Little leaguers will head to Virginia for a championship | News
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)- A Birmingham little league team will play for a national championship. The players are from all over the metro area. They are part of a program started decades ago by a Vietnam veteran, who wanted to do something to fight crime after returning from war.
In just a few weeks, these little guys will be walk out on a baseball field in Richmond Virginia, playing in the Black World Series. "It's big, it really is," said Coach Fred Plump who started the program.
Coach Plump has been coaching kids in Birmingham for the past 43 years. And he'll be the first to tell you, there's no time for nonsense. "They'll tell you, I have strict rules," said Coach Plump. "And that's the one thing I try to teach, discipline and definitely respect."
His rules apply both on the field and in the classroom. We sat down with some of the players to find out exactly what they're learning both on and off the field. Eleven year-old Khalil Stewart said, "You have to put your glove on the ground to catch the ball. If you don't it's rough."
"A rule that he has is we have to have mental toughness so if we mess up we won't be mad or have our head down and mess up again, so mental toughness helps us keep our head up," said 10-year-old Demarques Densmore. "He's a great coach. When you mess up, you have to get ready. He'll tell us to get ready for the next play, just worry about the next play."
Whatever Coach Plump is teaching out on the field is now paying off. "I think it was great because we went undefeated," said Stewart.
Densmore agrees, "I think it's great because when we grow up to go to college we can put it on our application so we can get into a good school."
For Coach Plump he's just glad the players are getting a chance to go. "Let these kids see we can go out and do whatever we want to do with hard work and determination," said Coach Plump. "I don't plan to go up there and not come back with the gold, so we are planning to win it all."
The World Series will be July 31st to August 5th in Richmond, Virginia. We'll let you know how they do.
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