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Ceredo-Kenova welcomes state champs

Little League
Jul. 30, 2011 @ 12:39 AM

CEREDO-KENOVA -- Former Major League Baseball player Doug Flynn embarked on something that never gets old for him.

He stepped out on the field and into the spotlight.

Even today, it's the same as it was more than 30 years ago when he wore jerseys for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets.

But, today is a little different.

Flynn was the featured speaker Friday for opening ceremonies of the Little League Baseball age 9-10 Tournament of State Champions at Mitch Stadium.

He delivered a big league message to the youngsters from eight states.

"There are so many life lessons out here -- you learn how to win with dignity and learn how to lose graciously," Flynn said. "Also, you have to work with guys that you might not always get along with, but if you have a job to do, you can work together to get it done. Discipline, respect, being on time -- there are so many lessons that baseball teaches."

Flynn answered questions from the kids. For a group of 9-10 year-olds the questions were extremely mature toward the game, which Flynn appreciated.

"For so many years, you'd go to a banquet and they'd have no clue who you were," Flynn said. "Now, they are asking questions that are related to integral parts of the game. I'm hoping there is more of a respect for the game now coming from the kids and they are studying it a little more."

Flynn's message to the group was geared toward drugs and alcohol, which was just as much aimed at the parents as the players.

"Parents need to educate kids on these things because 50 percent of kids start in their own home," Flynn said. "Kids are going to ask questions and if the parents aren't there to answer those questions, they will go to someone who will and it might not be the response the parents would want to give."

Flynn made it to the major leagues and won a pair of World Series championships with the Reds and a Gold Glove with the Mets because of his hard work and dedication. Those traits hold true for teams in the tournament who earned the right to be called state champions.

And that hard work ethic is also true for the crew at Mitch Stadium who do their best to provide a unique experience for the visitors.