After the Honolulu Little League won the Hawaii State Championships earlier this summer, the players called coach Gerald Oda with a question.
The veteran captain, who coached the last winning team, quickly slowed his roll. “Hey, we haven’t won the regional competitions yet. Win that, then maybe we can start comparing.”
Two weeks later, Honolulu advanced through the Western District Championship to advance to the Little League World Championships in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Again, Oda was non-binding. “We haven’t won the world championship yet,” he reminded the 11-12-year-olds.
On August 28, Honolulu completed its dominant run through LLWS. The team went 5-0 in the US arc before beating the international winner of the Curacao arc 13-3 for the world championships.
It was perhaps the most dominant performance in LLWS history. Honolulu outperformed its opponents 60-5 in all six games. Four of their games ended with “Rule of Mercy,” including the title game. The team trailed only once in the entire tournament – they led Curaçao, 1-0 – and that deficit lasted only half of the game.