Governor Charlie Baker would have been proud to root for any Massachusetts team at the Little League regional championships. As a Swampscott native, though, he still retains the spirit of North Shore pride.
Baker told the Peabody West Little League team Thursday that following their journey to the state championship and beyond this summer was extra special since they were from his neck of the woods. The 2021 Massachusetts state champs were honored by the Governor as well as both houses of the state legislature at the state house on Wednesday afternoon.
"As a guy who raised all my kids on the North Shore I still love following all the North Shore sports," Baker told the team. "This can really be a jumping off point for you and I wish you all tremendous success in whatever you do going forward."
All 13 players received citations from both the state senate, presented by Senator Joan Lovely, and the house of representatives, presented by Reps. Sally Kerans and Tom Walsh.
"What a great day," said Peabody West manager Mark Bettencourt. "Governor Baker must have talked to the kids for 20 minutes, he wanted to know everything. Everybody made the kids fell really special. It was awesome."
Peabody West won the state title by overcoming undefeated Pittsfield American in the championship game in Gloucester. The District 16 and Section 4 champs advanced to the New England Regionals in Bristol, Connecticut, where they finished in third place and were among the last 24 teams alive for a berth in this year's World Series.
"It was a big thrill following you this summer. You brought a lot of joy to people all around the region," Kerans told the boys.