Officials want to celebrate KAU’s amazing run at World Series
5:30 p.m. update: Team not expected to arrive in area until 7 p.m. due to New York traffic
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
The Kennett Kings may not have come out on top of the Senior League Baseball World Series, but their winning performance to get there – an impressive run that demonstrated unity, skill, resilience and determination – made their hometown proud and has provided cause for celebration.
To mark the team’s return from Bangor, Maine, borough officials plan to line up fans a little before 7 p.m. along State Street. The welcome will include a police and fire company escort from right outside Kennett Square for the team bus from the three local communities that support the team – Kennett, Unionville and Avondale. The procession will conclude at the KAU Leslie Road field.
Officials are asking residents to spread the word so that the team gets a turnout that befits an amazing performance – one that fell one run short of the title on Saturday against Panama, the only team that had blemished its 3-1 record in the series.
KAU officials suggest that people meet at the KAU complex on Leslie Road, just off Rt. 82, at 5:30 p.m. for a tailgating atmosphere that will include music; participants should bring food and beverages. At the appropriate time, the group will migrate to State Street (park in the garage) and line the street as the bus passes through town.
Organizers said the convoy, which will start at the Exelon entrance, will make a slight detour to the Red Clay Room for a brief stop during a major fund-raiser for the Kennett Area Senior Center. Over 300 community attendees at the fund-raiser are expected to come out and cheer the team, giving other fans a chance to get back to the KAU field, where more festivities will occur.
Borough Council Member Leon Spencer said the hundreds of people attending the fund-raiser would have been lining the streets otherwise. “It’ll be a quick opportunity for everyone to show support,” he said. “It’s a super day!”
A posting on Facebook from La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream on State Street concurred. ”Let’s give this awesome team an awesome welcome home celebration,” the message said.
KAU Assistant Coach Chris Jarmuz said that although the game ended on a disappointing note, the series did not. He said an impromptu wiffle ball game broke out at the hotel Saturday night that involved players from all the teams. “It was great to see the kids just hacking around and having fun with each other,” he said.
The camaraderie extended well into the night, Jarmuz said. He said in addition to some KAU pins and Phillies pins, the team got more than 100 pins to exchange with other teams from Bove Jewelers in Kennett Square. The pins proclaimed Kennett as the mushroom capital of the world. When the kids exhausted their supply of pins, they swapped clothing as well. “In the end, it was impossible to tell what team a kid was from,” Jarmuz said.
He said the team was buoyed throughout the series by the outpouring of support from the area, much of which was publicized through various social media sites. “They’ve been ecstatic about the following they got,” said Jarmuz, adding that they were thrilled to hear that the borough planned to welcome them home. “They will absolutely appreciate that.”