Ocean View given a hero's welcome

The Little League Baseball team from Huntington Beach finally arrive home and are greeted by hundreds of people at their home field Monday night.

August 29, 2011|By Mike Sciacca
  • Braydon Salzman (20) of the Ocean View Little League (center with arms out) celebrates with his team as hundreds of supporters came out their home field to welcome home the Little League World Series Champions as they came off the bus directly from the airport.
Braydon Salzman (20) of the Ocean View Little League (center… (Steven Georges,…)


The Ocean View Little League All-Star team received the red carpet treatment upon their return home to Huntington Beach Monday night.

Arriving to chants of "OV," and, "USA," the All-Stars were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd that came out to support the 2011 Little League World Series champions. The players showed their poise as they stood before the gathering, a fireworks display illuminating the backdrop of the team as it stood in front of the league's playing fields at Murdy Park.

Ocean View completed an incredible and unforgettable two-month postseason summer run on Sunday by coming from behind to defeat defending champion Japan, 2-1, at Williamsport, Pa., to become world champion. Ocean View is the first Little League team from Orange County to win the title, second team in three years from California to win it (Park View Little League of Chula Vista, 2009) and seventh from the state, overall, in the 65-year history of the iconic tournament.


"I will say that winning the World Series is great, but it really doesn't compare to this right here," Ocean View Coach Tony Cianca told a crowd of approximately 800 that responded with cheers and whistles. This is unbelievable."

The past two days have been nothing short of a major whirlwind for Ocean View . The All-Stars defeated Japan and then celebrated their milestone victory later Sunday. On Monday, the team traveled to Cleveland and then Houston, before making its stretch run to Los Angeles International Airport and then to its home turf.

Only upon seeing the massive gathering at Murdy Park, did everything begin to sink in for player Justin Cianca.

"I thought that there would be a lot of people here to support us but when we got off the bus, I was shocked," said Cianca who turned 13 Monday. "Once I got off the bus and saw the crowd, that'd when it all hit me, what we had done. It's crazy and incredible, something I won't forget. This is the best birthday ever."

It took one big swing by Steven Kotkosky on Aug. 13, to get Ocean View to Williamsport. His two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning wiped out a 1-0 deficit in the West Regional final against Red Bluff of Northern California, and sent Ocean View to its first World Series.

Kotkosky and his teammates were a big hit during their homecoming.

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