By Stacey Bomser
Spencer Butt had something special to show his friends at Imagine Charter School at Weston when school started this year. The seventh grader won a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup, often referred to as the Olympics of baseball. He played on the U-12 USA National Team.
Spencer has been playing baseball since he was five-years-old. The shortstop, and sometimes pitcher, currently plays for the 13U Plantation Stars Prime travel baseball team. He was the only player from Broward County, and one of only two from Florida, to make the U-12 USA National Team, after a lengthy try-out process.
After an initial tryout in Fort Lauderdale, Spencer was selected as one of 112 players nationwide to tryout at the U-12 National Open in California. After three days, he was one of 36 players selected to move forward to the National Trials for the final round. “After three more days of intense workouts and intersquad games, I was one of 18 players chosen to make up the U-12 USA National Team,” explains Spencer.
The team traveled to Taiwan over the summer for the Baseball World Cup. Spencer says the team played nine games, which consisted of five pool play games, three super round games, and the Championship/Gold Medal game against Chinese Taipei. Team USA beat Chinese Taipei 7-2 to remain defending champions.
“My favorite memory of being in Taiwan playing in the World Cup had to be after the Championship game, I stood on the pedestal, alongside my teammates, the gold medal around my neck, listening to the National Anthem on foreign soil,” shares Spencer. “It was the most incredible feeling knowing I was now a World Champion along the best players in the USA.”
Spencer adds it was also incredible to be able to meet the best U-12 players from around the world. The countries that participated were Australia, Nicaragua, Panama, Germany, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Czech Republic, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the United States.
Although the WBSC World Cup may be over, Spencer says the memories he made will last a lifetime. “My gold medal hangs in my room and I look at it every day. It brings me back to the championship game where we played in a sold-out stadium, Tainan Municipal Stadium, of 11,000 people.”
In addition to playing baseball, Spencer says he also enjoys mixed martial arts.