When thirteen year old Chris Leget came up to bat Thursday night, no one was on base. It was an extremely hot evening in Waco and the game was being nationally televised on ESPN 2. The first pitch was a curve ball, and then…another curve ball. Chris was ready for it.
“It came down the second time, and I got a second chance, and it came right there and I crushed it. It felt pretty good.”
It was a home run. The team from Pearland would go on to win the game 5-3 and advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Stamps: “What were you thinking when you ran around the bases?”
Leget: “Don’t miss the bases. ‘Cause my friend had missed a base and got a home run taken away from him at state, so I was thinking don’t miss the base. Don’t miss the base.”
Chris’ parents Robert Leget and Monique Mallet were in the stands cheering on their son, trying not to make too much of a scene. But mom was seen on TV going wild after the big hit.
“I was just very proud of him. It was a spectacular moment and he’s been working hard playing baseball almost all his life, and it was nice to see him go up there and not let the stress get to him and get him down. He just went in there with confidence, and knew what he wanted to do and how to do it, and pulled through.”
“I did a lot of high fives; I’m about the loudest fan in the crowd. He can hear me, and he always told me ‘dad, don’t say nothing when I get up to bat, ’cause I’m going to be all nervous.’ And I didn’t say nothing.”
This isn’t the first team from the Houston area to make it to the Little League World Series. Teams from Bellaire, Lamar and Spring have won the U.S. Championship and gone on to play in the final World Series against other countries. Vince Cabino is president of the Pearland Little League.
“It is a huge deal for the city of Pearland. I hate to say it, but this puts us on the map as a little league.”
It’ll be tough going all the way, but Leger says he’s just happy to make it this far.
“Whenever I was little, I used to watch it all the time. I always dreamed of being one of those kids, and now, finally, I get that chance. It’s just my dream to hit a home run on ESPN in the Little League World Series, and now we’re going to the World Series. It’s a dream come true.”
The thirteen-year-old says he hasn’t signed any autographs yet, but he’s pretty popular on the social media scene right now. And the text messages won’t stop.
“My friends and other people from different states. Crazy. And then Facebook is blowing up right now.”
The Little League World Series starts next weekend. If they win in Pennsylvania, he may have to do like some of the pros and start sending out tweets on Twitter.
Bill Stamps, KUHF News.