Good evening, Rotary baseball fans. Here’s hoping each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  And do you know what else had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year; it was the Rotary Foundation through our World Series of Giving competition!  The scoring pace didn’t slack a bit during the month.  A year ago, the hitting was just getting started; this year we already have multiple clubs at the Home Run or above category at the end of November.  And we’re only 3 innings into this year’s series!
 
Northeast Division – The Pecatonica club just keeps on slamming for the fences, now with FOUR Runs plus a Double.  Moving up into second place is the Rockton-Roscoe club with their first Homer.  Hot on their heels is the Kishwaukee Sunrise club also with a Triple.  Rockford East Cherry Valley and Sycamore are also on the board with a Double each.  We haven’t seen hitting like this since the late innings last year; who knows where these teams will finish next May!
 
Mid-Central Division – The Rock Falls brought out their big bats in November and are now on the board with a Triple.  Dixon, Walnut, and the Byron clubs have a single each, with the Twin Cities club ever so close to their first hit.  With the Christmas season coming up (as well as the end of the tax year!), let’s see who will be the next break-away team among the Mid-Central division! 
 
South-Central Division – In the SC division, the Ottawa Sunrise and Putnam County clubs have been duking it out all month, with both on the board with a Single each, and each very close to a Double.  And knocking on the door right behind are Illinois Valley Sunrise and La Salle also with a Single each.  Ottawa Sunrise and Putnam County battled back and forth all 9 innings during last year’s classic; will they continue to do so this year or will another SC club bring their big bats to the plate and steal the division for their own?  Stay tuned, this promises to be a down-to-the-finish nail biter by any measure!
 
West-Central Division – The Geneseo club has charged into the lead of the WC division with a Triple and is ever so close to its first Homer.  The River Cities club pushed their hitting level up a notch in November and scored a Double.  Henry and Streater are right behind with a Single each.  And watch out, Toluca is closing in on its first Single of the series.   As we’ve seen over and over, when the teams in this division get hot, they get REALLY hot, so keep an eye on this one! 
 
Western Division – The Rock Island club has taken the lead again in the Western division, closing out November with a Homer plus a Double.  Taking nothing for granted, the Quad Cities club is just inches back with a Home and a Single of their own.  Freeport is right behind with a Triple, and rounding out the scoring are the East Moline Silvis, Galena, and Mount Carroll clubs with a Single each.  This division has shown consistent firepower; it’s truly one to watch for the next 6 innings!
 
As Rotarians look to make their end-of-year charitable donations, we can only expect the division scoring to continue to build toward January 1.  Stay tuned, the action is just starting to build!