The Seattle Stars finished the 2004 season with a championship performance at the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) World Series.
The Stars defeated the Japan all-stars 16-12 in the title game.
There were 47 teams competing in the CABA World Series in Crystal Lakes, Ill. In addition to the team from Japan, Puetro Rico and Mexico fielded squads. The Stars played a total of 12 games and finished with a final record of 11-1.
Three of the Stars players — David Bentrott, Cameron Nobles and Kawika Emsley-Pai — were also picked for the CABA all-star tournament team.
Emsley-Pai was selected as the overall MVP and Nobles was picked as the pitching MVP.
The Seattle Stars are a 15-year-old team, but this year instead of playing in the normal 15-year-old league, they decided to up the ante and play in the 16-year-old Mickey Mantle League. Seattle played flawlessly, going 17-0 during the regular season and winning the state tournament to finish 22-0 overall.
Head coach Bob Rankin said the reason the Stars played in a older age group was to challenge themselves. Seattle also played in the Junior Olympics, placing sixth in a league consisting of the best 16-year-old teams. The Junior Olympics consisted of 72 different teams.
“When they were 11, you can’t do a select program in Little League,” said assistant coach Steve Nobles. “We decided when they turned 13 to start a select team. We knew each other. They’re all great baseball players, but they’re also great kids.”
Three Jackson players — Emsley-Pai, Cameron Nobles and Chris Lynch — played well, Steve Nobles said.
“It starts at the very top,” Steve Nobles said of the team’s success this year. “We have a group of kids that are basically like brothers. They hang together even when they’re not playing baseball.”
“I couldn’t be happier. We pour our heart and soul into it and the kids play with their heart and soul.”
Next year the Stars plan to play up in the 17-19 year old age group.
“We’ve got a bunch of kids that work really well and a group of coaches that put in a lot of time and effort and that combination has worked really well with us for the past three years,” Rankin said.
The team’s Web site is http://www.eteamz.com/ seattlestars.