Yesterday, a spotty yet rambunctious group of a couple thousand fans watched an undersea-themed float, a Statue of Liberty-themed float, and a Delta Queen-themed float carry a bunch of children (and the Mayor) down Broad Street. The Taney Dragons Little League Team (and family and supporters) started their parade at 20th and Market and ended it at FDR Park with Mayor Nutter declaring yesterday Taney Dragons Day in Philadelphia. Afterwards, they were honored at Citizens Bank Park.
There was a lot of grumbling beforehand, talk saying the Taney kids didn’t deserve a parade because they didn’t win the whole thing. That, of course, didn’t stop a lengthly line from forming to get Erik Lipson’s autograph.
That also didn’t stop an off-duty Ben Franklin from cycling on over to scope it out:Casual B. Franks supports Taney Baseball
The Taney team made it to the U.S. Semifinal, the first area team to make it that far since the team from Newtown Square finished in 3rd place in 1967 (a year where the U.S. title was also won by a team from Chicago). They were the first team from the city of Philadelphia to ever make the tournament, and along the way captured the enthusiasm of fans whose efforts were wasted on the Phillies. Sports fans and people who don’t care at all were wrapped up in the story of a multi-racial, inner-city team with a girl pitcher who threw the ball 70 m.p.h. Mo’ne Davis was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was called a “national treasure.” SportsCenter broke down the science of her delivery.Note the police officer walking alongside the float, there solely to protect the Mayor