From Congress, Little League World Series vet has tips for West Boynton team

West Boynton Little League All-Stars listen to their coaches Chuck Shiflet and
Omar Tirado last week. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

An all-star team from the West Boynton Little League will play in the Southeast regional tournament this weekend in Georgia in hopes of attaining a coveted Little League World Series berth in South Williamsport, Pa.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, played in the 1991 Little League World Series with a team from Dunedin.

A team from East Boynton — including future Major Leaguer Devon Travis — reached the World Series final in 2003 before losing to a team from Japan.

Another Florida team, from Dunedin, made it to Williamsport back in 1991. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, played on that team, which won the South region before being knocked out by a California team in the quarterfinals.

DeSantis, a potential 2018 candidate for governor or attorney general, was asked today if he had any advice for the West Boynton players.

“I would just say you’re having the time of your life, enjoy it. Those are friends that you’re going to have forever. Play hard, work hard…just feel lucky that you’re doing it. And thank your parents,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis went on to play baseball at Yale. He has also played at Nationals Park in Washington as part of the Republican congressional team. But he said the most awestruck he’s been by his baseball surroundings was when he stepped onto the field at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport 26 years ago.

“I remember the grandeur,” DeSantis said. “It’s one of the most fantastic facilities that I’ve ever been to.”


Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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