Plant City Little League’s best of the best put our town on the map every year.
There are a lot of reasons Plant City is a great place to live. I’ve been here for more than half a decade now and I believe in that as much as ever. But as the local sports guy, one example I want to point out this week is that of Plant City Little League’s all-star postseasons.
This is and always has been a baseball town, and that starts with PCLL. Plant City residents go well out of their way to make sure our kids can get a great formative baseball or softball experience, and they also go out of their way to make everything feel like a really big deal. Have you ever seen the lengths the city goes to to make Opening Day feel like a big-leaguers’ event? Ever drive around town in the early summer and see the all-star selection signs planted in the front yards of families whose kids have made the cut? It’s so cool.
And when you’re at Mike Sansone Park or wherever your favorite PCLL All-Stars are playing, the Plant City fans are going to be there and make their impression felt. They say across all sports that you can always tell where the Plant City-area fans are at any stadium, gym or playing field. I’ll vouch for that. People cheer for our teams like they’re in a professional championship game with the trophy on the line.
Our kids give them good reason to cheer so loudly, too. This place is a goldmine of athletic talent that often gets overlooked because not everyone really knows where it is. I know for a fact people from Tampa think we live in Polk County and that Hillsborough starts somewhere around Valrico. But when our kids do well in their sports, whether it’s PCLL All-Stars now or high school teams later, that’s when folks realize they might need to hop on Google for a hot second and learn a thing or two.
We’ve seemingly always got kids performing well at All-Stars and moving on to bigger things, going out there to crush it at the regional and state level and even moving on to the Tournament of State Champions to represent our corner of the southeastern United States. Then they age out of Little League and move up to high school, where these Plant City kids will do things like play on both teams in a state championship game and give the audience more than their money’s worth of thrilling game action. That stuff doesn’t happen often, so I can’t possibly think of a better endorsement for our talent pool.
So if you got picked for an all-star team this summer, don’t take it lightly. We’ve got some legit athletes out here and you stood out from the pack. You’ve earned the right to call yourself an all-star. If you’re still playing in the postseason by the time you read this, I wish you the best of luck and hope above all else that you’re having fun out there.