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Posted: August 7, 2012 6:51 p.m.

America’s favorite pastime

As I've spent the last five days immersed in all things Dixie Boys baseball, several things have jumped out to me as Newton County has played host to the 2012 World Series.

The first thing came at Friday's opening ceremonies where the Covington square lent itself as a beautiful backdrop to a celebration of things to come.

Living in Atlanta, I have gotten used to the architectural splendor of the city's skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle of the most talked about restaurant on the Internet and the swiftness one has to use to go to the new-on-the-scene store or event.

However, standing off to the side on the square Friday, it was great to reflect on the gathering place a center of a small town used to be. Friends and family from all 12 of the competing teams, including those traveling from Texas, Mississippi, Virginia and beyond, gathered in the square.

While I didn't have time to talk to each of the hundreds gathered, from the chatter that I overheard, i.e. eavesdropping - a reporter's best tool - there was many great things said about Covington's square and its atmosphere.

After each team was introduced on a stage in front of the courthouse, the event featured fireworks dazzling the sky over Covington's most famous building.

The sight which occurs at least annually in Covington was jaw-dropping to this first-time viewer, as it brought me back - as corny as it sounds - to a time when people didn't have to worry about the struggling economy, the latest Twitter trends, retirement plans or traffic.

Another feature of the opening ceremony brought out the camaraderie between teammates along with teams mingling among others from each of the 11 represented states.

I remembered back to soccer and basketball tournaments I participated in when, when you were older, you got to meet some of the best players in the state or country.

One of the last basketball tournaments I was in, I remembered immediately noticing players who I knew were the best from their area and later saw them starring in college. When I was younger, each teammate would be eager to play a new team in that particular tournament to see where they were from and add their patch to our collections.

And this is exactly what is happening at the Dixie Boys World Series.

There are no patches being exchanged, but players from Newton County are getting to see stars from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and so on. It's something they will remember and keep track of throughout the MLB draft in four or five years.

Many of the players who may one day adorn a major league roster could be one of the several pitchers leading their teams at City Pond Park.

Every time the MLB playoffs come around, you constantly hear how pitching is key.

Heck, the Braves have 14 divisional banners thanks to the arms of Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. And it's plain to see that at every level of baseball, the adage about pitching holds true.

The top teams going through the bracket at the Dixie Boys World Series are doing it behind pitching. Texas shut down Newton County behind the dazzling performance of pitcher Chris Booth.

And Newton was making its way back through the elimination bracket thanks what I feel is the deepest rotation in the 2012 World Series.

As the event enters its final days with the championship slated for today at the earliest, it's nice to see that things stay true in big-time tournaments.

The tried-and-true keys, such as pitching in baseball, never change; sports are still a great venue for camaraderie and there's nothing as American besides apple pie than America's favorite pastime - baseball.

 

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