Pasadena American Little League won three out of four District 17 championships Wednesday night, making up for lost time since local and state authorities prohibited team sports last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The league’s teams have continued to hold practices in an adjusted, socially distanced manner since late 2020. In March, the League, nicknamed PALL, was officially approved to play competitive games in the spring, with physical distancing and safety protocols in place, and with parent-volunteers and coaches doing symptom checks on anyone arriving.
District 17 groups PALL with ball teams from Arcadia, Sierra Madre, San Marino, and Altadena. The district hosts about 500 players across age divisions, with more than 100 parent-volunteers.
With the unprecedented three wins in one night, PALL President Kevin Lewis called June 30 “A Night of Champions.”
In the first game that night, called the Futures Tournament, PALL’s 8- and 9-year-olds beat Santa Anita Little League 6-0. In the second game at Victory Park, the nine-, 10- and 11-year-old team played Pasadena Southwest and ended up winning, 10-3, in that age group.
The third win for PALL came when the 12-year-old team beat another Pasadena Southwest team 3-0 in the Little League all-star tournament.
“That’s the group that can actually go on eventually into the Little League World Series,” Lewis said. “Typically, we may take home one district banner every year in All-Stars just depending on the age group. But winning three in one night and then even three just for the season is unprecedented for us.”
Lewis attributes the victories to the willingness of coaches and parent-volunteers to come to practice and assist with everything while observing safety rules.
“We worked really hard during the fall to utilize the practice time and the permits we were able to get with our Fall Ball and the safety protocols we had to follow, so we had to limit our practices to just cohorts and teams. There were no games, we were following strict safety protocols, but we were able to get over 250 kids out in Fall Ball before the season even started to start practicing,” Lewis said.
“All the coaches and volunteers that helped develop these players have a hand in what happens in our all-star season, because we don’t draft our all-star teams to play in the regular season,”Lewis said. “We rely heavily on the 100 or so volunteers that work with these players during the regular season and work to get out there, practicing.”
The teams were practicing six to seven days a week heading into the tournament, Lewis added.
For more about PALL’s “Night of Champions,” visit www.pallbb.org/Default.aspx?tabid=616586.