08/02/2023 9:48 PM
Article By: Daniel Curren
Devin Obee of the Harwich Mariners and Patrick Forbes of the Brewster Whitecaps may be in opposite dugouts on Cape Cod, but at age 12, the two became teammates for life at the Little League World Series.
In 2016, the two represented Bowling Green Eastern Little League and the State of Kentucky on the national stage, as they made a run to remember in Williamsport. The team, coached by Obee’s father Terry, won the Great Lakes region and finished 3rd in the U.S.
“It was amazing,” Obee said of the experience. “That's just something you dream of as a kid. Just making the Little League World Series. It took a lot of hard work, but you know, it paid off.”
After winning the Great Lakes regional final over Michigan and going 3-0 in regional play, the team defeated Texas 11-1 and Iowa 14-4, clinching them a top three ranking in the country.
“It was really cool to see the growth of everybody that year,” Forbes gleefully remarked. “Just a great run.”
After the tournament, the team was paraded through Bowling Green as the biggest celebrities in town. Fans asked for autographs and pictures with the famous little-leaguers.
“I think that's the closest thing to like, the feeling of being like a major league player,” Obee said. “It was really cool at such a young age to get that kind of exposure. You're playing on ESPN, so everybody back home is watching,” Forbes continued.
For Obee, this experience was made extra special with his dad deciding to become an assistant coach that year.
“It meant a lot, you know, having that support there,” Obee said. “Just having somebody believing in me and seeing us, being able to make it that far with him coaching was just an experience.”
Obee and Forbes played together for a couple years throughout their childhood but after that tournament, Obee and his family moved away to Nashville. The two kept in contact periodically throughout the next few years.
With Obee at Duke and Forbes at Louisville, the two saw each other for the first time since the tournament this past spring when their teams faced each other on April 21-23.
Now, they are playing together again, this time on Cape Cod. Despite playing on different teams, the two have reconnected this summer.
“I was really excited to be able to see him again because I haven't seen him since then,” Obee said. “It was big when I got to see his name here in the cape.”
“We were together at the biggest stage at 12 years old,” Forbes said. “Now we're at a pretty big stage here.”
This reunion comes at a somber time for the two after Rick Kelley, their little league head coach, died in October of 2022. Kelley spent 43 years coaching at Bowling Green East Little League and he led his teams to three Little League World Series’.
“Coach Kelley was a great role model and leader for our team,” Forbes said. “He was an excellent baseball coach.”
“He was one of the best coaches I ever had,” Obee added. “He taught me how to throw, he taught me how to hit, a lot of the little things, and just how to be a better man.”
The two now play in his honor.
Obee and Forbes got to be teammates once again last weekend as both were named to the Cape Cod League Eastern League All-Star teams. The two have enjoyed seeing each other succeed at some of the highest levels of baseball.
“A lot of guys that you know played little league with, some people still play some people don't,” Obee said. “College is a hard place to make it and just to have him here and to see him having success, it's a blessing.”
“It's awesome to see his growth,” Forbes said of Obee. “He was a lot better than I was when we were 12-years-old, but it's cool to see how much better he's gotten.”
Obee and Forbes are forever connected thanks to the experience they had together in Williamsport. No matter what teams they play for now and going forward, they will always be teammates.