"They Won! They Won! They Won!" was how the email read last Tuesday, June 29, from Tiffany Vebert. She was explaining how Ron Dantzer's 24/7's Little League team did in their last three tournament games?"
24/7 started their season way back on April 12 against Hanson Minor. That was before the Elmhurst Little League park official opened on April 17. No one could have guessed then that this team would win 21 regular season games and then go undefeated in the tournament to finish with a perfect 24-0 record.
Tiffany's son, Corey Vebert plays catcher, pitcher and first base. I called her for more information about the 2004 season and she was bubbling over with pride as she talked about the season. "I don't know what we will do now that it's over," she commented. "It has been exciting from the very first game."
I asked her if any other little league teams had accomplished a 24–0 season, but she didn't know. None of the people she talked to could recall, but she said she would be happy to look through the archives.
The age span for Elmhurst Little League is from 8-12 years, and the ages of the kids on 24-7's team is mostly between 8 and 10. The team is made up of 12 players: Cory Ball, Tristan Byall, Marc Cotter, Austin Dantzer, Tyler Frauhiger, Samuel Harness, Jeffrey Lockhart, Alyssa Moore, Nathaniel Post, John Savieo, Kevin White and Corey Vebert. Ron Dantzer Jr. is the manager and Scott Dantzer, Marc Cotter and Dave Byall are the coaches.
Wednesday, June 16, I went over to Mason Drive to watch 24/7 play their final season game against Elzey's. There were large cumulus clouds forming in the west but it looked as if the two teams should be able to complete the game. By the third inning, 24/7 was down three runs and I thought their hopes of going undefeated were slim and none. As I sat in the bleachers swatting mosquitoes, the lights went out. I heard later that a raccoon had gotten into a transformer and the lights went off throughout the area. The next day, the game was resumed where it had left off, but 24/7 had renewed life and was able to come back and win the game 8-6.
Their first tournament game was played against Ingleman on June 24. After that victory they won against Fort Wayne Awning on Saturday, the 26th and they won their final tournament game against Foster Park on Monday, June 28. Closing ceremonies were Sunday, June 27 at noon.
It was an amazing year for 24/7, they started the season before the ballpark opened and they finished after the closing ceremonies had ended. They won, they won, and they won.