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Ripken All-Stars Celebrate One Last Time

Topher Brown grinned from ear to ear. He returned to Fox Run Elementary School Saturday with his Norwalk Cal Ripken baseball teammates to celebrate for one final time the team's sensational run to the World Series.

"It's really good to come back and be with everybody again,'' Brown said. "I didn't know that every person from the league would be here to celebrate with us."

The New England champions were saluted at the opening day ceremonies of the league at Fox Run. Players took team photos and were treated to hot dogs and refreshments. Mayor Richard Moccia addressed the players. Sal Latella, the manager of last year's World Series team, also spoke to the teams along with league president Tony Schwartz.

The Norwalk Cal Ripken League has 27 teams and nearly 310 players. Groups range from the Tee Ball Division for players 4 to 6 to the Major Division for players 11 and 12. Some of last year's All-Stars have graduated from the league and joined various teams around the region.

"I haven't seen some of these guys for a long time,'' said Schwartz, who coached last year's All-Stars with Latella. "It makes me realize how much I miss them."

The ceremony brought back fond memories for Brown. "I remember the experience and the travel and how much fun we all had,'' Brown said. "It was a big thing to get all the donations we needed to be able to make the trips. I'll miss playing with them. I'm looking forward to playing against some of them on our different teams."

Schwartz was pleased with the turnout for the celebration. "I'm glad to see so many people,'' he said. "We seem to be doing something right."

What's your favorite memory of last year's Cal Ripken All-Star team? Start the discussion below!

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