The Hawaii Connection
Hawaii Teams in 2006
In addition, two members of the 1984 world champs from Pearl City, Hawaii, returned to Taylor with the 2006 team from Pearl City. Former player Ron Nakamura served as one of the team's coaches. And former player Scott Sato accompanied his son, Keanu, who was a member of the 2006 team. The Satos are believed to be the only father and son to play in the Junior League World Series.
The 2006 World Series also marked the beginning of "streaming audio," which is the ability to announce the game from World Series Field over the internet. World Series followers around the globe could hear game-by-game broadcasts online. The next year, 2007, the Satos would become the only father-son team to win the Junior League World Series as Pearl City played in Taylor for the fourth straight year - and won the world championship. Three years later, Pearl City standout Chace Numata would be drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
2007 World Series
The 2007 series also is remembered for the team that finished runner-up from Manila, Philippines. While no previous Asia-Pacific regional champion had ever won more than one game in a single year, the Philippines all-stars won five straight to earn the International title before suffering their only loss, 6-2, to Team Hawaii.
The 2007 series was the first for a team from the Philippines, but also marked the debut of teams from the Ukraine and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cash-strapped fans of all teams were pleased when the World Series began accepting credit cards for souvenir purchases. And all fans were pleased when the Taylor Walmart store donated a new scoreboard.
2008 World Series
The next year, 2008, marked the first year the JLWS was won by a team from Curacao, which made its debut in the series. Curacao, the Latin America champion, became the first team from the Netherlands Antilles and the first team from the Caribbean to win the world championship for 13- and 14-year-olds.
England also played in Taylor for the first time, while series runner-up Hawaii made its 12th appearance in the tournament.
The installation of a state-of-the-art lighting system in 2008 was the beginning of a new era at World Series Field. Special collector coins were sold by volunteers to help offset the cost of the lights.
In Memory of Andy Gerick
The 2008 series was dedicated to the memory of Andy Gerick, who passed away in January. Andy was the only official scorekeeper and statistician in JLWS history. An annual golf outing in Andy’s honor raises funds for the World Series.