TIME Baseball

Tokyo Wins Little League Title in 18-11 Comeback Victory

LLWS Championship Baseball
Matt Slocum—AP Japan celebrates after winning the Little League World Series Championship baseball game against Lewisberry, Pa., on, Aug. 30, 2015

"They hit pitches I've never seen kids, especially 12-year-olds, hit," Lewisberry manager Tom Peifer said

(SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.) — With more than 42,000 fans cheering against them, the Tokyo players found themselves down eight runs in the first inning of the Little League championship game against Lewisberry, Pennsylvania.

That brought out manager Junji Hidaka’s inner Yogi Berra and sparked a record rally that saw the Kitasua Little League pound out 22 hits in an 18-11 comeback victory in a battle of undefeated teams.

“I told the players it doesn’t end until it ends,” Hidaka said through a translator.

Tokyo responded with seven runs in the second, four in the third inning and five in the sixth.

Masafuji Nishijima had four hits and six RBIs, and Shingo Tomita hit two of Tokyo’s five home runs.

Tokyo’s third pitcher, Nobuyuki Kawashima, held Lewisberry in check most of the game, giving up just one run and two hits over five innings.

“Today my fastball wasn’t going fast enough,” said the 12-year-old, who lived for four years in California, and speaks fluent English. “I knew my breaking ball had to be on the corner, down low, where the batters can’t reach too far or it just gets them off-balance.”

It was the 10th title for Japan, second behind Taiwan’s record 17. It’s the third title for the Kitasuna Little League team, which also took home championship pennants in 2001 and 2012.

Tokyo had given up a total of 10 runs in its other tournament games, but Lewisberry scored 10 times and sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first after falling behind 2-0.

Lewisberry knocked out starting pitcher Daiki Fukuyama before an out was recorded in the first. Dylan Rodenhaber made his first hit of the tournament count, hitting the ball over the right-field fence for a grand slam. Jaden Henline added a three-run homer, a shot that went deep into the shrubbery in straightaway center field.

The Red Land Little League, which draws players from several central Pennsylvania towns around Lewisberry, scored three more times sending what amounted to a hometown crowd of more than 42,000 fans into a frenzy.

Fans of the Lewisberry team helped set a tournament attendance record of 499,964, well over the previous mark of 414,905 set in 2011 when a team from Keystone, Pennsylvania, was in the tournament.

Tokyo responded after their manager’s pep talk. Yugo Aoki hit a three-run homer in the top of the second, which was followed with solo shots from twin brothers Kengo and Shingo Tomita.

Daiki Fukuyama added a two-run double up the middle to bring the Japanese back within a run.

Shingo Tomita tied it at 10 in the third inning with a solo home run to left field. Three batters later, Masafuji Nishijima hit a three-run homer to make it 13-10.

“They just put the bat on the ball,” Lewisberry manager Tom Peifer said. “They hit pitches I’ve never seen kids, especially 12-year-olds, hit.”

Lewisberry got one back in the bottom of the third. Braden Kolmansberger hit the ball over the head of Japan’s center fielder and eventually scored when third baseman Koki Jo could not handle a slow roller by Henline.

The teams broke the previous Little League record of 23 combined runs in a championship game — a mark that had stood since 1947. Lewisberry’s 10-run first inning also was a record, as was the teams’ combined 30 hits. The eight-run deficit was the largest overcome in any Little League World Series game.

Tokyo had not won by more than two runs all tournament and had won its last two in the team’s final at-bat.

It used the final inning in the championship game to add five insurance runs, highlighted by Kengo Tomita’s triple that scored Aoki and opened the floodgates.

Pennsylvania came in with four World Series titles, but the last was in 1960 when a team from Levittown accomplished that feat. Lewisberry is the first in-state team to win the U.S. title since a team from Shippensburg did it in 1990.

“There are a lot of tears, even from myself, to know that the run is over” said Peifer. “But we quickly told them, ‘When we leave here, let’s get the tears out, because there is nothing to be sad about.'”

TIME Baseball

Jake Arrieta Pitches No-Hitter for Chicago Cubs in 2-0 Win Over L.A. Dodgers

Jake Arrieta
Mark J. Terrill—AP Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta throws to the plate during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles

"I think it will be more special the longer it sets in"

(LOS ANGELES) — Jake Arrieta pitched the sixth no-hitter in the majors this season and second against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 days, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory Sunday night.

Arrieta (17-6) struck out a season-high 12 and became the first 17-game winner in the big leagues by throwing baseball’s third no-hitter in less than three weeks.

Astros right-hander Mike Fiers blanked the NL West-leading Dodgers 3-0 on Aug. 21. Never before had Los Angeles been no-hit twice in one season.

Arrieta got the benefit of a close call for the official scorer in the third inning, when Kike Hernandez reached on a fielding error by second baseman Starlin Castro.

Hernandez hit a one-hopper at Castro, who tried to play it on the short hop. The ball bounced off him and rolled away, allowing Hernandez to reach first.

The play was ruled an error but probably could have gone either way.

“I thought it was a hit,” Arrieta said. “Tough play. Hernandez hit it well. Tough short hop for Castro. They scored it an error, thankfully so, and I was able to finish it off.”

Hernandez was sacrificed to second before Arrieta struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning.

Carl Crawford nearly broke up the no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh, but Castro caught Crawford’s line drive up the middle with a running grab.

“Lights-out defense,” Arrieta said.

With the Dodger Stadium crowd roaring, Arrieta struck out all three batters in the ninth: Justin Turner, Rollins and Chase Utley. Those were the same three hitters — in a different order — that Fiers retired to finish off his gem.

With his 116th pitch, Arrieta fanned Utley on a breaking ball to end it. The 29-year-old pitcher was mobbed by teammates near the mound, and they jumped their way in a huddle over to near the Cubs’ dugout where they high-fived Arrieta.

“It went by so quick, really,” Arrieta said. “Feels like that could have been five innings the way that played out. The stuff was good, commanded the ball well. Kind of speechless right now.”

He became the first Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Carlos Zambrano on Sept. 14, 2008, against Houston in a game that was moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.

“I think it will be more special the longer it sets in,” Arrieta said. “Come a long way, keep getting better.”

Arrieta walked one and helped the Cubs snap a four-game skid on the last night of their six-game West Coast trip. He finished August with a 6-0 record, tying Boston’s Joe Kelly as the only pitchers with that many wins in the month.

The right-hander lowered his ERA to 0.43 in August while becoming the first Cubs pitcher with that many wins in the month since Rick Sutcliffe in 1984.

Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Alex Wood. The Cubs had 13 hits and snapped the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak.

Wood (9-9) gave up eight hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked one.

Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners pitched a no-hitter on Aug. 12 in a 3-0 win against Baltimore. Cole Hamels of Philadelphia, San Francisco’s Chris Heston and Washington’s Max Scherzer also have thrown no-hitters this season.

Arrieta threw a one-hit shutout against Cincinnati last Sept. 16 at Wrigley Feld, allowing his first hit to Brandon Phillips with one out in the eighth.

Last year, Arrieta became the first Cubs pitcher since 1950 to take a no-hitter into the seventh inning three times in one season. Two of those came in consecutive starts, making him the first to do so since Toronto’s Dave Stieb in June 1988.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-6, 4.11 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field against Cincinnati. He is 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts this season against the Reds, but has a 1.50 ERA in two starts against them at home.

Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (8-8, 3.36) takes the mound for the opener of a crucial three-game series against the second-place Giants. He leads the majors with a 66.9 groundball percentage, inducing 307 grounders this season. His 147 1-3 innings and 25 starts are the second-highest totals of his career.

TIME animals

Watch This Adorable Wiener Dog Run Wild at a Baseball Game

His handlers couldn't catch him

One adorable Dachshund — better known as a wiener dog — won the hearts of minor league baseball fans on Saturday night when the canine escaped from its handlers and ran wild around the field.

The wiener dog, whom owners eventually got ahold of, was just one of several wiener dogs on the field for a dog race hosted by the El Paso Chihuahuas (that’s the name of the baseball team) in partnership with hot dog chain Weinerschnitzel.

Several players and ballpark staff tried to catch the pup, who managed to evade capture for about two minutes before rolling onto his back for some well-deserved belly rubs.

TIME Baseball

Fan Dies After Fall From Upper Deck at Atlanta Braves Game

Baseball turner field Gregory Murrey
John Bazemore—AP Fans look on as emergency medical personnel work on a fan who fell from an upper deck at Turner Field during a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves on Aug. 29, 2015, in Atlanta.

He fell during the seventh inning

(ATLANTA) — Authorities in Georgia have released the identity of the fan who plunged to his death from an upper deck at Turner Field during a game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.

Gregory K. Murrey, 60, of Alpharetta, Georgia died after falling during the seventh inning of Saturday’s game into a lower-level stand, according to Mary Beth Hauptle, an investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner.

The fall immediately followed the introduction of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter. The game wasn’t delayed while medical personnel treated the man for about 10 minutes, applying CPR before putting him on a backboard. Murrey was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital a short time later.

TIME Baseball

ESPN Removes Curt Schilling From Little League Broadcasts Over Nazi Meme

curt shilling suspension broadcasts
Scott Eells—Bloomberg/Getty Images Curt Schilling, former Boston Red Sox pitcher, speaks during an interview in New York on Feb. 13, 2012.

The tweet appeared to compare Muslims to Germans during the Nazi regime

ESPN has removed Curt Schilling from the Little League World Series broadcast after the former baseball star tweeted a meme that appeared to compare Muslims to Germans during the Nazi regime.

The tweet, which has since been removed, featured a graphic that showed Adolf Hitler next to text reading: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. how’d that go?”

ESPN condemned the tweet and announced Schilling would be removed from the broadcast. “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective,” ESPN said in a press release. “We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

Schilling responded with an apologetic tweet, saying it was “100% my fault.”

This isn’t Schilling’s first Twitter controversy: in November 2014, the former pitcher took to the social media platform to argue against evolution.

TIME Baseball

Minor League Baseball Player Comes Out as Gay

David Denson milwaukee brewers
Larry Goren—AP David Denson of the AZL Brewers during a game against the AZL White Sox at the Maryvale Baseball Complex on July 11, 2014 in Phoenix.

"It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality"

(MILWAUKEE) — A minor league player for the Milwaukee Brewers has become the first openly gay player on a team affiliated with Major League Baseball.

David Denson, with the help of former major leaguer Billy Bean, reached out to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to tell his story.

The 20-year-old first baseman plays for the Helena Brewers in the rookie Pioneer League. Bean, Major League Baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion, disclosed he is gay after his playing career.

“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” Denson told the newspaper. “They said, “You’re still our teammate. You’re still our brother. We kind of had an idea, but your sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. You’re still a ballplayer at the end of the day. We don’t treat you any different. We’ve got your back.’

“That was a giant relief for me. I never wanted to feel like I was forcing it on them. It just happened. The outcome was amazing. It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality.”

On Sunday, the Brewers lauded Denson as a “highly respected member” of the Brewers family and “a very courageous young man.”

General manager Doug Melvin added in the statement: “Our goal for David is to help develop him into a major league player, just as it is for any player in our system, and we will continue to support him in every way as he chases that dream.”

In June, pitcher Sean Conroy of the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association, revealed he is gay. The Pacific Association is not affiliated with Major League Baseball.

Denson was selected by the Brewers in the 15th round in 2013 after playing for South Hills High School in West Covina, California. He spent last season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League, hitting .243 with four homers and 29 RBIs in 68 games. He started this season with Wisconsin, hitting .195 with one homer and eight RBIs in 24 games before being sent to Helena. In 42 games with the Montana team, he’s hitting .245 with four homers and 18 RBIs.

On Saturday night in a doubleheader at Idaho Falls, Denson was 1 for 3 in a 6-1, seven-inning loss and 0 for 5 with an RBI in an 8-7 loss in nine innings.

“It’s a lot to take in right now,” Denson told the Idaho Falls Post-Register. “I’m a ball player first. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

TIME On Our Radar

Seeking the Decisive Moment in Sports Photography

A new exhibition explores the nuances of sports through photographs

The Sports Show, a new exhibition at the School of Visual Arts opening on Aug. 22 and curated by graphic designer Todd Radom with Jane Nuzzo, brings together the work of 32 alumni – prominent photographers and artists – who have explored the theme of sports in recent years.

There’s little doubt that Henri Cartier-Bresson’s concept of the “decisive moment” – a picture masterly composed to seize the essence of an impromptu event – perfectly suits the genre of sports photography. A batter staring down a 95-mph pitch; fans bursting with joy as their team scores the winning point; the exhausted elation of a runner crossing the finish line – all must be caught in a fraction of a second. Still, this decisive moment reveals itself in myriad ways to different sports photographers.

For Marc Levine, it involves expertly balancing practical skills with knowledge of the game. “Being a sport photographer [is] not just knowing the technical part of photography but knowing the sport that you’re taking pictures of so that you can be ready for a certain situation that might happen,” he explains. With an outstanding career that spans four decades including 27 years as chief photographer for the New York Mets, Levine has mastered the art of peering beyond the ordinary routine of the game, creating a narrative around the event that brings the sport to life. An umpire’s hands rubbing the mud from the ball; the black silhouette of a pitcher making a throw; a patch of grass trampled by cleats – these are the sorts of moments he seeks. “It is all the elements that make up what’s going into a game,” he says.

The broader story is conveyed through a wide-angle view of a jubilating stadium, the fans’ perspective caught from the bleachers, or simply the abundance of small details: “Hats, bats, gloves, baseballs, the cleats that the players wear. These are all things that probably the average person doesn’t really get a chance to see up close, so I have tried over the years to convey to the fans about what the tools of the game look like.”

Part of his sensibility was cultivated during his years at SVA, which Levine attended despite an already successful career as a young photographer. “SVA didn’t specifically have a sports photography program, so what I was trying to do was to take all the other elements of it – portrait photography, outdoor photography, street photography, journalistic photography, and photojournalism – and take all of those things and try to incorporate that in sports.”

Instead of a traditional approach, some photographers pursue the decisive moment in an event’s anticlimax, when the most anticipated action fades away. That is the idea at the heart of Amy Elkins’ Elegant Violence, a series of delicate, painting-like portraits of Ivy Leagues’ rugby players caught in the aftermath of a savage game. “I wanted to show the little nuances of things in their body language that could only show up after they had played such a physical sport,” Elkins says about her peculiar approach.

Further exploring the theme of masculinity that she first tackled in Wallflower, a work she started in 2006 while studying at SVA, Elkins investigates the contrast between an aggressive practice and the defenselessness that emerges, as these well-educated students unleashed their primitive instincts. Caught in the moment right after the match, the athletes’ bodies still warm from the physical contact, their shirts dirty with dust, sweat and blood, these images offer a glimpse into human vulnerability, that anticlimax moment Elkins aims to grasp. “In Elegant Violence, I was looking for this hyper-masculinity, this confidence and cockiness, but what came through was this vulnerability,” she says. “If you look for it, there’s this vulnerability that exists in everyone. And that’s what I keep digging. I keep looking to find some answer to what draws people towards wanting to play an aggressive sport. But the answer is not that easy to find.”

That decisive moment that tells the story is not easy to find even for an experienced photographer such as Michael Halsband. By the time he photographed Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat dressed as boxers for their exhibit’s poster in 1985, Halsband was already well known for his portrait of the visionary German countertenor Klaus Nomi and as the official photographer of the Rolling Stones’ 1981-82 Tattoo You North American tour.

Still, he felt compelled by the time constraint as the artists posed in his studio. “Things are happening and I am still thinking in myself, ‘Where is the decisive moment, where is the moment that is gonna tell the whole story or give the peak, the feeling I am trying to capture, the emotion or the action?’”

Even in a controlled environment such as the Manhattan studio that Halsband has used since his SVA years, that decisive moment had to be sought out and captured within the signature black frame of his camera. “There is always an extra challenge in addition to getting great moments, to make [a photograph] really perfectly on camera, compositionally perfect, focus perfect, moment perfect,” he says.

A year later, when photographing the champion water skier Sammy Duvall in Windermere, Fla., for Interview magazine, Halsband felt that same intimate urgency. “I knew that moment, but I couldn’t get to it,” he recalls. As he stood on the towboat, his big medium-format camera secured to the pole that held the rope, Halsband sinuously followed Duvall’s movements, waiting for the right time, “a split second,” when the athlete was fully extended before the turn. “There is this one moment when there is nothing, no pressure, he is just holding and waiting for the ski to come around and pull in. It got all this power and speed, but it is a moment, a very strange moment,” Halsband says. It is the ultimate moment of concentration, an instant in the middle of everything when time frozen, he continues. And the photographer’s eyes are constanly tracking that energy’s flow. “In the fast pace of the action, following the water skier and his rope, the photographer has to find that dynamic and prospective that is going to get deep into that energy—and it is a matter of a moment.”

The Sports Show, an exhibition of sports-related art, photography and design organized by the School of Visual Arts Alumni Society, will be on view at the School of Visual Arts Chelsea Gallery, New York, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 19.

Lucia De Stefani is a writer and contributor to TIME LigthBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

TIME Baseball

Father Pays Tribute to Batboy Killed By Practice Swing

Kaiser Carlile kansas bat boy
Taylor Eldridge—AP In this Aug. 2, 2015 photo, Liberal Bee-Jays teammates and staff gather after their game to remember Kaiser Carlile, their 9-year-old bat boy who died during a National Baseball Congress World Series baseball game in Wichita, Kan.

"He was competitive, but in the same breath, he cared about everyone"

The father of the 9-year-old batboy who succumbed to injuries he acquired after being hit in the head with a baseball bat spoke for the first time on Monday at a press conference.

“He was competitive, but in the same breath, he cared about everyone,”Kaiser Carlile’s dad Chad Carlile said, according to USA Today. “That’s what it is, it’s the love that he had for the game.”

Carlile was struck in the head by a Liberal Bee Jay’s player practice swing during the National baseball Congress World Series over the weekend. According to reports, Carlile was wearing a helmet when he was struck, but is believed to have been hit where he wasn’t protected.

The National Baseball Congress announced Monday it would not use batboys and bargirls for the remainder of the World Series games, which are being held in Wichita.

[USA Today]

 

TIME Baseball

9-Year-Old Bat Boy Dies After Being Hit in the Head During a Game

Kaiser Carlile was running to pick up a bat on the ground when he was hit by a practice swing by the on-deck hitter

A 9-year-old boy who was hit in the head on Saturday during a National baseball Congress World Series game has died, the amateur Liberal Bee Jays baseball team announced on its Facebook.

Kaiser Carlile was running to pick up a bat on the ground near the on-deck hitter, who didn’t notice him and accidentally hit him on the head with a practice swing, CBS reports. Paramedic and home-plate umpire Mark Goldfeder treated Carlile until the ambulance arrived.

“With the permission of the family, and with much sorrow and a very broken heart, I regretfully inform everyone that Kaiser Carlile passed away earlier this evening. Please keep his family and our team in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for the support during this ordeal!” said the team’s president, Nathan McCaffrey.

Carlile was wearing a helmet, as required.

TIME Innovation

The Downside of the Death of Mullah Omar

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. The U.S. put a $10 million bounty on Mullah Omar. But his death might spell disaster for peace talks in Afghanistan.

By David Rohde in Defense One

2. If you think women in tech is just a pipeline problem, you haven’t been paying attention.

By Rachel Thomas in Medium

3. Politicians propping up food prices are playing with fire.

By Joseph Weinberg in Political Violence at a Glance

4. There are still more than four million unexploded mines in Cambodia. These rats are sniffing them out.

By Linda Poon in CityLab

5. Robot umpires aren’t perfect, but they’re better than humans at calling strikes and balls.

By Joseph Stromberg in Vox

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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