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Young Ridgewood Baseball Champs Celebrate Season

Community members waiting for The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star Team to emerge from theirs buses after arriving at Van Neste Memorial Square Park. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
The community lined the streets Monday in anticipation of The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star team's arrival at Van Neste Memorial Square Park after returning from competing in the Junior League World Series Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Catcher Garrett Thompson of The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star team gives a peace sign to the photographer as the team's bus rolled down E. Ridgewood Avenue escorted by police. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Players embrace their family and friends after their return from the Junior League World Series Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star Team poses after exiting their buses. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Center fielder David Kleiman, 14, embraces his grandfather, Frank Rivera. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
The medal the Raiders received for participating in the Junior League World Series. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Spirited signs were common at the celebration on Monday afternoon. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Ben & Jerry's was one of the local vendors providing free nosh for community members. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Players received embraces from their coaches, as well as congratulation letters from the governor, at the Monday afternoon event. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe
Hundreds gathered at Van Neste Park Monday afternoon to celebrate the return of The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star team from the Junior League World Series. Photo Credit: Gianna Volpe

RIDGEWOOD, N.J.– Ridgewood residents turned out in force at Van Neste Park today to celebrate the return of The U14 Ridgewood Junior League All Star Team from the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan.

The Raiders—one of only five U.S. teams to compete in the international championship—were escorted to the park by police and greeted with community fanfare, free food, medals and letters of congratulations from Gov. Christie.

Althouugh they beat out the U.S. Championship team in the series, they lost the opportunity to vie against Virginia for the title by only a fraction of a point.

“We battled hard,” Bret Thompson said.

His favorite play of the entire season was a simple ground ball to pitcher Avery Scott, who got the out at third in Ridgewood’s Aug. 3 win over Toms River to become this year’s regional champions.

"It was great because it was the first time we realized we were going to the World Series,” he said.

The 2015 Ridgewood Raiders are the first U14 group to ever compete in the Junior League World Series.

The last team to compete at that level was the U12 team in 1979.

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