Toms River’s reputation when it comes to Little League baseball is well deserved.  After all how many towns can claim to have won six state championships in 21 years? 

Seaside on Tap (@strangejames via Instagram)

Teams from the Toms River East Little League won both the New Jersey State and Eastern Regional tournaments in 1994, 98 & 99 and of course the 98 squad went on to win the World Series.  In recent times it’s been the older Toms River Little League which has produced championships with state winners in 2005, 2010 & 2014 and it was the 2010 team which went to Williamsport.

While Toms River can boast pride and tradition the team they face today in the Mid-Atlantic Region semifinals in Bristol, Connecticut will not take a backseat.   The Newark National Little League has won the Delaware state crown four straight years and last year’s team went to Williamsport for the World Series.

Four of those players will be in uniform this afternoon when Newark meets Toms River in the regional semifinals in a game that will be televised by ESPN at 3pm.  Before that game teams from Philadelphia and Colonie, New York face one another in the other semifinal with today’s two winners to meet Sunday night (6pm) for the regional crown and a trip to Williamsport.

I will admit to being a light beer drinker so I have not been caught up in the craft beer craze that has grown in popularity over the years.  I’m certainly aware that there are many fans of craft beers and their breweries which promote their ingredients, flavor and technique and often come with cool names.

However I have to admit to being blown away by what I saw last night at our first Seaside On Tap Beer Festival right off the boardwalk in Seaside Park.  Well over 1,000 people jammed into the municipal parking lot to sample more than 100 beers from breweries from all over the country.  The event sold out and from what I observed most people didn’t mind jostling under the tent to get sample after sample.

It was a beautiful evening for the first of what I’m sure will become an annual event which also benefitted Hometown Heroes.  Kudos to Seaside Park officials for thinking outside the box and working with our company to make it happen.  Next summer I’m going to dive in and give the craft beers a shot and take the next day off.