Father's jersey inspires team

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By Robert Howey

Like father, like son.

It's a well-worn cliche, but in this case, it fits like a special jersey.

Lancaster Dixie Baseball AAA all-star right fielder Darius Robinson and his father, Darrell, have something in common besides their love for baseball.

Darius Robinson has a Dixie Youth Baseball state championship jersey to match one earned by his dad 27 years ago.

"That's a great family prize, but that's also a bit of history for Lancaster Dixie Baseball," said Lancaster Dixie Baseball AAA all-star manager Mike Lucas, a Lancaster Dixie Baseball product and and former chairman.

Darrell earned his jersey as a member of the 1981 Lancaster Dixie Baseball all-star team.

He wore No. 11 and played in the outfield.

Darius, 10, is No. 7 and plays right field for this year's state champion Lancaster Dixie Baseball AAA all-stars.

Darrell used his jersey as an inspiration to his son's team.

"I had it during the sub-district tournament and the big thing is that I felt it helped them realize they could achieve the state title," Darrell Robinson. "They knew somebody who had gone through this. I think it inspired them."

Lucas did, too.

"The jersey gave them something to shoot for in our postseason run," Lucas said.

"It was something the players could touch and feel," Lucas said. "It has been 27 years between state championships on the Dixie Youth Baseball level in Lancaster. Our team won trophies in winning the sub-district, district and state championships, but I think it meant more to them when they received those South Carolina uniforms after winning the state championship."

The Lancaster Dixie Baseball AAA all-stars, ages 9 and 10, are 13-0 in postseason play, including a 7-4 comeback win over state tournament host Hartsville for the state crown.

Darrell Robinson's state championship team was eliminated in two games, but he has higher hopes for his son's squad.

"Both of the teams are talented, but I hope this team goes all the way," he said. "I feel they have a good chance. They're like a steamroller. After they get going, there's no stopping them."

This year's Lancaster AAA all-stars, who have outscored their foes 120-24, launch their World Series hopes Monday when they face Troup County, Ga., at 7:30 p.m. in LaGrange, Ga.

The double-elimination tournament runs through Aug. 9.

The Dixie Youth Baseball AAA World Series winner advances to the National Youth Baseball Championship tournament Aug. 21-24 in Memphis, Tenn.

Contact sports editor Robert Howey at rhowey@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1157