They are Massapequa’s Elite Eleven and these kids from the Massapequa Coast Little League are about to have the time of their lives.
Todd Frazier was a two-time All-Star and played for both the Yankees and the Mets during his 11 seasons in the big leagues. However, long before all that, he played for Toms River (N.J.) when it won the 1998 Little League World Series. And when he was asked about what these little Long Islanders are about to experience playing in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, he could hardly contain his excitement for them.
“Williamsport is the mecca, man,” Frazier told Newsday in a telephone interview. “They are in for a treat. It’s going to be something they never forget. Most of them won’t get the chance to play in the major leagues and this will be their major-league experience. They’re in the best \[tournament\] field in the world for 12-year-olds and it will be one of the greatest experiences of their lives.”
Massapequa Coast — the Metro Region champion — will play its first game in the double-elimination tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. against the West Region's Honolulu which defeated the Northwest Region's Bonney Lake (Washington) on Wednesday night 11-1. Massapequa Coast manager Roland Clark said the team planned to attend that game on Wednesday night to size up the competition.
“I had been to the Little League World Series to see my brother \[Jeff Frazier\] play in 1995 when I was 9 years old and I was still blown away when I got there to play in it,” Frazier said. “You just can’t grasp what its like to play in front of a crowd like that until you’re there, see all the people who came out to watch and hear the roar of that crowd . . . They will be like ‘Holy cow!’ and then the lights will come on and they will be pitching and throwing and hopefully, between those lines, they can relax and realize it’s like any other game at the park.
“It’s their professional debut, if you want the truth,” Frazier added. “There was no World Series the last two years \[because of the coronavirus pandemic\] and they are going to be treated like heroes, like a big-league team. And if they start winning there? Everybody will come flocking to them like celebrities.”
Frazier said that his Little League World Series experience made each step up the ladder on his way to the majors appreciably easier.
“The pressure to do the next thing won’t be the same because now that you’ve been on the biggest stage,” Frazier explained. “I’d played in front of thousands and maybe millions more at home. Everything after came a lot easier because I’d been \[in that situation\]. Even though it happens at the young age of 12 and its might only be a handful of games, they will know the feeling of high-impact pressure games . . . This will not only be some of the most exciting days of their lives, they will be better off down the road having lived it.”