The Detroit Tigers welcomed Little League World Series (LLWS) champions from Taylor North for a special ceremony prior to last night’s game.
Before the first pitch, Taylor North players were introduced at Comerica Park over the PA and received a standing ovation from Tigers fans as they lined up along the third baseline. Tigers players and manager A.J. Hinch then presented each Taylor North player with their own Tigers jersey.
“They’ve earned every bit of our love and appreciation,” said Hinch on meeting the Taylor North players. “This was a really cool opportunity for us to give back something to a group of kids that love the game and brought a lot of special memories to a lot of people.”
Taylor North manager Rick Thorning said that it “just awesome” to hear that A.J. Hinch and other Tigers were watching the Little League World Series games in the clubhouse.
The opening ceremony concluded a full day of activities at Comerica Park for the LLWS champions. The 11-man Taylor North team watched Tigers batting practice from the field and met Tigers GM Al Avila during dinner at the Brushfire Grill. “Congratulations on behalf of the Detroit Tigers and the Ilitch family,” Avila said. “We’re all very proud of you.”
The team then joined Tigers Live for an interview with Johnny Kane.
Taylor North beat Ohio 5-2 in the LLWS Championship Game in Williamsport, PA on Sunday, finishing the postseason with an impressive 15-1 record. The team avenged its one loss to Hawaii, beating them 2-1 on Saturday to advance to the LLWS Championship Game.
Taylor North is the first team from Michigan to win the Little League World Series since 1959, when it was won by the Hamtramck Little League team. The Hamtramck team is considered one of the best Little League teams ever and was inducted into the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.
In proudly celebrating Taylor North’s championship season, the Detroit Tigers believe in promoting youth baseball and making the game accessible to all. In pursuit of that mission, the Tigers and local community leaders recently celebrated the start of renovation at historic Hamtramck Stadium.