SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Thousands of people come to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, but it is the team’s family members who cheer the loudest.
“It’s a once in a lifetime, a dream come true, a kid’s dream and a parent’s dream,” said Brad Kaiser.
Kaiser made the 20 hour drive from Kearney, Nebraska to watch his son Brett on the Midwest team. He said his wife came to South Williamsport last week, and he is here now.
“I had some work commitments last week. She came early, and I came and caught the last crossover game today,” said Kaiser.
Kaiser said he knows he is lucky to be able to come watch his son. None of the parents from team Uganda were able to afford the trip to South Williamsport. Some of the parents from Chinese Taipei and Japan traveled more than 7,000 miles. Many of the families who did come said they have been traveling for almost a month.
“We left August 1 and went to regionals in Indianapolis. Some parents flew back after that, and some continued the ten-hour drive here. We have a 20-hour drive ahead of us tonight after the game,” said Stephanie Wegner.
Speaking of sacrifices, one parent had to decide if he was going to go to Kearney, Nebraska’s regional final or his older son’s wedding. He decided to go to the wedding, but he said he watched the game on TV at the reception.
Kristi Williamson drove from Indiana with her family. She had to miss a week of work without pay, and her daughter is missing school, but she said it is worth it.
“This is where we would be. I don’t want to lose a week of pay but my son is the most important,” said Williamson.
Many of the players are also missing their first week of school this week. Even so, they do not seem to mind.