A crowd of well wishers welcomed home the home team from the Little League World Series Monday afternoon.
The Goodlettsville All Stars won the U.S. Little League Championship on Saturday but lost to Japan for the World Series title on Sunday.
The team arrived at Nashville International Airport just before 2:30 p.m. Monday to a crowd of cheering fans.
The team then caravanned to Goodlettsville where fans and supporters gathered at City Hall for a welcome home party.
“We're the best in the country and that's a really big deal,” player Lorenzo Butler said.
Brock Myers added, “[It was] so much fun. Best experience of my life.”
While the boys may be out of the national spotlight, their hometown is making sure they know how proud they are of their achievements.
The support is apparent throughout the town with local businesses hanging congratulatory messages.
Even police officers are showing their support.
Officer Kenny Birdine has copies of the team's front page debut hanging in his squad car.
“They went and showed the world that even a small city like Goodlettsville has some of the greatest guys in the world,” he said of the boys. “I'm extremely proud of them.”
A Goodlettsville resident added, “I'm so proud of them. I have never seen a better ball game than those boys played in forever.”
They also have some of the most talked about players.
“I can Google him now,” Mika Samuels said of her son, Lorenzo Butler.
He hit three homeruns and set a Little League World Series record with nine RBIs. He also became the No. 1 topic on Twitter that day.
“Well I knew he could do it but when he hit one I was like, ‘Yeah,' but by the time he got to three, I was like, ‘Go get ‘em baby,'” Samuels said.
She added, “This is just a great experience for us. It really is.”
Coach Jerry Hale said the support of the city during the homecoming celebration was overwhelming.
“All I can say is 'Wow!' We never expected to see this kind of turnout,” he said. “We've been hearing about it, but to actually see it in person is pretty special.”
Player Collin O'Berry added, “It's like the best thing in the world, like a dream come true.”
On September 8, the city of Goodlettsville will host a championship celebration for the team in honor of their hard work.
The event will be held at Moss-Wright Park.
Additional details will be released in upcoming days.
- August 26, 2012: Goodlettsville comes home as U.S. champs, loses to Japan 12-2
- August 25, 2012: Goodlettsville advances to Little League World Series final
- August 24, 2012: Goodlettsville ready for U.S. championship game
- August 22, 2012: Goodlettsville advances to World Series U.S. championship game
- August 19, 2012: Goodlettsville advances in World Series beating California 9-6
- August 15, 2012: Nashville attorney donates $5K to Goodlettsville Little League
- August 13, 2012: Families hold fundraiser to travel to Little League World Series
- August 10, 2012: Goodlettsville advances to Little League World Series
- August 8, 2012: Goodlettsville team 1 win away from Little League World Series