Losing the World Series has brought grown men who get paid millions of dollars to tears, so when the Rhode Island Little League champions Cumberland American lost their World Series Monday to Illinois’ Jackie Robinson West, it’s understandable that the boys were downhearted about it.
Thankfully, they had an inspirational coach like David Belisle, who took a knee, pointed to the scoreboard and showed the boys how great they were to have made it as far as they had.
‘That’s us. Boys, that’s us,’ Belisle said, commending his team on their effort in the Series. ‘You had the whole state [of Rhode Island] jumping. You had New England jumping…. You want to know why? Because they like fighters.’
Belisle got a little misty himself. ‘The only reason I’ll probably end up shedding a tear is because this is going to be the last time I’m going to end up coaching you guys.’ At the end of his speech, he brought the team in for a group hug. ‘You’re all my boys. You’ll be the boys of summer.’
By now, it’s cliche to simply say that what matters most is how you play the game, but Coach Belisle’s speech showed the team—and America—how true that sentiment is.