Full profiles of all Junior Series teams — Page 2-C

Section C

SPORTS
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

www.TheNewsHerald.com

Junior League World Series

Off and running

Photo by Dave Chapman

East Regional champ New York (black jerseys) got the 2012 Junior League World Series started with a bang, beating West Regional champ California on Sundauy

32nd Junior League Series is now in full swing
The teams are here, the volunteers are in place and ready to go and the weather is cooperating (sort of) and the 2012 Junior League Worlds Series – the 32 annual Series – reaches its midpoint today. A dozen games have been played with more to come today, tomorrow and Friday before the event culminates in the World Championship on Saturday. Teams from as far away and China and Italy are here this year as four international champs battle it out for the right to play in the title game. In the USA pool, teams from New York, Florida, Ohio and California will play a weeklong round-robin to see who repreensts the US in Saturday’s title game. Today’s slate of games features Taipei against Mexico in a crucial International Pool game; California against Florida; Aruba against Italy; and New York against Ohio. Pool play ends tomorrow with pool champions determined at 5 and 8 p.m. Friday. The championshipo game is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission to the Junior League World Series is $5 per carload per day or $10 for the entire week. Both fees include parking. Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road. Website: www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries Facebook: www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries.
they’re occupied in positive activities. That’s basically his passion.” UAW-Ford also provided seat cushions and miniature baseball bats displaying the group’s support for the World Series. Cushions and minibats were distributed to each player and the World Series received several extras to sell as souvenirs. Bzura said everyone associated with the World Series is thrilled and appreciative with the partnership and commitment by UAW-Ford. “They have created an escrow fund for future capital improvements and are planning to continue supporting us,” Bzura said. “They have begun with the batting cages, which is something we’ve always dreamt of. “This is major. After 31 years, we have been blessed with a super major sponsor. I told them that if I was young enough to go get a job, I’d work for the UAW.”

Good friends
By Dave Gorgon
The News-Herald

Generosity of UAW means new batting cages for Taylor’s already fine facility
Organizers and fans of the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor are hailing the UAW-Ford National Programs Center for their financial commitment to the series. World Series Director Greg Bzura said that new premium batting cages beyond the right-center field fences of World Series Field will be used by the 13- and 14-year-old players who visit Heritage Park from around the globe every year – as well as the players in the Taylor South Little League at other times of the year – all compliments of the relationship with UAW-Ford. The partnership with UAW-Ford was the idea of Jimmy Settles, UAW Vice President and Director of the National Ford Department, who said UAW-Ford was interested in assisting the World Series, which relies on fundraising and donations. “The UAW and Ford Motor Company are committed partners in the development and enrichment of the communities in which our members and employees work and live,” Settles said. Over the years, he said, the UAW and Ford “have jointly given millions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer time to community efforts of all shapes and sizes.” He said UAW-Ford has provided donations and assistance in rebuilding for disaster-relief efforts, provided supplies and financial support for local charities and helped school-age children raise necessary funds to allow them to travel.

Photo by Dave Gorgon

UAW officials Jeff Terry (left) and Frank DiGiorgio with Greg Bzura at the new batting cages. “Jointly, we have learned that the priceless moments which take place on the baseball diamond for these young boys and girls will provide the sparks that lead to a life of reaching their goals and attaining success,” Settles said. “This is one of our prouder moments because we are making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.” Frank DiGiorgio administrative assistant to the vice president, said Settles “has a passion about giving back to the community and keeping kids involved so

Fighting through the pain
By Matthew Pizzo
The News-Herald

Serious illness can’t stop determined Mexican player
As the Junior League World Series began on Sunday, teams were thankful to have the talent to make it to Taylor and to compete against their age group’s finest. However, the Mexican national champions from San Nicolas de Los Garza, Nuevo Leon, are just grateful for making it to the World Series as an entire team. For 14-year-old team captain, Daniel Mendez, some stomach pains led to an unsettling diagnosis of appendicitis in March. Appendicitis is a medical emergency that generally requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. Immediately after the diagnosis, doctors began to operate on Daniel’s appendix. However, unexpected internal bleeding in his intestines required Daniel to receive 11 blood transfusions. Daniel’s family was with him throughout the entire process and his mother Sandra had told him prior to the procedure “to treat the surgery as a baseball game and to never give up.” After the operation, doctors told Daniel that it would take at least six months before he would be able to return to the baseball field to rejoin his teammates. Daniel said all of the support he received from his teammates and family members motivated him to Daniel Mendez of Team Mexico was determined not to not only return to his team, but to let appendicitis keep him from playing in the Junior play alongside his friends during League Baseball World Series. Daniel’s parents Thomas and Sandra were part of the support team that helped PLEASE SEE FIGHT/6-C him recover twice as fast as doctors predicted.