1962 Little League World Series Champs Cheer Petaluma

Petaluma goes for the national title Saturday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Petaluma Little League team plays this weekend in the World Series. (Published Friday, Aug 24, 2012)

    The Petaluma Little League team will play a team from Goodlettsville Tennessee for the U.S. Championship today. Tennessee is the only team to beat Petaluma in the Little League World Series earlier this week, so this is a rematch. 

    The game starts at 12:30 p.m. and will air on ABC (Channel 7). If you are in the car this afternoon it will also be on the radio on KNBR's 1050. 

    If Petaluma wins, they will play for the world title against either Tokyo or Aguadulce, Panama on Sunday. 

     As Petaluma continues its amazing run in the Little League World Series, 62-year old Danville resident Phil Kagel knows exactly what it feels like.

    "Just throwing the ball and just playing baseball," Kagel said. "We were so focused and that's what I remember about being back there."
     
    It was 50 years ago, a group of 12-year-old kids from the San Jose Moreland Little League became the first and only Bay Area team to win the Little League World Series. A baby faced Phil Kagel played first base. 

    "Over the years it's becoming more meaningful to me," Kagel said. "To think how many people around the world are world champions?"
     
     He has a scrapbook of memories. Old newspaper clippings, team photos, autographed baseballs. Even his old jacket...which still fits by the way.  

     "A little tight but I can do it," Kagel chuckled.

      Not only did this San Jose team win. They dominated. And in the final game, six-foot two...yes six-foot-two Ted Campbell threw a no-hitter...beating Kankakee, IL 3-0. The boys from San Jose were on top of the world.  
     
    "Tears started coming down my eyes," Kagel said. "I couldn't hold back that emotion of we've come this far."

     Kagel says it's time for another Bay Area team to feel Little League glory.
     
    "So we're rooting for Petaluma," Kagel said with delight. "That would be great to see them win this year."