The Frazier family makes another play at Little League World Series

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Last Wednesday, Todd Frazier boarded a flight to Tokyo, where he’s representing the United States baseball team in the Olympics. But during his journey, he was glued to another game thousands of miles away near Trenton, NJ.

His nephew, Carson, 12, was on the mound putting the finishing touches on Toms River East Little League’s 5 – 1 victory over Sunnybrae Little League.

“He had a 15-hour flight, and he was watching the game and texting us,” Charlie Frazier Jr., Todd’s older brother and Carson’s father, told The Post.

In fact, Todd, 35, said his first order of business when he touched down in Tokyo was to make sure he had Internet service so he could keep tabs on the team’s phenomenal run, with the Little League World Series tantalizingly in reach.

“This is big. I told like five people, ‘Just send me 20 texts each inning.’ I’m so excited for these guys,” Todd told The Post. He’ll also rely on the group text thread for the Fraziers, which his wife, Jackie, jokingly calls the “Royal Family.”

It’s lighting up a lot these days.

On Friday, Carson, who also plays center field, shortstop and first base, once again faced Sunnybrae. This time he threw a shutout, allowing only one hit, to advance to the state tournament, which kicks off Thursday in Cherry Hill. The winner will go on to the Mid-Atlantic Region in Bristol, Conn. — one stop from boy heaven: the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.

“We were all celebrating and jumping up and down,” Carson, a rising sixth-grader, told The Post after the win. “We’re just trying to have fun and win as many games as possible and get to Williamsport.”

To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It’s deja vu all over again” for the Frazier family — and Toms River East Little League.

If they go the distance, Carson will be walking an intergenerational path already tread by his two uncles.

In 1995, Jeff Frazier represented Toms River East in the World Classic, where the team left with a 1-2 record. Then, in 1998, Todd and his team — known as the “Beasts of the East” — defeated their rivals from Kashima, Japan, for the championship, with Todd writing himself into Little League lore by hitting a lead-off home run.

In 1999, the organization sent yet another team — this one Frazierless — to the World Series semi-finals and fell just short of repeating. But the middle-class town of Toms River entered the new century as virtual shorthand for Little League prowess.

“I was in Florida in an elevator and had a Toms River hat on. The guy in there told me his story about watching Todd Frazier in the World Series,” said the squad’s coach, Paul Mika, who is also the Toms River East Little League president.

“It gives me great pride.”

Even after a decade in the big leagues, Todd fields numerous stories from fans recounting his tween glory days.

“I love when people tell you where they were watching our games at the time, and I think that’s the most fascinating part about it,” he said. “They will say, ‘I was at this or that bar.’ Someone told me, ‘I was at the hospital and I broke my leg, but I made sure to put the TV on.’”

It’s been 22 years since Toms River East has made it to the big stage. But it feels auspicious with a Frazier leading the charge.

“I want to do the same thing as my uncle,” said Carson, who watches Todd’s highlights on YouTube.

Although he also plays hoops and football, it was only natural that Carson would follow into the family business of baseball. His Uncle Jeff was drafted by the Tigers in 2004, and briefly made a 2010 appearance in the majors. His father, Charlie Jr., played for a handful of years in the Marlins organization. Then there’s his Uncle Todd, who is in the twilight of a career that took him to Cincinnati, Chicago and both New York clubs, where he was a fan favorite for his intensity on the diamond and lighthearted clubhouse shenanigans.

Carson’s dad runs Frazier Baseball, a training center in Toms River where he has helped mold the swings of other local standouts such as slugger Christopher Cartnick, whose Holbrook squad made it to Williamsport in 2017.

Now that it’s his own kid’s turn, Charlie admits to getting “choked up” at times.

“It came natural, like walking,” Charlie Jr. said of his son’s prowess. “He saw older kids in the cage and he saw Uncle Todd hitting in the cage. And he started to develop his swing.”

Two weeks ago, Carson, who has hit two homers this past season, represented the Northeast in the national Home Run Derby, flying to Kansas City, where he lost by just one.

He didn’t return with the title but he brought home a souvenir that’s turning into a team talisman. Dubbed the “Ice Chain” — a blue chainlink necklace reminiscent of the San Diego Padres’ “Swag Chain” — it’s given to a player with a clutch hit or on-field heroics.

Carson was given the Ice Chain by his teammates after his solid pitching performance in the Section 3 finals.

But the 5-foot-6 ballplayer is far from the squad’s only star. The team’s roster is made up of big bats, solid defense, size and incredible depth. Five players hit home runs in district play and coach Mika called the athletic shortstop Joey DiMeo “the best 12-year-old baseball player in the country.”

Their domination has continued to draw comparisons to the ’98 champs — with some distinctions.

“This team here has lot of more power [than ’98],” said Charlie Frazier Sr., Todd’s father and Carson’s grandfather. “I would say their bats are pretty incredible right now. It’s a hitting team.”

Todd, who has followed the team since its formation, agreed. “When I was at that age, I was 5-foot-2 1/2. These guys are so big and strong, and they have really good pitching.”

But they have one thing in common with the historic team. “They’re defensively and fundamentally sound,” he said.

Their other strength: friendship. The boys are frequently together, regularly riding bikes around the neighborhood, swimming, coming up with silly dances and hitting up the beach.

“They are very tight. They goof around but when they get on the field it’s all business,” said Charlie Jr. “I’m very proud of these kids.”

Perhaps no one is enjoying this poignant generational intersection more than Charlie Sr., the patriarch of this baseball clan.

“It’s surreal for me. I’ve got a son that’s in Japan now. I got Carson going through the [All Star tournaments]. … Another generation coming in. I am back at the old Little League field again.”

The Toms River East Little League facility now bears his last name — an honor bestowed upon the “Royal Family” in 2012.

Before every game, Charlie Sr. calls his grandson to give him a pep talk and distill some grandfatherly knowledge.

“It’s nothing serious. I say, ‘We’re really proud of you. Make sure you’re having a good time. Play hard.’ That type of thing,” said Charlie Sr.

This time around, the grandfather of six is older, wiser and viewing the games through a different lens.

“I can sit back and relax a little bit and watch other parents go at it. That’s the part of being a grandpa. My wife Joan and I look at each other like, ‘Oh, boy. Look at [Carson’s mother] Mindy jumping up and down.’ And my wife, we’ve been married 45 years now, she looks at me and goes, ‘You used to do the same damn thing.’ OK. But I am 70 years old now. Yes, I have calmed down. I just like enjoying watching from the background now.”

The family has a ritual of sitting in the outfield away from the bleachers — and it’s working.

The boys have hot bats and are becoming more cohesive with each outing, but this tournament is long and luck can turn on a dime.

“I think they have the mojo going. But they know they don’t have a free pass,” said Todd. “I think the hardest part is to get out of Jersey. You can’t take that lightly.”

If they do blow through the Garden State and earn a berth to Bristol, the pack of Fraziers in the outfield will grow by at least one.

“I am looking forward to coming home, hopefully after winning a gold medal, and going to Bristol,” said Todd, who in a poetic twist will be playing Japan in the Olympics, like he did during his magical summer in ’98.

“I have an opportunity to [beat Japan] again, and I think it will be the icing on the cake. it will be a nice ending to my career,” he said.

Regardless of the outcome for Todd or Carson, the Fraziers are feeling all the emotions watching the bat being passed to the next branch on the family tree.

“I cry, my wife cries. This morning, they showed Todd [in Tokyo] and I got emotional,” said Charlie Sr. “What could get any better for a grandpa?”

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