Forget Jeff Cirillo's winless performances on the mound in this month's Colt World Series in Lafayette, Ind. Forget that his Encino 15- and 16-year-old teammates didn't win the big game.
What remains is a memorable summer for Cirillo and his teammates.
After being kicked off the Van Nuys American Legion team in June because he was ineligible to play--which resulted in the team forfeiting four wins--Cirillo moved to the Colt League and showed the skills that made him the Southern Section Small Schools Division Player of the Year in 1986.
Cirillo hit three triples--a World Series record--in the tournament, which Encino lost in the final game to Puerto Rico, 2-0. He helped his team get to that game with seven runs batted in on two triples and a single as Encino beat Marietta, Ga., 12-7. The seven RBIs broke a tournament record that had stood for 33 years.
"I was really relaxed at the plate and I was ready to play, I guess," Cirillo said.
Cirillo holds no bitter feelings after the American Legion ruled him ineligible to play. He knew he was on shaky ground. Legion rules specify that a player must play with the team in his residential area or, if none is available, with a team that recruits from his high school. Cirillo, who would have been eligible to play for Burbank or North Hollywood, was on the wrong team, according to Legion rules.