Vitale inducted into Little League HOF

Updated: August 27, 2012, 11:58 AM ET
By Dick Vitale

I have been very fortunate to be honored by a number of organizations over the years. Last weekend, I had the thrill of a lifetime when Little League Baseball added me to its Hall of Excellence. The hospitable reception from the people in Williamsport was absolutely unbelievable.

I cannot thank CEO Steve Keener and his staff, people like Scott Rosenberg and Chris Downs, enough for their help. I want to thank Chairman of the Board Dennis Lewin for his introduction at the induction ceremony. It was the thrill of thrills to have my five grandchildren there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

It was a great, great day which I will never forget.

Dick Vitale
Courtesy of Dick VitaleDick Vitale was inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence in Williamsport at the 2012 LLWS.

It took me 60 years to get to the Little League World Series in Williamsport. I had a dream when I was 12 years old and living in Garfield, New Jersey. I played for Basel Oil, but we did not qualify for the Little League World Series.

The dream became a reality and now to be inducted into the Hall of Excellence was a great, great honor. I have been blessed in my life and it was so special to have my entire family there, including my wife Lorraine, my daughters Terri and Sherri, my son-in-laws Thomas Krug and Chris Sforzo plus our five grandchildren. I also had my brother John and his wife, plus my cousin John Scarpa and his wife Geri were part of the festivities.

It was a day I will always treasure. The people involved with Little League do such a great job. I had a chance to share a moment with many teams in the dining Hall. I really enjoyed speaking to kids who are living out their dreams. As I told them, and have said many times, life is about decision making. When you make a good decision, positive things happen. When you make poor decisions, negative things will happen.

Those kids are playing their hearts out. They are all winners just getting this far, making the World Series. It is such a wonderful event, seeing the smiles on the faces of these kids!

I loved my journey to Williamsport. It was awesome, baby with a capital A!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to