Tull: LLWS is biggest Southern Tier sports storyPosted: Updated:
The Binghamton Senators Calder Cup win in 2011; the B-Mets three Eastern League Titles in 1992, 1994, 2014; Maine-Endwell's 62 game win streak and four straight state titles; Jon, Art, and Chandler Jones at their peaks winning UFC Titles and Super Bowls; Elmira native Ernie Davis winning the Heisman and a National Championship at Syracuse, Exterminator winning the 1918 Kentucky Derby.
All these stories could be in the running for biggest sports story in the history of the Southern Tier. Until last Sunday when Maine-Endwell won the Little League World Series.
It's a debate that's been going on for a week, is a group of 12-year-old-boys winning a Little League title bigger than a Heisman. You could certainly make that argument. Two and a half million kids play Little League Baseball every year, not including players in leagues unaffiliated with Williamsport, and these 11 kids are the best of all of them. They had to beat Seoul, South Korea to win the championship, a city of over 10 million people. Combined, Maine and Endwell have less than 20,000. The improbable odds against them could easily make this the biggest sports story in the area's history.
Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Entertainment and a 1988 Maine-Endwell graduate has made numerous donations to the M-E School District and the Little League, the latter named the field after him. He's also part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his first year as part of the ownership group, the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Even growing up a Steelers fan, Tull ranks Maine-Endwell's Little League World Series Title on the same level as, or higher than the Steelers Super Bowl.
"I don't get a vote, but informally, I'd have to say it's in the conversation for the biggest sports news story in the area's history," Tull said. "Just because, if you think about the incredible odds of being able to pull that off and how it galvanized the entire community, it would get me vote."
Maine-Endwell is the first US team to win the Little League World Series since 2011, and the first New York team since 1964. They are also the first team to win the Jack Losh Sportsmanship Award and the Little League World Series in the same year.