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What’s more American than baseball and the boys that love it?
Jim Linville of Richmond took his grandson, Merrit Linville, Chase Howe, Tevin Robinson and Jimmy Hamm to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. on June 22, as part of 19,986 fans to see LSU and Texas play in the NCAA Division 1 Championship series.
“I took these kids because they’re just exceptionally good kids that you enjoy doing things for, and they’re a lot of fun to be around,” said Linville.
That’s just part of the story. Linville had to go on Craig’s List to get the tickets. It’s not your typical story.
“I found the tickets on Craig’s List in Omaha. I had to pick them up from a Mr. Jerry Anderson at a Security National Bank,” said Linville.
After locating the bank, the group went into what the boys described as a “huge building,” and met Mr. Anderson.
“When we got there, the gentleman greeted us warmly,” Linville continued. “He gave me a firm handshake and looked me straight in the eye. He did the same with each of the boys.”
Linville said Mr. Anderson praised the boys for returning firm handshakes and looking at him as he had greeted them.
“He gave the boys some tips on personal skills, then proceeded to tell us the tickets were free,” said Linville. “Needless to say, we were very surprised and thankful.”
As an added bonus, the boys watched an exciting ballgame between LSU and Texas at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. It was such a close game that it went into 11 innings with LSU emerging as the winner, 7-6, under Coach Paul Mainieri.
LSU went on to take the series, 7-6, 1-5 and 11-4, their first national championship since 2000 and their 15th consecutive win. Game 3 of the Championship series was played June 23. LSU outfielder Jared Mitchell was named Most Valuable Player and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round.
It’s the sixth national championship for LSU and the first for Coach Mainieri. LSU ties Texas for the second most national championships for any school, behind only Southern California’s 12 titles.
The College World Series is a baseball tournament that is the culmination of the NCAA Division 1 Baseball Championship. Eight teams go to the series, are split into two, four team double elimination brackets with the winner of each bracket playing in the best-of-three series during the month of June.
Photo: Left to right: Chase Howe, Tevin Robinson, Merrit Linville and Jimmy Hamm were treated to a trip to the NCAA College World Series. Merrit’s grandfather, Jim Linville, took the group to the game in Omaha, Neb. (Photo by Jim Linville)