An 18-hour drive home from Texas seems like a trip around the block when there's a World Series trophy sitting in the passenger seat.
The Columbia County Recreation Department Dixie Boys all-star squad claimed the Dixie Boys championship last week in Euless, Texas, and Team Georgia still looked fresh upon arriving home Saturday at Patriots Park.
"It was a long way going there, and short coming back," manager Angel Torres said while holding the trophy earned in Euless.
The final leg of the two-day journey also was speeded along by a pair of police cruisers, which escorted the team bus from I-20 to Patriots Park.
With the win in Dixie Baseball's 13-14 age division, Columbia County now has captured 10 Dixie World Series titles. Torres, along with seven of his Dixie Boys, also went all the way at the Dixie Youth (11-12) World Series in 2000.
Dixie Boys manager Angel Torres holds up the team's trophy during festivities at Patriots Park on Saturday
Photo by Michael Holahan
"We always wondered what it would be like to play in the World Series - now we've won two," shortstop Chris Johnson said. "We couldn't believe it. We did what we'd dreamed of."
Being greeted Saturday by friends and family members was the easy part.
Columbia County lost the second game of the double-elimination tournament last week, but the Georgia champs then posted three straight wins, including a tense 8-7 victory over Louisiana in the extra-inning title clincher Thursday night.
"It was a whole team effort; it wasn't one ball player, or two or three," Torres said. "Everybody played in the championship game, and everybody had a hand in winning that ball game."
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