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Murrayhill All Stars kept spirit of baseball alive

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Arguably, baseball may no longer be America's pastime.

Certainly, changing times have brought new sports and activities that people of all ages and genders can participate in and support. Meanwhile, baseball itself has been scandalized by the use of steroids among players and ensuing Congressional and grand jury investigations.

However, we believe there is no question that for the summer of 2006, baseball has been the pastime of pride and appreciation in the Beaverton area - and really, all of Oregon.

Oregon State University began this resurgence with a magic carpet ride of grit, determination, world-class defense and great pitching to win the College World Series in June. At Oregon State, baseball is Oregon. Twenty-six players of the 43-person OSU roster graduated from Oregon high schools. Baseball is so big at OSU that well more than 40 students athletes are expected to try and 'walk on' the Beaver baseball team this year and earn a spot on the roster without having been granted an athletic scholarship.

This past month, the magic carpet ride of baseball in Oregon was continued by the phenomenal achievements of the Murrayhill Little League All Star team. These 12 middle school students from Southwest Beaverton and Tigard grabbed our attention and earned our appreciation by doing little things to make a huge impact. Great defense, hustle, good pitching and timely hitting last week produced a second place finish in the U.S. Little League Championships and a third place finish in the Little League World Series.

But like the OSU Beavers, the boys of summer from Murrayhill played the game of baseball with not only athletic ability, but with teamwork, heart and class. And in doing so, both teams showed that nice guys could finish first - or darn close to the top.

And for Oregon, a place where baseball often loses out to rainy spring weather, the younger boys of Murrayhill and the somewhat older boys of OSU, proved that baseball, perseverance and hard work are still relevant, still exciting and still rewarding.

Thanks for letting us watch … and enjoy your great summer.