They didn’t roll out the red carpet, but the Red Knights did roll out themselves to escort Berlin’s Junior League baseball team back to town after their stint in the World Series in Michigan last week.
In addition to members of the motorcycle club, fire trucks from Berlin led the team home from Salisbury Monday in a show of appreciation for the team’s outstanding run in this year’s Junior League tournament.
The Berlin All-Stars ran through the district, state and regional contests before going to the Junior League World Series in Michigan as the East Region champions and ultimately falling to the host team.
But what a run the team had before coming up against the hometown favorite, and what a following it developed, even among those who wouldn’t know a line drive from a fund drive.
These players, after all, represented what the community has been doing for years — demonstrating that dedication and hard work can get the job done.
And the Junior Leaguers did so in the sportsmanlike manner that has become a something of a hallmark of all the town’s Little League divisions, teams and representatives.
In that regard, they proved the truth of the verse penned by the legendary turn-of-the-century sportswriter Grantland Rice that it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters.
That’s the approach that Little League baseball wants to instill in all its participants, and that’s what Berlin’s coaches and managers, to their credit, teach.
It’s also why the Red Knights, the fire company, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and others found it easy to give them a hero’s welcome on their return.
They played the game the way it should be played, and it took them to the top tiers of international competition. They, along with residents in Berlin and the surrounding communities, can be mighty proud of that.