Cumberland, R.I., Little League coach Dave Belisle watched his team suffer a heartbreaking 8-7 loss to a team from Illinois at the Little League World Series Monday night. The Rhode Island team, winners of the New England region, lost on a tiebreaking RBI single in the fifth inning to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West. Rhode Island was eliminated from the tournament.
While the Rhode Island kids were as visibly upset as you’d expect a group of 12-and-13-year-olds to be after something like that, the coach sat his team down, looked them in the eyes, and told them to hold their heads high.
“You guys are going to bring back that no one other team can provide — that’s pride,’’ said Belisle. “Pride. You’re going to take that for the rest of your lives, what you provided for the town of Cumberland. You had the whole place jumping, right? You had the whole state jumping. You had New England jumping. You had ESPN jumping. OK? You want to know why? They like fighters.’’
The entire speech is pretty great. I want to watch it at work the next time I write something less than stellar, which should be any minute now.