Japan has won the Little League Baseball World Series. The Japanese defeated the U.S. national champions from Apopka, Florida, by a score of 2-1. The game in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, had all the trappings of a major league baseball championship: a packed stadium, an international television audience, and even a visit from the president.
George W. Bush is the first former Little Leaguer to grow up to become President of the United States. Shortly before the game, he was inducted into the Little League version of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He spoke of his fond childhood memories.
"I can remember my mother sitting behind the backstop in Midland, Texas, telling me what to do," the president said. " She is still telling me what to do! And my advice to all the players is, 'listen to your mother.'"
The president welcomed the team from Japan, but hinted he was backing the boys from Florida.
The Apopka team led 1-0 throughout most of the game, only to see Japan pull ahead with two runs in the sixth, and final, inning.
The Japanese won a championship series that included 16 teams of 11 and 12-year-old players from nine countries.