Monday, February 20, 2012 |11:31 |Age: 2 yrs
5th Little Lakers Baseball Cup
Germany’s Greatest Baseball Tournament for Kids - 174 Kids in 15 Teams Experienced the 5th Little Lakers Baseball Cup
The 5th Little Lakers Baseball Cup on February 11th, 2012 attracted 174 children of 10 Clubs, divided into 15 teams to play all day baseball at its best.
Teams from Hamburg, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein found the way to Germany’s greatest children baseball tournament in Lütjensee, the little Lakers home, to play sometimes dramatic games which finally were left undefeated by three teams.
Though this year the organizers consciously did without a classic final, the result turned out to be outstanding: The Lüneburg Woodlarks from Niedersachsen, the HSV Stealers/Bergedorf Marines from Hamburg and the Lütjensee Little Lakers from Schleswig-Holstein won all their four games and in this way they set an exclamation mark for the participating Federal countries.
The start was a bit confusing. Not only the entered 14 teams but also the Marines from Bergedorf came to take part in the 5th Little Lakers Baseball cup. Quickly, however, they could be integrated to the Stealers of HSV and therefore there was no need to change the program.
This time, the traditional First Pitch, the symbolic start of the tournament, was executed by all coaches with the intention to honor all those persons who normally stay in the background at events like that. And the coaches in question were very honorable: two European representatives, nine active and former Federal representatives and even three former coaches of the German national team participated to coach their kids and to possibly sort out other players for the corresponding representative teams for the coming season.
Also the meanwhile classic game of the coaches was repeated this year – very much to the enthusiasm for all participants. As a little change the coaches had to bat from the „wrong“ side which to the great fun of the children looked very strange. Some coaches only batted air-holes; there certainly will be a demand of funny explanations during the training for the weeks to come.
Afterwards, in the category Soft Toss, the 15 teams fought in totally 28 games for points and victories.
Sometimes there was a deafening noise in the hall, especially when the fans of the Elmshorn Alligators, who took part for the first time, cheered their team frenetically. Jens, the coach of the just formed up team, showed how much he was satisfied: „Two victories and so much fun, this is more I ever expected.” “A super tournament”, was his conclusion. Also Jan Kirchner, former coach of the German national team, who entered with a pure girls team of the Hamburg Knights for the first time, was happy and said: „So many kids, boys and girls of different age, competing in the same tournament - this you hardly will find in another sport.“
All teams demonstrated fantastic sport. The Kiel Seahawks and the Holm Westend 69ers, who had taken part in all preceding tournaments, provided – each with 25 kids, the biggest teams. „It’s a real pleasure to see, how much the work with youth teams is forced meanwhile in many clubs”, so Christoph Bönicke, the coach of the Großhansdorf Skunks and simultaneously coach of the Federal representative of the schoolboys. „We certainly will compete with a powerful team this year at the Länderpokal in Bonn.”
For the first time there was a raffle on this tournament which found great interest as you could win nice and baseball-related articles. Only after one hour the lots were sold out. The main prizes, three baseball gloves, three baseball bats and a sport bag were drawn in public. Joshua from the Little Lakers blue was visibly happy: “I just have lost my glove; and now I win one in the raffle, this is great.“
One of the bats was won by the Lüneburg Woodlarks; the girl was so happy that she proudly took her prize to the following presentation ceremony.
After a long, strenuous but also wonderful baseball day all parents and spectators, who accompany their kids always and everywhere, where „honored“ with a little bar of chocolate. They evidently had great fun as well: „Unbelievable how concentrated and exactly these kids aged 5 to 13 can pitch, catch and bat“, a father of a Doren Wild Farmers proudly expressed. „It gives us great pleasure to see how our kids take up this demanding and wonderful sport.”
The presentation ceremony ended an excellent, well organized tournament; each kid received a medal as souvenir of the 5th Little Lakers Baseball Cup. „Great, we feared there couldn’t be enough for our kids,“ said Lucas, coach of the Bergedorf Marines, being very happy that his team could spontaneously be integrated and that they even could bring home some victories.
All spectators, coaches and kids were of the same opinion: this tournament was special.
But the Lütjensee Lakers reflect already on next year’s cup. „Either we have to reduce the tournament in 2013 or we have to find a bigger hall. We unfortunately had to cancel applications of three teams this year, but the capacity of our hall reached the limit,” Michael Pape from the Lütjensee Lakers and leader of the tournament explained.
There only remains wishing all who took part – and especially the kids – a wonderful new baseball season to which the 5th Little Lakers Baseball Cup just marked the start.
But even today all feel the same in looking forward to next Spring and the 6th Little Lakers Baseball Cup, when you here again: “PLAY BALL!“