A Perfect Run

Jared Wickerham

Jude Abbadessa leads the Maine-Endwell Mid-Atlantic team from the batting cages to the field.

The young kids from Endwell, New York, had a storybook ending to an undefeated season with a Little League World Series championship at Lamade Stadium last weekend.

Coach Joe Mancini and Maine-Endwell Mid-Atlantic celebrate following their 2–1 win against Asia-Pacific in the Little League World Series Championship

Each year, talented baseball youth from all over the world descend on Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for a competition among the elite. Here, kids are introduced to international cultures and unfamiliar languages as they compete for a title. I was embedded with the Endwell team to document their run.

The kids here are celebrities of another kind, balancing interviews, videos, portraits and more during the toughest competition they’ve faced in their young careers. Endwell, as well as all the teams fortunate to compete, handled the burgeoning attention with professionalism.

Jude Abbadessa signs autographs for fans during batting practice prior to the 2016 Little League World Series Championship game.

Endwell’s streak at Lamade kicked off against Warwick, Rhode Island. Bang: 7–2 out of the gate. Win. Next up, Goodlettsville, Tennessee. 3–1. Win. Bowling Green, Kentucky jumped to an early lead in the third game. No matter, 13–10. Win. Then the final opponent: Seoul. For the champsionship. Win.

Michael Mancini and Jude Abbadessa celebrate following their 4–2 win against Southeast, sending them to the Little League Championship.

An undefeated tournament. An undefeated season.

All images © Jared Wickerham/The Players’ Tribune

Jared Wickerham is a sports, editorial news and commercial freelance photographer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jared has covered most major news and sporting events in the New England area for the last few years including the World Series, Super Bowl, and Sochi Winter Olympics.