Consequently, securing the feat of being named MVP in the World Series is a rare honor bestowed to a select few players in a generation.
For Walker County Outlaws player Kaden Shelton, the nearly-impossible task of earning both prestigious titles became a reality after the Outlaws won the Dizzy Dean 11 year-old World Series championship in Southhaven, Miss.
For Shelton, a Maddox Middle School student and the son of Taleda Blair and former UNA star Demetrius Shelton, being part of the championship team and sharing the thrill of earning World Series title was equally as awarding as the individual honors.
“We knew we had to work hard and listen to what our coaches said at the beginning of the year,” Shelton said.
“It felt really good to get MVP trophies for the state and the World Series, but winning a title with my team was what I was most happy about.”
Blair stated it was always about the team winning in her son’s eyes, rather than getting personal honors.
“After we won the first MVP trophy, he just handed it to me and told me he was ready to go play again — he wasn’t even thinking about what he had just accomplished, he was just doing something he loved to do,” Blair said.
“It was the same circumstances in the World Series. After he won that MVP, he handed it to me and turn to ask the coaches if they were all going out to eat as a team. He’s always been like that — worried more about his team than himself. When he makes a great score, he’ll quickly say that someone knocked him in instead of taking any credit himself.”
Parrish Park and Recreation director Jay Callahan, who has watched the team flourish during the championship season, said the Kaden and his team are excellent representatives of the community.
“We all thought it was wonderful to have these oustanding young men represent the Town of Parrish in the state tournament and in the World Series,” Callahan said. “It was well attended and celebrated by the community — for young men like Kaden and his teammates to reach this pinnacle in their baseball careers is a testament to their hard work and the support of their coaches, parents and our entire community.”