Saturday afternoon, downtown Huntington Beach celebrated 13 hardworking players, three dedicated coaches and one lucky pair of shoes.
Stephanie Green, the president of Ocean View Little League, wore the footwear in question — a pair of red, white and blue athletic shoes — during a ceremony at Pier Plaza after the All-Stars' victory parade down Main Street. Before the season, Green said she bought the shoes off the clearance rack at Macy's in hopes that they would bring the team good luck.
When Ocean View's Nick Pratto hit a home run during the first game of the season and the ball landed on Green's shoes, she figured they cast a spell of some kind.
"I'm going to wear them every year," she said, as she and the All-Stars prepared to board a bus for a post-ceremony party at the Hyatt.
The shoes, which the team briefly honored onstage during the ceremony, were just about the only person or thing to have the word "luck" attributed to them Saturday. Otherwise, city and state leaders congratulated the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series champions for their hard work and perseverance, not to mention their newfound job as ambassadors for Huntington Beach, Orange County, the West and the United States.