WEST TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The baseball team from Elizabeth that made it to the Little League World Series was honored Thursday by Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey state troopers.
The 12-year-old players were given a tour of the State Police Museum in West Trenton and showed off their “Jersey shake.”
The Elmora Troopers are named in honor of fallen trooper Thomas Hanratty, a former player for the Elmora Youth League, who was killed in a 1992 traffic stop.
Web Extra: Gov. Phil Murphy Celebrates Elmora Troopers:
“How incredibly proud all 9 million New Jerseyans were, and still are of you all,” said Murphy. “What a run.”
The boys from Elizabeth were knocked out of the double-elimination tournament by Louisiana, 4-1, at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but what they accomplished to get that far was impressive.
Elmora is the first team from an urban area in 30 years to make it to a regional competition, one of only eight teams from across the country to make it to the tournament, and one of the final four teams in the U.S. bracket.
Pitcher Jayden Capendica said he can’t get over the praise his team has received.
“It’s overwhelming,” he said. “Exciting and nervewracking at the same time.”
“This is one of the great stories in our state in a long time, on so many levels,” Murphy added.
“It was a highlight not only in my career but my life,” said Col. Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “I think the energy that this team brings to anywhere that they go is phenomenal.”
“It was like the dream turned into reality,” Capendica said.
The city of Elizabeth will hold a parade for the team on Sept. 6. Murphy issued a proclamation naming that day “Elmora Troopers Day.”