Joey Hall helps guide Tualatin City to the Softball World Series

by: DAN BROOD - FAMILY TIES -- Tualatin City manager Joey Hall congratulates his daughter, Camille Hall, after she scored a first-inning run in the District 4 tournament championship game. TUALATIN — Joey Hall has been involved in coaching for a long time.

His family — his big family — has been involved with the Little League Softball World Series.

This year, it all came together.

Hall, and his big family, is pretty happy about it.

Hall, who has been a fixture as a softball coach in Tualatin City Little League, helped lead this year’s TC Majors (ages 11-12) all-star softball team to the District 4 championship. And, with the district crown, the team has earned bid to play in the 2013 Little League Softball World Series, which will be held today (Thursday) through Aug. 14 at Alpenrose Stadium.

The Halls, and the rest of the Tualatin City team, will open up the World Series today when they face Central regional champion Elyria East Little League, from Elyria, Ohio, in a pool play game starting at 10 a.m. Aug. 8 at Alpenrose.

“It’s fun,” Hall said during a recent Tualatin City practice session held at Tualatin Community Park. “Initially, it was a competitive thing about getting there. Carole (Hall’s wife) said I don’t look excited, but I am. I’m just really happy for the kids.”

And Hall should know something about kids. He and Carole have nine of them — Seth, Hannah, Whitney, Kourtney, Britta, Madison, Tanner, Ammon and Camille.

Camille, the Halls’ youngest child, plays at shortstop for this year’s Tualatin City team. And, likely, this year will mark the final year that Joey Hall coaches at the Little League level.

Hall, a chiropractor at Family Life Chiropractic Clinic in Tigard, coached on Little League diamonds for 19 years, now. He coached at Kenton Little League in north Portland before moving to Tualatin City Little League, where he’s coached for nine years.

He coached his five oldest daughters when then played softball for Tualatin City, but those squads came up short of qualifying for the World Series.

“In our family, that was a big thing,” Hall said. “My girls had tried year after year.”

The Hall family, before this year, didn’t get a chance to play in the Little League Softball World Series, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t involved in the event.

From 2006 through 2008 (before players were housed in hotels), the Hall family served as a host family for the Little League World Series. They didn’t take in just two or three players — they housed a whole team each of those years.

by: DAN BROOD - WINNERS -- Joey Hall and the Tualatin City Little League softball team keep their spirits high during play in the District 4 tournament championship game. “We hosted teams from Texas all three years. One year, we had 14 kids. The other two years, we had 13 kids,” Hall said. “There was a need, and there was no one else, so we took the whole team in.”

Hall said the Texas coaches, and the kids, loved the arrangement.

One of the teams the Halls hosted, Elgin Little League, from Elgin, Texas, qualified for the World Series two years in a row.

“The second year they came here, they called us from the dugout after they won regionals,” Hall said. “They said ‘we’re coming back.’ That was a great thing for our family. It was a lot of fun.”

While hosting World Series teams may have been a rewarding experience for the Hall family, it likely be hard to top this year’s experience, where Joey Hall and youngest daughter Camille, were part of the Tualatin City team that beat Southwest Portland 11-0 in the District 4 title tilt to earn TC’s first berth to the Little League Softball World series since 2000.

“We had all of our kids in town for a wedding,” Hall said. “So it was really special, and a lot of fun.”

The Hall family, and the rest of the Tualatin City fans, got a chance to see TC play what was mostly likely it’s best game of the district tournament.

“I had parents of nine of the kids come up and ask me ‘what did you threaten them with?’” Hall said with a laugh. “But it was all the kids. They did it. They’ve done it from start to finish — from the very first practice.”

The kids.

Joey Hall seems to like to talk about them the most — how they’ve meshed as a team, even with five of the girls coming from Newberg Little League, and how the girls sacrificed and made adjustments as they had to play positions that were different than what they’ve played in the past.

“There were zero complaints,” he said.

Hall got some coaching assistance from two of his daughters, Kourtney and Britta, who were both former Tualatin City standouts.

“They drove the outfielders,” Joey Hall said. “And that day, something clicked.”

And, it’s been clicking ever since.

“I’ve had teams that were more athletic,” Hall said. “This time, I’ve tried to coach them to the mental aspect — and to play as a team. They’ve all chipped in with that. It’s a cohesive group of girls and the most cohesive group of parents I’ve ever had. They’ve been great.”

Now, there’s not much to do except to enjoy the World Series experience.

“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” Hall said. “For Camille to be part of this and have the chance to meet girls from all over the world will be fun. It should be a rewarding experience for all of the girls.”

While the World Series experience could be very rewarding, it’s not the most important thing for the Hall family.

In fact, when Tualatin City faces Latin America representative ASOFEM Little League, from Maunabo, Puerto Rico, on Sunday in a World Series pool play game starting at 10 a.m., Joey Hall and Camille Hall will not be in the team’s dugout.

As mormons, they’ll be following the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints regard of Sunday as the day of rest and day of worship.

“Softball is fun and great, but, for us, it’s not the most important thing,” Hall said. “I’ve informed the team of this, and it is what it is. But, with this team, it’s not about one player. You fill in the hole and make up the difference.”

In addition to the games against the team from Ohio and the team from Puerto Rico, Tualatin City will play the Southeast regional champion Friday in a pool play game starting at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Tualatin City will face Europe/Africa representative Lombardia Little League, from Milano, Italy, in a pool play game starting at 4 p.m. Tualatin City will have at least one more additional game besides the pool play contests.

“It will be fun, but it will be hectic,” Hall said. “But, once we get in the groove, we should be OK. This is all fun, and we’ll make it fun for the kids.”

Joey Hall wouldn’t have it any other way.

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