It was, ceremonially, the eve of the last day of the 2017 Little League® season. The Little League Baseball® World Series Championship Game on the last Sunday in August marks the unofficial end of a year-long Little League season, and the U.S. Champions from Lufkin, Texas, were preparing for a game against the International Champions from Tokyo, Japan, but they weren’t sure how they were going to get home.
Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on Houston, and Lufkin, located just a short drive away, was square in the path of what was being forecast as a historic storm. While the team from Texas had a remarkable time and run in Williamsport, falling just short of the World Series Championship, they got home safely, and their community was largely spared from the brunt of the storm. The city of Houston, and the thousands of Little Leaguers® and their families, were not as lucky.
“It was an event that happens only once every 1,000 years. There has been nothing like it in modern history,” said Hugh Tanner, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman, Houston resident, and former West University Little League President. “The weight of the rain that fell on Houston actually depressed the Earth’s crust in the city.”
Hurricane Harvey was just the beginning.