Nashville Fire Fighter Coaches Little League Team to the World Series
September 6, 2012 – Nashville, TN Local 140 fire fighter Joey Hale, a 21-year
veteran, did something this year that no one else has done since 1987. He
coached a Little League team from Tennessee all the way to the final game of the
Little League World Series. While his team, the Goodlettsville all-stars,
ultimately fell to Japan 12-2, the Tennessee team still had an exceptional year.
“The team was still able to achieve its major goal – winning the U.S.
championship,” says Hale. “In the end, we were all very excited to be a part of
the World Series game.”
The Goodlettsville all-stars team was comprised of the same players from last
year’s team with the addition of three new players. Last season, the team did
very well until they reached the regional playoffs.
“They were disappointed that they didn’t advance to the next level, so that
served as a very big motivator for them to do even better this year and they
did,” says Hale.
The team, or some portion of it, practiced every day. Coach Hale reports that
the days he was on duty, the team’s pitchers would come out and practice behind
the fire house in between emergency calls. Then, on Hale’s days off, the full
team would practice.
All of their hard work paid off. The Goodlettsville all-stars team advanced to
the U.S. championship game against Petaluma, California. In that game, it looked
like Goodlettsville team had reached the end of its time in the playoffs when
the team blew a 10-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
However, momentum swung back in Goodlettsville’s favor in the seventh inning,
scoring nine times to win the game.
Unfortunately, the exhausted team had to play the World Series game in South
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, against Japan the next day. Had Goodlettsville been
able to pull off another victory, the team would have been the first team from
Tennessee to win youth baseball’s biggest prize.