HAMILTON, Ohio — With COVID-19 protocols in place, it was the West Side Little League players who took the field in the seats usually occupied by Hamilton City Council.
Each player will be honored with a day of his own, after playing on the first Ohio team ever to play in the Little League World Series title game.
While the players were being honored, it seemed that Mayor Pat Moeller and other members of the council were even more thrilled than the kids to be shaking hands and saying hello to the city’s other VIPs, who added joy and fame to the city this summer.
Each member of the city council took turns announcing which player would be honored on which day and presented them with their official proclamation.
Also, the players were shown signs that will be installed at highway entries to the city celebrating their accomplishments.
Each player also was awarded a medal created by an artist at InsideOut Studios in the city.
The Cincinnati Reds will honor the championship team at Saturday’s game, Moeller said.
Star pitcher J.J. Vogel told the audience, “I just want to say thank you for the support and everybody who’s followed our journey” and watched the team on television.
The proclamation praised the team as the third Ohio team to ever reach the semifinals (and first since 1974).
After the ceremony, each council member shook hands with all of the players.
“Thanks for doing Hamilton proud,” Council Member Tim Naab told them.
WEST SIDE LITTLE LEAGUE DAYS
Here are days each player or coach will be honored:
Chase Moak, Thursday, Sept. 23; Gage Maggard, Friday, Sept. 24; Cooper Clay, Saturday, Sept. 25; Brady Baumann, Sunday, Sept. 26; Krew Brown, Monday, Sept. 27; Levi Smith, Tuesday, Sept. 28; Kaleb Harden, Wednesday, Sept. 29; Gavin Saylor, Thursday, Sept. 30; Maddox Jones, Friday, Oct. 1; Tyler Donges, Saturday, Oct. 2; Noah Davidson, Sunday, Oct. 3; Chance Retherford, Monday, Oct. 4; J.J. Vogel, Tuesday, Oct. 5; Cooper Oden, Wednesday, Oct. 6; Manager Ken Coomer, Thursday, Oct. 7; Coach Danny Adams, Friday, Oct. 8; and Coach Chris Craft, Saturday, Oct. 9.
This story was first published by WCPO media partner, the Journal-News.