Cockburn’s Firebirds baseball team has become the first Australian team to qualify for the Little League Baseball World Series.
The 14-strong team, all aged 11-12 years, will travel to Williamsport in Pennsylvania in August where they will take on Mexico in their first game.
The Firebirds won the WA championship this year, then took out the national titles in June, booking their place on the plane.
Team member Todd Hatcher prefers running around a diamond to kicking a pigskin, and thinks the Australian media should pay more attention to a game which recent evidence suggests is as English as cricket, not American as many had thought.
He expects the international competition to be even harder than the national titles.
Among his heroes are America’s Boston Red Sox and Australian player Sam Kennelly.
The Little League Baseball World Series is televised live on Foxtel’s ESPN in August.
by ROWENA HAMILTON