STATEN ISLAND - The excitement is building as the Mid-Island team fromStaten Island is playing in the Little League World Series.
Five teams from Staten Island have made it to Williamsport, PA but only one has brought home the title. It was also a Mid-Island team, the team from 1964. PIX11 found two members of that team who still reside in Staten Island and are involved with the Mid-Island League.
It’s every young baseball player’s dream. It was a dream come true for Jeff Paul and Donny Quattrochi, who were both 12-years-old at the time.
“They were like much like what we had in ‘64 we knew each of our teammates had our backs,” said Paul.
The former teammates and lifelong friends were in Bristol, CT on Sunday and watched their team win.
They didn't just win; they played a perfect game, beating Maryland and securing a spot at this year’s Little League World Series.
“Right now they’re over excited. They’re around children from all over the world,” said Quattrochi.
“Everybody was jubilant. I looked at him and I just hugged him and said 'they’re in our club now,'” said Paul.
Both men shared their memories and memorabilia from that magical summer in 1964.
Quattrochi showed us how his team jacket still fits. He saved the key to the city given to him by the Mayor at the time, Robert Wagner.
The ‘64 team captured the city’s heart. The team was led by beloved coach Bill Rogers. Quattrochi and Paul still keep in touch with Rogers to this day.
“He took a group of 12-year-old boys, when we finish[ed] we were young man,” said Paul.
The years have passed, the newspaper clippings yellowed, but the memories have held. So has that Staten Island pride.
Both men say they’re ready to pass the torch.
“Pass the torch, shake their hands, give them a big hug say welcome to the club,” said Paul.
Paul and Quattrochi, along with a teammate, are making plans to travel to Williamsport to watch the team play.