Little League struck out not looking.
After the Bayside Little League team defeated Elmjack in the District 26 finals on July 1 by a score of 24-0, there were smiles all around.
The Rebels were preparing to face teams from around the city in the intermediate sectional round, but those smiles turned to frowns and confused faces days after their win when manager John Callahan broke the news that the team will not advance to the sectional round because of a Little League administrative blooper.
The district was not properly registered for the sectional tournament and the 12 kids of the Bayside Rebels weren’t allowed to continue to the next round.
“The kids were heartbroken, and they didn’t understand why,” Callahan said. “Unfortunate. It really is unfortunate.”
Days following the win over Elmjack, Callahan reached out to Bayside Little League administrators for details on the next round. Usually, he would know by the next day, he said, but no one seemed to know anything about the team’s next game.
Bayside Little League President Bob Reid reached out to Little League coordinators for an explanation.
Little League officials told The Courier when Bayside defeated Elmjack, the sectional tournament had already begun, indicating that at some time there was a mistake that led the District 26 tournament to start late and not finish in time for the sectional round.
Little League representatives said they don’t know who is to blame yet for the slip-up, but are investigating the problem.
“There was some miscommunication between two of our district administrators,” said Pat Wilson, Little League senior vice president of operations and programming. “We are still collecting information.”
Callahan and Reid said that despite their efforts, Little League didn’t try to amend the situation and have the team continue anyway after the problem was discovered.
At this point, the sectional tournament is already over and there isn’t much Little League can do for Bayside, but maybe issue an apology to the parents and players.
“Growing up, my father said a man makes mistakes and you don’t judge him by the mistakes but how he makes up for them,” Callahan said. “But [Little League] ignored it.”