The Taney Dragons have become the darlings of the Little League World Series. And nowhere is Taney fever at a higher pitch than in their hometown of Philadelphia, where Taney gear is flying off the shelves.
The small storefront of Triple Play Sports in the Italian Market is crowded and humming by 10 a.m. It’s back to school season, the busiest time of year for the shop.
This week, they’re also doing a brisk trade in official Taney T-shirts. Dewey LaRosa, behind the register, says they’ve been selling at rates he never expected. “We thought maybe 150 to 200 would be enough,” LaRosa said, “but we’re probably on our third run of 250, so it’s closing in on about 750 shirts so far.” The T-shirts list the full roster of the first Philadelphia team to ever reach the Little League World Series. Some customers are walking into the store, but Triple Play is also selling the shirts far and wide on the Internet. “We started an online shop last week, and we’re getting sales from California, Florida, Arizona,” said LaRosa. LaRosa said that among the customers they’re shipping shirts to are families with the last name Taney, along with former Taney league players who’ve moved away from Philadelphia, including some now off at college. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales go to support the Taney Youth Baseball Association.