The Goodlettsville kids who captured the hearts of Middle Tennessee as they won the U.S. title at the Little League World Series now hope to spend New Year's Eve with some fellow ballplayers from Uganda.
They were inspired by the East African youngsters who came a long way and under difficult circumstances to compete at the same tournament last summer in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
"They focused on what they had, rather than what they did not have, and they are very thankful," said Goodlettsville player Luke Brown during a fundraiser Saturday night for the team's Uganda trip.
The Ugandan team made headlines by making the elite Little League World Series while playing barefoot with inferior equipment and often in subpar facilities.
"At first we just wanted to help them out and really get them a new field like we are trying to, but then we thought it would be fun just to go over there and play with them," added Goodlettsville player Jonathan Seals.
"So we started talking, and then someone came up with the idea, and we said let's go," added Brown, who plays a variety of positions including pitcher.
In less than a month, the Goodlettsville Little Leaguers plan to visit the Ugandan kids.
"I know I have seen it on a map, but I don't know what it's like there," grinned Seals who primarily played first base.
The effort caught the attention of legendary Los Angeles Dodger Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. He was in Goodlettsville Saturday night to help raise money for the Little Leaguers' trip.
"They can learn to be better people. That is what it's all about," he told Nashville's News 2 while posing for a picture with the team, adding, "I am going to start it out by giving them $5,000 so that will help them get there."
The team is trying to raise $200,000 not only for the weeklong trip, but help for the Ugandan team.
Click here for more information about the trip or to donate.