championship game Sunday, Aug. 30, against Japan.

They came up short in that final match, but it was a heck of a game — a heck of a series.

It was exciting and pure, and the York County team displayed class beyond their years.

Congratulations, boys. You made your hometown proud.