Aug 18, 2017 | PC Sports

The Pearl City Thunder 2017 Babe Ruth 14U World Series Champions touched down at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport this afternoon and were greeted by an overwhelming show of support, appreciation, love and Aloha by family and friends as everyone came together in celebration at the baggage claim area.

“This is an unreal feeling, the boys represented Hawaii tremendously up there,” said Michael Yamaguchi senior, father of Thunder World Champion Michael Yamaguchi who traveled with the team. “We are very, very proud of them. They actually won the Sportsmanship Award for the whole tournament. People were praising how well they played, and how well they played as a team. It was a total team win. There were ten other regions up there, the best in the nation, and the boys always counted on each other. It was really nice to see. The Aloha spirit was with them up there, and all the other teams said they were a class act also. It was a really, really a good experience.”

“This feels awesome!” said Thunder head coach Daren Akiyama. “The journey was an awesome experience because we had to play three doubleheaders in a row in 120 degree weather. Some of our kids went last year, but this year the weather was even worse. A couple of them had to go to the hospital. I went to the hospital. But, overall they pulled it out. This bunch of boys is resilient, and they all stuck together five- thousand miles away on the other side of the United States. They just peaked at the right time. We are also very proud of bringing home the tournament Sportsmanship Award. A lot of credit goes to the parents too. They brought so much gifts for the host family and tournament directors and just shared the Aloha spirit. Everybody was just catching on to the Hawaii Aloha. Even the boys would go over and give gifts to the other team, and take pictures with them. They were real impressed with our team and Hawaii. They couldn’t believe how giving and how appreciative our parents and players were. That’s just our culture. I’m real proud of them

Hawaii Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa helped greet the boys and their coaches with lei and also presented Thunder head coach Daren Akiyama with a recognition certificate from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congratulations to the amazing accomplishments of the Thunder baseball team, supporters, and the Oahu Babe Ruth Baseball League as they take their place in history as the 2017 Babe Ruth 14U World Series Champions!

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

The Thunder's #1 supporters await their heroes

return with congratualtion signs and lei in hand.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

The World Champions make their way to family and friends who are waiting

to welcome and cheer them on at Americans Airlines baggage claim F2.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

A well deserved lei and hug!

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Thunder head coah Daren Akiyama is pictured with Congresswoman Collen Hanabusa.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]