The Los Angeles Angels had the honor of playing the Cleveland Indians in the fourth annual Little League Classic on Sunday. The club mustered only four hits in a 3-0 loss, but the day still was memorable for everyone involved.
There were hundreds of little leaguers in attendance with their family at the historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and as expected, Shohei Ohtani stole the show both on and off the field.
The Angels’ two-way star signed autographs for everyone who wanted one before the game, then proceeded to reach base three times against the Indians’ pitching staff, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base.
Though he hasn’t played since May 17, Mike Trout also was present for the Little League Classic. Like Ohtani, he took the time to meet dozens of players before first pitch and certainly made many kids’ days by simply showing up to the ballpark.
Trout appreciated the experience just as much and praised MLB for putting on an incredible event that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It’s special,” Trout said. “Just watching it as a kid and even now watching it in the clubhouse, seeing the field in person is unbelievable. And to see the kids’ reactions, that’s what it’s for. It’s probably every kid’s dream to meet Major League Baseball players. MLB has done a great job combining both of these and it was a great experience.”
Unfortunately because of on-and-off rain showers, Trout and his Angels teammates weren’t able to catch any Little League World Series games on Sunday, but they still made the most of their time in Williamsport:
“I wish we had a little bit better weather but we made the most of it,” Trout said. “I got to see the whole complex and as many of the kids as I could. I got to see the barracks and where they stay. And I got to meet the California team, but didn’t get a chance to meet New Jersey. But I saw they won the other day and I’m rooting for them.”
Trout, a New Jersey native, noted he is rooting for his home state in the Little League World Series but also supports the California team as well.
Both states are still alive in the tournament, as New Jersey is next scheduled to play on Aug. 24 against the loser of the Michigan and Texas matchup scheduled for Monday.
As for California, they are one win away from advancing to the semifinals. They next will be in action on Aug. 25 against the winner of the Oregon and South Dakota matchup set for Monday.
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When Trout was diagnosed with a Grade 2 calf strain in mid-May, he initially was pegged to miss only 6-8 weeks. His recovery has since extended to a 14th week, which he recently revealed has taken a toll on him.