Camaraderie theme of McAllen tourney joining Mexican teams with local ballplayers

Whether it was a seven-minute commute, an hour flight or 18-hour drive, youth baseball teams from McAllen and Mexico met here Saturday morning to play ball.

Hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen in partnership with the city of McAllen and McAllen Chamber, a total of 36 teams — 16 teams from Mexico — are competing in a two-day McAllen International Youth Baseball tournament at the McAllen Youth Baseball Complex.

Lugging their equipment behind them, the young players smiled and laughed spiritually, excited to play as they walked next to their teammates. Despite how far they traveled, or what language they used in their team huddles, the tournament focused on one thing: camaraderie.

“It is all about friendship, sportsmanship and respect,” Jorge Leal, director of athletics, said.

Teams came from all around Mexico, including Monterrey, Reynosa and Colima. The farthest team came from Mexico City.

He noted that the event was inspired by the 1957 Little League champions from Monterrey, who were dubbed “Los Pequeños Gigantes,” or the Little Giants.

The team averaged 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and were outweighed by their opponents by at least 35 pounds. They also…

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