“Let’s go Daddy!” The
2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Quarterfinal Tournament The match between Australia and Cuba was held on the 15th at Tokyo Dome. Even though it was not a Japanese game, there was a voice that lingered in my ears amidst the enthusiasm of cheering so hot that about 35,000 spectators came to visit. When a young girl from the cheering squad dressed in an Australian uniform sang “Let’s go Daddy (Let’s go Daddy)!”
The main character with a cute and booming voice was Florence (3), the daughter of Australian national team captain Tim Kennelly (37). Kennelly started as the first hitter and right fielder that day. From the moment Kennelly stepped into her first at-bat in the first inning, Florence chanted “Let’s Go Daddy!” Florence, who had hoped more than anyone else for Australia to reach the semi-finals, raised her voice without tiring even past the fifth or sixth innings.
At bats other than her father’s, she shouted “Let’s go George!” In particular, when Australian fourth batsman Darryl George stood at bat, Florence raised her voice even more and said, “Let’s go George!”, and as the game progressed, more and more adults responded to Florence’s lead.
George batted after two outs in the bottom of the ninth with Australia trailing 3-4. Perhaps because it was late, after 10 p.m., Florence’s voice could not be heard anymore. Instead, the adults who kept their seats until the end took over the mission. Everyone at the Tokyo Dome chanted “Let’s go George!” until George struck out on a swing.
Dramatically, there was no miracle that Australia turned the game around. Cuba enjoyed the joy of advancing to the semifinals for the first time in 17 years since the 2006 tournament, and Australia, which caused a ‘kangaroo blast’ by defeating Korea in Group B of the first round group stage, had its dream of advancing to the semifinals for the first time in history collapsed. After the game, the players who remained in the dugout shed tears.
Although Australia did not get to where they wanted to be, Australia, along with the Czech Republic, remained the team that wrote the most beautiful drama in this tournament held at the Tokyo Dome. It showed a pitching structure and organizational ability that ridiculed the evaluation of ‘baseball periphery’, and it became a team that must be counted when discussing the upward leveling of baseball.
Australian coach Dave Nielsen said in a press conference after the match that he regretted being eliminated from the tournament, but said,안전놀이터 “Now we have a lot of faith as a nation. We know what we can do right now. We can continue to improve, “I know that I can play on the big stage. I think it has brought tremendous hope and future to our team, to the people of Australia and to all the children who play baseball in Australia.”
For Florence, this tournament seems to have remained a good memory. MLB.com reports that “Florence is enjoying his time in Tokyo and has told his mother, Anna, that he would like to live in Tokyo.” Florence’s favorite things are baseball and, of course, going to Disneyland,’ he explained.
In fact, Florence received attention not only in the quarterfinals, but also in the stadium for passionate support during Australia’s first round group stage. The related video has already spread widely on social media. Fortunately, Anna said, Florence enjoys her attention.
Florence’s favorite baseball player is, of course, “Dad.” His dad, Kennelly, made his name as the captain who led Australian baseball to its first WBC quarterfinals run. The moving drama written by Kennelly, his daughter, and the Australian team in Tokyo is expected to continue to be talked about for the time being.