Little League team attracts thousands to victory parade

Published: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 10:24 p.m.
BOYNTON BEACH - Thousands of fans cheered this city's Little League baseball team, which is still riding high on last week's victory in the national championship, even though they ultimately lost the World Series.
The East Boynton Little League perched in the back of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Corvettes, waving to throngs of fans who pushed against a security rope at their victory parade. From under a VIP tent surrounded by a wooden fence, the 12-year-old ballplayers ate Kentucky Fried Chicken meals.
Police escorts stood by to make sure nobody got too close at the parade and ceremony for the national champions.
The team later lost to Tokyo in the World Series, but that didn't matter to the estimated 5,000 people who turned out Saturday.
The milelong parade began shortly after 4 p.m., with a motorcade including three police motorcycles and a patrol car.
The players signed autographs until organizers whisked them away, much to the disappointment of those still waiting in line.
"These guys are going to have writer's cramp. But it's good practice now that they're back in school," said Shanna St. John of Boynton Beach, who stood in line with daughters Alana, 13, and Joelle, 9, and friend Amanda Dencker, 13.
"All I saw was hands and elbows for two hours," said police officer Joe DeGiulio, who manned the autograph booth after the parade.
The team's schedule has filled up over the past few weeks.
Players will be at the Florida Marlins game on Tuesday and the Miami Dolphins home opener on Sept. 7 and have accepted a free trip to the World Series on a private jet.
The team also received proclamations from Gov. Jeb Bush and Boynton Beach city officials making August 30 East Boynton Little League Day. Bush has extended an invitation to the team to visit Tallahassee.

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