Congratulations to the South Nashville all-star team for advancing to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. They came up short in their quest of winning it all, but they won our hearts – and that’s what matters. Their success comes a year after Goodlettsville won the U.S. championship before falling to Japan in the World title game.
The Goodlettsville run captured the hearts of all Music City residents and capped a string of 2012 summer success stories for Nashville-area athletes I chronicled for the Nashville Ledger last October. Pitchers R.A. Dickey of the Mets and David Price of the Rays both won 20 games and earned the Cy Young awards in their respective leagues. In golf, Brandt Snedeker was the FedEx Cup golf champion while Steven Fox won the U.S. Amateur. Auto racer Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 while Brian Baker staged a thrilling comeback from injuries in tennis.
This summer isn’t over and all the stories have yet to be written, but so far, 2013 hasn’t been lucky for many of these same athletes. Here is a look at how they were faring in mid-August.
Dickey (9-11, 4.49 ERA) was traded from the NL Mets to the AL Blue Jays and has fought back from injuries. The knuckleballer from Montgomery Bell Academy and UT currently has 116 strikeouts but has already allowed a career-high 25 home runs.
Price (6-5, 3.17 ERA) has also battled injuries this season, but the Murfreesboro native and former Vanderbilt star won three consecutive starts before taking no-decisions in his last two outings.
Former Vanderbilt star pitcher Mike Minor (11-5, 2.76 ERA) is the best pitcher for the Braves, who had won 14 consecutive games through Aug. 9.
Baker, who played tennis at Hillwood High, suffered yet another setback in his injury-plagued career, this time a torn lateral meniscus.
Snedeker has won two tournaments this year, but the former MBA and Vanderbilt star has battled injuries himself and is currently in third place in the FedEx Cup race behind Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.
Fox got invites to the Masters and U.S. Open thanks to his 2012 U.S. Amateur victory, but didn’t play particularly well in either major. However, the Hendersonville native did just win the Tennessee State amateur title on Aug. 9.
Franchitti and Ashley Judd announced in January their divorce after 11 years. Franchitti has not finished higher than third in a race this season, and is currently sixth in the standings.
And while Goodlettsville failed to reach the Little League World Series again, it is great to see another Nashville team make it to Williamsport.
Wish South Nashville had won one more game than Goodlettsville did a year ago.
But as they say, wait till next year!