It's been 20 years, but the memories are still as fresh as a summer day at the ballpark in the minds of the 1997 Ottawa K of C Streaks.
Members of the 1997 K of C Streaks Mickey Mantle baseball club reunited earlier this month to reminisce about the glory days of the team's storied run to the AABC Mickey Mantle Illinois State and North Central Region championships, which sent the Streaks on to the Mickey Mantle World Series in McKinney, Tex.
A 13-9 outlasting of the crosstown rival B.J. McKay A's in Springfield delivered the Streaks the state championship, and a 9-3 Sunday victory over their Coldwater, Mich., hosts in the regional title game propelled the Steaks on to the World Series. At the World Series the locals ran into two losses against top-tier, big-city teams from Dallas and Cincinnati.
The Streaks final record for the summer was 41-11, which included winning the championship of the Great Lakes Baseball Classic in Grand Ledge, Mich., in addition to their state and regional titles.
The 1997 Streaks included: manager Steve Hortega Jr. and assistant coaches Phil McNally and Steve "Pizza" Scherer, and on the field Doug Guerrero, Jim Mitchell, Jeff Sobotta, Andy Johnson, Darren Bragg, Jeremy Johnson, Jacob Ator, John Rosner, Beau Hellman, Justin Debolt, Jeremiah Jones, Rob Smeeta, Nick Vessel, Cory Newman, Kyle Nevins, Dave Barr and Chet Wold.