When I first spoke to Ocean View Little League manager Jeff Pratto, it was hard to hear him.
As he explained over the noise behind him, he and the team had just arrived in Williamsport, Pa., hallowed home to the Little League World Series. They were about to take part in a parade featuring all of the teams from around the world that had earned their place in the sun (or, as it turned out, some rain too).
Such was the continued dreamlike trail for the Surf City Boys of Summer, a poised, disciplined group of young players who, under Pratto and his equally poised and disciplined coaching staff, found themselves sitting on the cusp of that rarest of baseball achievements — a World Series championship.
I remember playing in Little League All Stars back in the early 1970s. We'd won a couple of games, and all of a sudden, all we had to do was win about 15 more to make it to Williamsport. That never happened, but following this team today is a wonderful reminder of the power of the game and the strangely beautiful sound of dreams coming true.