When it come to the actual game, the MLB Little League Classic was too much of a distraction in the middle of pennant race. But the moments leading up to the game – and immediately following – are going to make life-long impressions on the young baseball players and their families.
Related story: Cardinals, Pirates in Awe of Little League Spectacle
As soon as the St. Louis Cardinals landed in Williamsport at 11:30 a.m., Little League players were there to greet them. And some of the players grabbed a ride to Little League World Series with the kids:
The fun never stopped (until St. Louis’ 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates).
Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham bought 200 snow cones for the Little Leaguers and their families:
Pham also created the days most heartfelt tribute when we take a closer look at the shoes he was wearing. He gave a pair of all-white cleats to Lamarion, 7, and Chloe, 5, who are both being treated for cancer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and asked them to decorate them.
Carlos Martinez hung out with the team representing the Caribbean:
The Cardinals allegedly stole a kangaroo from a team representing Australia.
When the Cardinals visited the Little League Complex Sunday afternoon before MLB’s first Little League Classic, they challenged Australia’s players to a game of ping pong. But what started as a harmless game of table tennis quickly turned into, what Australia believes to be, a robbery.
“They stole it!” The entire Australia team yelled while laughing when asked how the Cardinals ended up with the kangaroo.
The kangaroo was on full display in the Cardinals’ dugout during batting practice before Sunday’s Little League Classic, but Australia was unsure who was the culprit. Even Cardinals’ first baseman Luke Voit didn’t know how the kangaroo joined the team.
“We just got it somehow,” Voit said.
Lance Lynn and Randal Grichuk were celebrated as two returning Little Leaguers. Lynn shared his Little League memories during ESPN’s broadcast:
The Cards brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, but it would be a long fly ball to center by Paul DeJong to end the 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh. Then, in true Little League fashion the Pirates and Cardinals exchanged hand shakes at home plate.