Aug 23, 2011, 8:13 PM EDT
When they say “He’s just like a kid out there,” this is what they mean. Oranjestad, Aruba was losing 16-0 in the third inning to Chinese Taipei in the Little League World Series on Saturday, and Aruba’s Vaughn Bergen, 11, was crushed. Crying as he came to bat, his father had this to say: “You’re coming up here. Do you want to do it crying or do you want to do it happily?”
Vaughn chose the latter. And by the time he got back to the outfield, he even felt like dancing. And because he was caught by the ESPN cameras, an ugly game became a moment of innocence that defines what baseball should be all about. (Although if he’s on my team, he still runs laps).
Vaughn calls his spin move — the one where he puts his right leg behind his left knee, dips to the ground and twirls — “The SpongeBob.”
“[My teammates] told me I was crazy,” Vaughn told ThePostGame.com on Monday. “I was dancing in the dugout, too.
“My dad told me to enjoy myself, and I did.”
Aruba rallied for three runs after that, and lost 20-3. In the consolation game on Monday, they beat Rapid City, South Dakota 5-0. That’s pitcher Gillian Wernet in the photo above, by the way — he was the winning pitcher on Monday.
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