Little League and an earthquake, an omen for Ocean View?
The Ocean View Little League team from Huntington Beach, representing the West at the Little League World Series, had no game scheduled Tuesday. Ocean View is 2-0 and plays a winners-bracket game at 5 p.m. Wednesday against the Northwest representatives from Billings, Mont.
The Huntington Beach kids were on the road, riding to nearby Lewisburg to do some sightseeing, and didn't even feel the earthquake that was centered in Virginia but felt in places in the East, including Williamsport, Pa.
I know. I was sitting in a rented Toyota RAV4 four-wheel drive in a convenience store parking lot, about to load up on water but conducting a telephone interview for a story. The car was stopped, I'm talking and typing on my laptop and the car -- it's stopped, remember -- starts shaking back and forth and once even jumpsoff the ground a little. I'm still talking but very concerned that I've hit some secret button and have engaged the four-wheel drive mechanism somehow. But before the call is finished, the car settles down.
When I was done, I ran into the store where I was asked immediately, "Did you feel the earthquake?"
Well, OK then, I didn't hit a button.
Tried to call Ocean View manager Jeff Pratto, only to find I couldn't make or receive phone calls or send texts though I could still email from the BlackBerry. It's taken a couple of hours, and I got one call through to Pratto, who answered in Lewisburg. We were cut off twice but he said he and his kids didn't feel the tremor because they were in moving cars.
Also spoke to Nomar Garciaparra, former major leaguer and an Orange County native who is calling LLWS games for ESPN in Williamsport. He was on the air when the quake hit. "We're in a suspended booth," he said. "It was moving pretty good. We're all looking at each other and I'm the California guy and I said I thought it was an earthquake but then I said, 'Do they have earthquakes here?' Now I know. They do."
So if this is an omen for the California kids, is it a bad one or a good one?
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from South Williamsport, Pa.
Photo: Huntington Beach third baseman Dylan Palmer, left, and relief pitcher Nick Pratto celebrate after the team's win against LaGrange, Ky. on Sunday. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press