Appeal Sports Editor
Tim Terry didn't quite make it to the Little League World Series as a coach. But that hasn't stopped him from going to Williamsport, Pa., for the event every year.
Terry has been going back to the Little League World Series to soak everything in for about the past 10 years now and is back there again volunteering as an usher. Terry's first day of work came on Friday, the opening day of the World Series, and he'll be working through the championship game to be held on Sunday, Aug. 24.
The weather was perfect for most of the day until the rain postponed one game between Maryland and Indiana, which will be played at 7 a.m. today. The rain also caused a delay in the Hawaii-Connecticut game before Hawaii went on to win 3-1.
It was an eventful day for Terry. Among those who were at the opening ceremonies was Hall of Fame pitcher Goose Goosage.
"I got to meet Goose Gossage," Terry said. "That was fun."
In addition, former Major League Dale Murphy participated in the opening ceremonies and launched a new partnership with Little League called "I Will Not Cheat," a program designed to build character in youth.
As an usher, Terry obviously comes into contact with a large number of fans.
"You meet a lot of people," he said. "You meet a lot of people from all over the world."
This year is the first time that ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will be televising all the games in the tournament. But Terry said the event is worth it to see in person.
"Anybody who hasn't done it should do it at least once," he said.
In recent years the tournament has been expanded from eight to 16 teams and now is played in two stadiums. There's still Lamade Stadium, which remains as the main stadium, and Volunteer Stadium. Terry will be working in both stadiums throughout the event.
"We go back and forth quite a bit," he said.
Terry coached two Carson Little League teams that came within one step of reaching the Little League World Series in 1988 and 1992. Those teams won state titles, but was eliminated at the Western Regional in San Bernardino. The 1992 team featured current New York Yankees pitcher Darrell Rasner.
Terry also coached a 1991 team that won the district title, but lost at state to a Las Vegas team. It should be noted that during those years only eight teams advanced to the World Series as opposed to 16 and only four American teams advanced as opposed to the eight now.
"My dream was to get to coach a team in the Little League World Series," Terry said.
The crowds for opening day were well over 10,000 at each stadium, Terry said.
"It will just get bigger as the tournament goes on," said Terry about the crowds.
For the championship game there will be up to 40,000 fans with thousands filling the hill behind Lamade Stadium.
"All in all a pretty good first day," Terry said. "A well behaved crowd. Some great baseball and not so many problems. We call it a pretty smooth operation for day one."
Terry, who served this past season on the Carson City Little League Board of Directors as the director of player and coach development, is all about promoting Little League anywhere, including the local level.
The biggest project that Carson Little League now has is building a warehouse at Governor's Field that will serve as an indoor training facility. Terry said the project should make significant progress by the end of this year or early next year.
In other games on Friday, Florida beat South Dakota 10-0 and Venezuela defeated Canada 8-1.