The coach of the Cumberland (RI) American Little League team is being praised for his inspirational message to his team following its loss in the Little League World Series on Monday.
David Belisle refused to let his players hang their heads after they dropped an elimination game to Chicago in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“I’ve got to see your eyes, guys. There’s no disappointment in your effort, in the whole tournament, in the whole season. It’s been an incredible journey,” he began his two-minute speech. “It’s been an incredible journey. We fought. Look at the score, 8-7, 12-10 in hits. We came to the last out. We didn’t quit.
“That’s us! Boys, that’s us! The only reason why I’ll probably end up shedding a tear is because this is the last time I’m going to end up coaching you guys. But I’m going to bring back with me, the coaching staff is going to bring back, and you guys are going to bring back, something that no one other team can provide but you guys – that’s pride, OK? Pride.
“You’re going to take that for the rest of your life, what you provided for the town of Cumberland. You had the whole place jumping, right? You had the whole state jumping. You had New England jumping. You had ESPN jumping. OK? Because you want to know why? They like fighters. They like sportsmen. They like guys who don’t quit. They like guys who play the game the right way.
“We got down to the nitty gritty. We’re one of the best teams in the world. Think about that for a second – in the world.”
Watch the full speech
In the fifth inning, Cumberland’s Darion Radcliff tied the score with an RBI single to left field before Joshua Houston hit a line drive down the left-field line to bring in pinch-runner Lawrence Noble from second base with the decisive run for Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West.
‘‘They gave me memories I’ll take home for a lifetime. The whole region of New England is loving us, not for our wins but for our effort. They gave me the summer of my life,” Belisle said in a postgame interview.
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15. Material from an Associated Press report was included in this story.