The Fairhaven Acushnet Cal Ripken 12U baseball team is living every 12-year-old's dream. The boys are headed to the World Series.

When the Fairhaven Acushnet team beat Manchester, New Hampshire, last week, they earned a spot in the biggest tournament Cal Ripken has to offer, and they did it David-and-Goliath style.

"Acushnet has 10,000 people in it, Fairhaven has 16,000, and here we are beating a city of 126,000. We're a small town making a name for ourselves," Coach Butch Boucher said.

Fairhaven Acushnet will represent the New England region in the tournament, which will consist of 20 teams from around the country and eight international teams.  The Cal Ripken World Series will take place at Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri.

Courtesy of Bruce David
Courtesy of Bruce David
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"What makes the Cal Ripken League so cool is that they use major-league rules," Boucher said. "The only exception is that home plate is 50 feet away from the mound and the base paths are 70 feet long. Other than that, there are balks, stealing, leading, everything.  It's real baseball."

Check-in for the tournament is Aug. 3, with the first pitch happening next weekend in Missouri.

"We only have 10 days to somehow arrange flights," Boucher said. "Money aside, finding flights 10 days away is insane, and we still haven't found them yet. We explored taking a chartered coach bus down to Missouri. The cost was $38,000 round trip."

The team's success is putting the proud parents in a unique position.

Courtesy of Bruce David
Courtesy of Bruce David
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"Players' parents just took a week off to attend the regionals in Milford, Connecticut.  We stayed out there on the New York line for seven days. So, parents are coming back, returning to work and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I'm leaving on the 3rd again for 11 days.'  It puts a lot of pressure on people," Boucher said.

The team is scrapping to collect as many donations as possible to help defray costs.  There will be a fundraiser the night of Thursday, July 28, at Inside the Park Batting Cages in New Bedford.

Acushnet is also hosting a baseball tournament this weekend at Pope Park.

The 12U team will be at both events collecting checks from people and businesses interested in donating.

Special thanks to Bruce David for the action photos of the SouthCoast's hottest baseball team right now.

Courtesy of Fairhaven Acushnet Youth Baseball
Courtesy of Fairhaven Acushnet Youth Baseball
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Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.