The Magical Days of Summer - Mark Blythe, Coach from Lexington, Kentucky
The summer of 2003 was the summer of dreams for the Southeastern Cal Ripken League from Lexington, Kentucky. The 10-, 11- and 12-year-old all-stars won their district, state and regional titles.
The 10's were crowned champions of the 2003 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series held in Williamsburg, Virginia. The 12's made it to the elimination round at the 2003 Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland before losing 6-5 to eventual US Champion Hilo, Hawaii.
I served as Head Coach for the 11-year-old team and was assisted by coaches Barry Bryant and Scott Drake. Even though the 11-year-olds were defeated in the Ohio Valley finals, their special recollections of kinship and teamwork that lead them to the regionals will stay with them for a lifetime.
Serving as Head Coach for the 10-Year-Old Southeast Lexington World Series champs was Make Baker, assisted by Kenny Gant, Randy McCamy and Vaughn Gott.
Chuck Ross, a minor league teammate of Cal Ripken in 1979, served as Head Coach of Southeast Lexington's 12-Year-Old squad who made it to Aberdeen to participate in the first Cal Ripken World Series held at Cal Ripken, Jr.'s new complex. Chuck was assisted by David Jackson and C.J. O'Banion as coaches.
Three families from Lexington had sons on both World Series teams: the Kimbrell family - Southeastern President Mike, and his sons 12-Year-Old Lee and 10-year-old Stephen; the Jackson family - David, coach for the 12's and his sons, 12-year-old Logan and 10-year-old Devin; and the McCamy family - Randy, coach for the 10's, and his sons 12-year-old Chris and 10-year-old Scot.
Both teams were walking on cloud nine upon their return from their World Series adventures. Their dream-come-true experiences stories will be passed on for generations to come.
Yes, dreams do come true, especially for these lucky youngsters from Lexington, Kentucky, who were able to experience the Babe Ruth tournament trail.