GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Driving back into Greenville after playing against teams from around the world is something that 1998 Tar Heel manager Wayne Hardee won’t forget.
Former players Justin Hardee and Brack Massey say it was an experience they still talk about today.
“As soon as I was able to hold a bat and a ball, I started playing baseball,” says Massey.
“A lot of us played together starting at six and we kind of built up to Little Leagues,” says Hardee. “So by the time we were in Little League. We had been playing together four or five years.”
Underneath the dress shirt and tie, there still beats a heart of a young baseball player.
“It’s fun to look at these pictures when these guys were 11 to 12 years old and know what they’re doing 19 years later,” says manager Hardee.
They are still reliving their little league World Series memories today.
“Just to be able to play on that kind of stage, at that age, in that big stadium on ESPN,” says Massey. “You’re representing your city, state and region. It is really just special.”
“It’s still a talking piece today. We talk about it at least every week and it’s been 19 years,” says manager Hardee.
“Hitting three home runs was definitely my highlight of the World Series. That’s something that I’ll always remember,” said Hardee.
And it’s not just the game they reminisce about, but also the experience to meet players from around the world.
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner with people from all over the world,” said manager Massey. “And that’s an experience that no one else has than in the Little League World Series.”
For them to watch another team from Greenville compete in the Little League World Series is a homerun.
“We’re just so excited for them,” says Massey. “[They should] stay focused on the goal to win ballgames and have fun.”