DES MOINES, Iowa -- While the boys of Grandview Little League represent the Midwest in the Little League World Series, more specifically they represent Iowa, and more specifically than that the east side of Des Moines.
The sign out front of the Grandview fields reads "Home of Champions", and while that home stands empty on Thursday, the east side of Des Moines is full of hope and happiness for the boys of Grandview Little League.
“It's very cool, we've been following it and just thinking 'wow, how cool is it to have something from the east side bringing some credit to the east side’” said Kathleen Nikkel.
Nikkel's mother lives across the street from the ball parks, and Nikkel's sons used to play there. She said Grandview doesn't have the size of Urbandale or Johnston, but she doesn't see that as a bad thing.
“You're always kind of rooting for the underdog, so I think it gives the underdog a leg up” she said.
Tori Peterson is a former Grandview little leaguer, and now serves on the board of directors. She says the summer has been a wild ride.
“It's just been crazy. To see how excited they are, these boys have a lot of heart and the sportsmanship they show on the field is so awesome” said Peterson.
And the is east side is behind them 100%.
“The first day of the fair last week even at the Bud tent the game was playing. So, it's definitely an east side pride thing” said Peterson.
Regardless of what happens at Williamsport, Peterson says just getting there is an accomplishment.
“A team from our little league hasn't done it since 1980 so I think that's a big deal, but there's more than 7,000 teams that enter this, try to get there, and to be one of the 16 teams that are playing for the championship I think is awesome” she said.
But that doesn't mean the team is settling for just getting there. Bricks on the third base side of the Grandview field honor teams who have won state and regional tournaments. Peterson says they'd like to have a special one this year.
“We've got two additional bricks coming, we've won the state tournament, we've won the regional tournament, and we'd love to add the world series brick out there” she said.
Grandview lost their first game on Thursday 5-2.