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The Taylor Combined All-Stars captured the Michigan District 5 championship at the end of July and will serve as the host team in the Junior League Baseball World Series, which begins with opening ceremonies on Saturday, August 10, at Heritage Park. The team was honored at the City Council meeting last night (August 6).
A Taylor team had not qualified since 1987 and 1988. During those seasons, each team qualified as the Michigan state champions. Starting last year, Little League International changed the format to include a “host” team, which is the Michigan District 5 winner each season. Last year, it was Brownstown.
This season, Taylor’s representative, made up players and coaches from the Taylor Northeast, Taylor Northwest and Taylor North Central Little Leagues, defeated the Melvindale All-Stars, 13-2 in a six-inning district finale. Winning pitcher Aidan Steele pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just two hits and striking out 10. Melvindale split two games with Taylor, winning 5-2 before losing 10-0. Other than the three-run loss to Melvindale, Taylor dominated the district field.
Council offered an official city proclamation, as well as a souvenir cover of the upcoming August Taylor Today Magazine, where the team is featured. The proclamation read:
Whereas, Taylor’s Combined Junior Little League team has played very hard and made their way to the Junior League World Series which is held here in Taylor, MI., The team roster consists of Blake Boike #19, Drew Thorning #23, Jordan Footlander #25, Aidan Steele #11, Connor Felice #3, Calbin “Papi” Gonzalez #6, Cole Loftis #35, Dalton Vance #24, Lucas Zelek #5, David Roberts #10, David Holmes #8, Charlie Kurkowski #9, Cole Mucha #4 and Chris Cannon #2. Manager Rick Thorning, Coaches Jerry Footlander, Chris Cannon and Tim Mucha
Whereas, This team placed third in the Region last year and won the Commerce Summer Classic Tournament this year. During the Summer Classic Tournament one of the players, Chris Cannon, broke his arm, which normally brings any team down but not this team. They pulled together, were focused, pumped and the energy they had was amazing. The team won the tournament for fellow teammate Chris Cannon.
Whereas, This team has bonded, played some amazing baseball and will be playing in the Junior League World Series due to their hard work and dedication.
Now, therefore be it Proclaimed that, the Mayor, City Council and Elected Official's, together with the residents of the great City of Taylor do hereby recognize the outstanding team spirit of our Taylor Junior Baseball Team and wish them the best of luck in the upcoming Junior League World Series tournament.
“Let’s Go Taylor.”
Presented this 6th day of August, 2019.
Opening ceremonies for the JLWS in Heritage Park begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, with a parade of teams and fireworks. Taylor opens the tournament at 11 a.m. Sunday, August 11, against the USA Southwest Region representative.