Westcoast Warriors and Downtown Connection Face Off in Ohio-MLB Madness

Hi from Ohio!

Does anyone have any ideas as to how we might have started our 4 days in Cleveland? How about – at a baseball game! And what a game it was. With many of our trip members sporting the new Cleveland Indians ball cap, we fit right in as if we were all Indians fans. Progressive Field has so much to do and the boys took advantage of the activities at the stadium. Hayden demonstrated a cannon of an arm of his own by throwing a 68 MPH fastball which was tops for his age group in the entire stadium.

After the game, we headed on over to the bowling alley and had our first West Coast Warriors vs Downtown Connection competition. Not only are our boys baseball fanatics, but they are quite the bowling studs as well. David Z’s pancake style approach was so successful, he needs to have it patented. In the end the West Coast Warriors were just too strong and took a 1-0 series lead.

What a busy day our second day in Cleveland was. The tour of Progressive Field was certainly interesting, but the highlights of the day came in the evening at the batting cages and at whirly ball. For the first time, the guys had a chance to show off their baseball skills. Arthur and Justin both demonstrated their switch hitting abilities with 70MPH fastballs coming at them. Matt has such a smooth swing, we call it “Poetry in Motion”. From the right side of the plate, Jake, Zack and Oliver were tearing strips off the ball. Stephen and Owen both showed their ability to hit for contact in the soft ball cages and are clearly eager to get on the field and play for real.

Whirly Ball was a huge hit. Downtown Connection was able to tie up the series 1-1 with some strong team performances.  Dylan scored on several occasions and was just too dominant in his cart to give West Coast Warriors any hope of victory at all. Congrats to both teams on great sportsmanship and effort. A great time was had by all.

Canton Ohio was our next stop, as we took a day trip to the football hall of fame. There was a gorgeous turf field outside, which gave us an opportunity for game 3 of our friendly series between the West Coast Warriors and the Downtown Connection. The play of the game was made when Charlie threw an outstanding pass to Mark who was able to secure the ball for a long first down.  The West Coast Warriors prevailed and have taken the lead in the series 2-1. Inside the hall of fame, we had a ton of fun being arm chair quarterbacks. Max has some serious talent and should consider becoming a future as a football analyst, as he was able to predict nearly every passing pattern perfectly.

Finally, the moment the boys have been waiting for. It’s time to play softball. Will was outstanding at shortstop, Sam was smooth on the base paths, and Brandon A demonstrated a great glove at first base. To be honest, all 20 of the boys demonstrated their talents on the field, at the plate, and sportsmanship in the dugout. In the end, the West Coast Warriors won the game 4-3 and have taken a 3-1 series lead.

We spent our last day in Cleveland at Cedar point, home of some of the world’s biggest roller coasters. The boys genuinely enjoyed spending a gorgeous day outside, inconsequential of the roller coasters. It was a fantastic opportunity for the boys to spend time with lots of different people on the trip, as their partnerships for the day seemed to be constantly evolving. We are so lucky to have such a tight-knit group and we look forward to giving you another update in a few days.

Until next time…

The West Coast blogger

A Game that Was Full of Home Runs and Clutch Hitting – Major League Madness

‘Cause It’s One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out … Major League Madness checks in!

The Westcoast Blogger

Dear Parents of Major League Madness,

The Major League Madness tour is off to a fantastic start, 4 baseball games and many incredible activities in the first 4 days! 41 baseball fanatics met at Chicago O’Hare airport and immediately left for our first baseball game, the Cleveland Indians vs. the Chicago White Sox. On the field, the highlight was Kelly Shoppach smashing a grand slam for the Indians. Off the field, Robert and Adam D. were able to get autographed baseballs. A game that was full of home runs and clutch hitting ended with the Indians pulling out a big win 10-8.

Day 2 started with a tour of the Milwaukee Brewers home field, Miller Park. Jeremy D. and Mathew K loved walking on the diamond that many legends of the game of baseball have played on. Matthew P. and Scott were able to take some once in a lifetime photos in the visiting team’s dugout and Brian practiced simulated a catch crashing against the outfield wall. The next part of the tour took the group to the bullpen, a place where some of the best of all time have warmed up their arms. After our tour and before the game, we made a visit to “Field of Dreams” entertainment center.  The boys discovered a cool game of spaceball – especially enjoyed by Ethan R & Daniel S, and Matt S displayed his talent being best on the fast pitch in the batting cages.

Back to Miller Park, with sunny skies and the roof open, during batting practice Grant got Los Angeles Dodgers second basemen Orlando Hudson’s autograph. Adam W. and Max loved heckling Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez as the Dodgers went on to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-8 after a grand slam hit by Dodger Matt Kemp in extra innings sealed the game (two slams in two days!).  Highlights for our group included sitting in Bernie Brewer’s splash zone, and seeing the mid-inning sausage race live – Matt P. made a winning choice buying the “chorizo” sausage shirt that day! But the main thrill might have been Jesse catching a ball thrown into the crowd by outfielder Ryan Braun – Jesse has been super hyped ever since! 

Day 3 began with a boat tour of the city of Chicago’s famous architecture where Ethan R and Jonathan B were able to take amazing pictures of the city’s skyscrapers. After the tour the group made its way to historic Wrigley Field, where Jake M and Austin were awed by the friendly confines of the Cubs home field. The Chicago Cubbies were able to outlast the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2. After the game the tour made its way over to the Hard Rock Cafe for a delicious and rocking dinner. In between appetizers and the main course Zack and Elliot got a chance to take pictures of some of the rock-and-roll items on display at Hard Rock.

The fourth day began with a drive to the city of Detroit where the Cleveland Indians took on the Tigers. Sam and Bret snuck into great seats right by 1st base to see Brandon Inge hit two home runs for the Tigers. Gabriel was able to catch a foul ball while looking around Comerica Park and watching the Tigers out-slug their competition 10-1. After dinner at Max & Erma’s, the group headed over to Zap Zone for a night of laser tag, go karts, and arcade games. Philip and Josh E dominated laser tag while Harris racked up almost 2,000 tickets! So far the trip has been a great success and we’re not even a quarter of the way over. The kids are getting very excited to watch the home run derby and the all-star game.

Hope you all enjoyed the update, more to come soon

Greetings from the Staff