TAYLOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s been more than a decade since a Detroit sports team won a championship. Sports fans around here have been desperate for a team to celebrate. Tonight, in Taylor, they got their chance.
“I’ve been in Little League since the early '60s and this is the first time we’ve had a team get this far in anything,” said Dorothy Shufeldt, whose Great Grandson is on the Taylor North team. "I'm so excited I really don't know what to say.”
It was a celebration no one in Taylor was going to miss. Their city is now the center of the baseball universe, home of the best little league team in the world.
“We knew what everybody was talking about when they were talking about back home," said Taylor North Manager Rick Thorning while on the parade route. "I mean this is it. This is awesome.”
Taylor High School cheerleaders and the marching band led the way, with the whole town pitching in to put together the parade. Even members of the 1959 Hamtramck Little League World Series team, the last Michigan team to win it all, came out to support.
“This is phenomenal," said Steve Shufeldt, whose Grandson is on the Taylor North team. "I can not believe they got this together so fast. The kids are so excited for it.”
Even before the final game winning catch, the young ballplayers had become celebrities back home. Finally, they get to see it firsthand.
"It's so great seeing this support we have and all these people who wanted us to win and how happy all these people are," said Taylor North player Gavin Ulin, in between the handfuls of candy he was tossing to the crowds during the parade. "It’s just great to be here right now.”
Even younger ballplayers showed up in their own uniforms, looking up to these champions and hoping to one day bring another title to Downriver.
“In two years I'm hoping to get on the team, make the cut,” said Bryce Sakalas, a Little League player from Brownstown.
Whether it happens again in two years or not, this was a day no one in Taylor was going to miss, and one they certainly will never forget.
“Oh no, never," Steve Shufeldt said. "Never will.”
After the parade the players hung out and signed autographs and held a fireworks display at night.