- MORESPORTS/LLWS00 - Hershiser makes broadcast debut

 Saturday, August 26
Hershiser makes broadcast debut
 Associated Press

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - - Former major league pitcher Orel Hershiser made his broadcasting debut Wednesday in the Little League World Series.

Hershiser, who retired from baseball last month, teamed with Brent Musburger and Harold Reynolds on ESPN2 to announce the game between Davenport, Iowa, and Vancouver, Wash.

"With retiring, (ESPN) knew I had some time available and they kind of bounced it off me," Hershiser said. "I thought it would be a great opportunity."

The former Los Angeles Dodgers star said he was both excited and nervous before his first broadcast, and he still doesn't know if he will pursue it as a career.

"It's a good way to put my toe in the water and see what it's like," Hershiser said. "I have some other aspirations and some other opportunities that may arise so I don't want to get stuck on one thing right now."

Hershiser also will announce Thursday's U.S. Pool final and Saturday's championship game.

Day off:
The players on the Bellaire, Texas, slept in on their first day off in the Series.

Depending on the outcome of Wednesday night's game between Davenport, Iowa and Vancouver, Wash., the Texas team will either be play for the U.S. title on Thursday or be eliminated.

"The advantage is the kids have really had today to relax," Bellaire coach Cliff Atherton said. "The disadvantage is we can't determine our own fate."

After all the players woke up, the team watched the TV rebroadcast of Tuesday's seven-inning 6-4 win over Davenport. And they joined parents for a visit to the Little League Museum.

Major League call-up:
The Bellaire team also received a special treat Tuesday when Houston Astros pitcher Scott Elarton and infielder Bill Spiers called.

Coach Atherton said the team was notified about the conference call Tuesday morning and that it surprised the kids. The Little Leaguers questioned Elarton about his biggest win and who has hit the longest home run ever off him. Spiers shared some of his Little League memories.

"The Astros organization really put it together," Atherton said. "And it was really wonderful for the kids."

Trade you:
When a home run ball clears the hedge beyond the fence at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, it is usually gone forever.

The rabid fans, a good many being young kids, normally snatch up the balls and hold on to them as keepsakes.

Nine-year-old Steven Godine of New Jersey is obviously different.

Godine came up with the ball Leo Nakayama launched onto the hill Tuesday in Japan's 9-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Instead of keeping the home run ball, Godine decided to give it back to the Japanese Little Leaguer.

To repay Godine's kindness, Nakayama gave him an autographed baseball.


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