Former World Series reps weigh in on American advancing
But when pressed, they almost universally said the same thing.
"If I were to give them advice, it'd be to have fun and enjoy it," Chris Daley, manager of Fairfield American's 2010 team, said. "They're doing great ... I wish them the best."
Daley's experience offered him perspective about how rare an accomplishment, simply reaching Williamsport, Pa. is.
"I think you just have to live through it to understand it," Daley said. "You're one of eight teams in the country still playing ball."
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Nick Nardone, a rising sophomore at Fairfield Warde and American's ace pitcher in 2010, echoed Daley's sentiments.
"Have fun and live in the moment. It's a once in a lifetime thing," Nardone said via text message Monday. "Play hard and do what you guys have been doing and good luck."
Daley's 2010 assistant, Larry Klein, admitted home sickness and exhaustion were among the issues American's squad dealt with. Recognizing these weaknesses are half the battle.
"They've been away from home for two weeks already," Klein said. "It runs down their system ... if kids are starting to run down, maybe try to get them some sleep, food or a night with their folks."
Klein recalled his 2010 squad being open to interaction with other cultures.
"There were teams there that were all business," Klein said. "And then there were teams, like us, who wanted to win but were there for the experience. We tended to hang out with them more."
Klein also hopes this years squad takes the opportunity to interact with the different cultures at the World Series. There are teams from Texas, Oregon and California, but also Uganda, Japan and Taiwan.
"It's a unique experience, especially for kids who haven't traveled a lot, to meet and interact with players from other countries," he said.
That interaction is what Fairfield's shortstop this year was looking forward to most.
"Meeting all the new kids from the other teams," Will Lucas answered Saturday when asked what he was looking forward to most about the World Series.
Ken Martin -- a member of the Trumbull National squad which won the World Series in 1989 and part-owner of Colony Grill in Fairfield -- believes the kids should just be kids at the World Series.
"I'd just tell them not to be any more than 12 or 13 year-old kids," Martin said. "It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch."
He also realizes how times have changed since he and Trumbull were there 23 years ago.
"They're staying in nicer bunks," he said.
Martin realizes what simply reaching the World Series does both for his own organization and Fairfield and is pulling for American to come home with the crown.
"It's great for the town and it's great for business," he said. "I'd love to see a Connecticut team win it all."