JBA CLUTCH Originals visit Kansas City
During the July 4th weekend, the original JBA CLUTCH 8U team traveled to Kansas City, MO for a summer tournament. This was a trip that was 2 years in the making!
During the spring months of 2014, Coach Jeremy Jirschele approached the 9U team with a unique opportunity. His father, Mike Jirschele, had been hired to coach third base for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals went on a magical run through the post season of 2014 which led to an American League Championship and a World Series appearance. Plans were quickly put in place to take the "Original 8U Team" to Kansas City for a Summer Tournament in 2015.
So the team's parents packed up their cars and spent 4 action packed days in the Kansas City area, where the boys played in the Kansas City Firecracker Classic, a USSSA sanctioned tournament. Playing in some extreme heat conditions(at least for us!), the boys managed to win the tournament with a perfect 4 - 0 record and take home some trophies!
The trophy was just the beginning of their adventure! Coach Jeremy pulled some strings, and a whirlwind of events happened over the course of two days!
Friday Morning Locker Room and Dugout Tour
Friday Morning, the CLUTCH families and players were led on a locker room and dugout tour by Coach Mike Jirschele. The boys got to see the inside of the players locker room, getting to see how many uniforms, shoes, gloves and extra equipment the Royals players each had provided for them. A quick jaunt past the replay room, the indoor hitting cages and then out onto the field and Royals dugout completed our tour.
Saturday Afternoon Batting Practice
The CLUTCH families and players got to attend the July 4th game against the Twins. One of the special priviledges that the CLUTCH players got to partake in was onfield batting practice! During the Royals batting practice session, the boys got to be on the field behind homeplate. As the Royals players were hitting bombs into the waterfalls, they would come over and visit with the boys, posing for pictures and signing autographs. Head Coach Ned Yost, 1st Baseman Eric Hosmer, 3rd Baseman Mike Moustakas, Outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Kevin Dyson all made their way over to interact. Truly class acts on and off the field!
Saturday Night Post Game Fireworks
After a spirited game against the Royals and Twins, the CLUTCH families got one last surprise.......We were allowed on the field to watch the post game fireworks! What a fireworks show that was! Positioned in the centerfield grass, the show was tremendous as explosion after explosion happened above us. After the show was over, the lights came back on and we quickly assembled for one last team photo at Kauffman Stadium.
KC Sports Firecraker Classic
With all of the excitement going on, the boys still had their own tournament to play! JBA CLUTCH represented well, winning all 4 games that they played in, coming away with victories against the Blue Springs Storm 12-4, and Kansas City Patriots (twice) 10-1 and 10-2. They defeated the Kansas Yellow Jackets 17-4 in the Championship Game. After traveling 650 miles from Central Wisconsin to Kansas City, Missouri, our boys took home the title and returned to Wisconsin as the Firecracker Classic Champions!