Not everyone makes it to the Little League World Series.
In fact, it is a very exclusive club. Of the millions of children who have picked up a baseball glove and bat since the series was first played in 1947, only 5,730 have been able to take the field at the World Series stadium in Williamsport, Pa.
For 14 boys from Hagerstown's National Little League, their moment in the August sun came 30 years ago. Years of sandlot ball, pickup games during school recesses and endless practices produced a talented team, schooled in the basics, that kept winning and winning.
When the summer ended, they were the sixth best Little League team in the world.
"This was one those once-in-a-lifetime teams," said Jane Smith, mother of left fielder Mark Smith.
One Hagerstown team had made it to the Little League World Series before, in 1950, but none has accomplished the feat since.