More than two months after they returned home from the Little League World Series to a triumphal parade, the Petaluma National Little League All-Stars gathered for what might be the final official dinner for players and families Wednesday evening.
The sit-down dinner and celebration at Graziano's Ristorante in Petaluma culminated a long celebration trail for the first Petaluma team ever to reach the Little League World Series, where they finished third in the world, losing just one game.
Since their red-carpet return home in August, it has been one honor, celebration and personal appearance after another for the now 13-year-olds.
Wednesday night, as they relived their success with special videos, the Little Leaguers received what might have been the biggest surprise of all.
Each player, along with manager Eric Smith and coaches Mike Slate and Trevor Tomei was presented with a Little League World Series ring, especially designed for the team and personally fitted for each player.
The rings were a gift to the players from Sonoma County philanthropist Henry Trione; Henry Hansel, owner of the Hansel Auto Group; and Dan Libarle, owner of Lace House Linen. The rings' design resembled that of Trione's three Super Bowl rings he received as a former part owner of the Oakland Raiders.
"We felt it had to be done for all they meant to Petaluma and all of Sonoma County," Trione said.