Volume 75, Number 5 | June 22- 28, 2005

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

The Majors B Braves show off their championship trophies.

Braves top Twins in Majors B, capping classy season

By Judith Stiles

When Bill Tietjen, a father in the bleachers, eagerly jumped up and caught an errant foul ball that went back over the fence and into the stands, it seemed symbolic of the parental enthusiasm that enveloped this season of Greenwich Village Little League baseball, especially during the Championship Game in the Majors B Division in which the Minnesota Twins faced the Atlanta Braves. 

“They live for this!” said Camille Tokerud, mother of star first baseman and sometimes pitcher Cole Kitchen of the Atlanta Braves. Ironically, the great catch that Big Bill Tietjen made, was the mirror image of the spectacular catch that young Billy made in centerfield in the bottom of the second inning, holding the score to 4-3, with the Braves in the lead.

It was an atypical Championship Game, without a competitive furor in the stands, probably because the beautiful weather put everyone in a great mood. Manager Arthur Perez of the Minnesota Twins started out his pre-game pep talk on a positive note, saying, “Remember opening day, way back then? It was a beautiful day just like today and no matter the outcome of this game, we will celebrate!”

There were no big crescendos or nail-biter innings, and the game ended with a win for the Braves who beat the Twins, 12-5. It was also an unusual game because there were no tears in the Twins dugout when the game was over because the focus of the managers all season was on learning how to play baseball and having fun. The Twins seemed perfectly satisfied to get the second-place trophy and many of them frolicked on the field after the big game to get in a few more at-bats before the afternoon games.

Avery Perez was outstanding as starting pitcher for the Twins, while Evan Tomchin did a great job pitching for the Braves. Misha Holzman was terrific as relief pitcher for the Braves, and his grandmother, Arlene Holzman, took all the credit because she taught him how to play baseball in her basement when Misha was 2 years old. 

Cole Kitchen played a near-perfect first base for the Braves and then filled in for an inning as relief pitcher. But the player of the day was Andrew Williams of the Braves who was a speed demon stealing three bases only to be left on third in the fifth inning.  Then in the sixth inning, Williams got on base again and eventually stole home for the play of the day.

When the game was over, the Braves had a euphoric pileup on the pitcher’s mound, with cheering players jumping on top of each other, and then both teams lined up for a genuinely friendly handshake to end a great season.

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