Jim Barbieri played for the National Little League team from Schenectady, NY, in the 1953 and 1954 Little League World Series. In '53, his team lost to Southside Little League of Birmingham, Ala., in the final game. In '54, the team defeated the Colton Lions of Colton, Calif., to become LLSW champions. He played in only 39 major league games, for the 1966 Dodgers, and appeared in the World Series that year, when the Dodgers were swept by the Balitmore Orioles. Barbieri was the first person to play in both the Little League World Series and in the major league World Series. Boog Powell of the Orioles also played in the 1954 LLWS and the 1966 World Series.
Dreams of glory
Every Little Leaguer, including these little guys from Willemstad, Curacao, dreams of making it to the big leagues. See which former Little League World Series participants went on to achieve that goal.
Rangers top shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar played in the 2004 Little League World Series as an 11-year-old and was a key contributor to Pabao Little League winning the first championship for the island of Curacao. Profar pitched to a 2-0 record with one save in 12.1 innings, striking out 19. He batted .313 (5-for-16) with a double, five runs batted in, a run scored and only two strikeouts. Profar returned to the LLWS in 2005, losing in the international title game. He hit .389 (7-for-18) with seven hits, five runs scored, three walks and two RBI. He also pitched 13 innings in three games, giving up seven hits and four runs, striking out 26 and walking eight, earning a 1-0 record and a 1.85 ERA. In his first game for the Rangers on Sept. 2, 2012, Profar homered in his first major-league at-bat.
Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus and his younger brother Cory took the 1999 Phenix City, Ala., National Little League to the Little League World Series. In South Williamsport, PCNLL beat Toms River (NJ) East American Little League (3-2) to win the United States Championship but lost the championship game, 5-0, to Hirakata Little League from Osaka, Japan. For the tournament, Colby Rasmus went 5-for-10 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI. He reached base safely in nine of his 10 at-bats.
Dodgers pitcher Stephen Fife was a member of the 1999 Western Region champs, hailing from Boise, Idaho. Fife played second base in the Western Region game against Montana, a game that lasted 11 innings. He had a cup of coffee with the Dodgers this season, making a solid start, but taking a loss.
Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn helped the Brownsburg, Ind., Little League earn a trip to the Little League World Series in 1999. Twelve-year-old Lynn, who was 5-foot-9 and 169 pounds, threw eight innings, posting a record of 0-1 with an ERA of 4.09 and saw time at first base. In seven LLWS at-bats, he collected three hits and scored a run for a .429 batting average. Brownsburg finished the World Series tournament 0-3. Twelve years later, Lynn won the 2011 World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Lynn was a key contributor out of the bullpen for the NL champions, including a perfect eighth inning in the clinching Game 7 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Reds infielder Todd Frazier led his Toms Rivers, NJ, team to the 1998 Little League World Series championship. As the leadoff hitter, the 13-year-old hit a grand slam in the third inning to put his team up 6-4 in Game 2 of the US Central vs. US East matchup. He also hit a homer and went 4-for-4 in the 12-9 victory over Kashima, Japan, in the championship game. His brother Jeff played in the 1995 Little League World Series and is in the Cubs' minor-league system. Frazier has been on fire this season filling in for injured Reds star Joey Votto.
White Sox OF Lastings Milledge played for Manatee G.T. Bray East Little League from Bradenton, Fla., in the 1997 Little League World Series. He was the starting pitcher in his team’s first LLWS game, allowing eight runs on six hits, striking out four and walking six in a loss to South Mission Viejo (Calif.). He played third base for the remainder of the tournament, batting .273 with a three runs batted in and two runs scored. His team finished the tournament with a 2-2 record. He last played in the major leagues in 2011.
Guillermo Quiroz was the starting catcher for the 1994 Coquivacoa team that represented the Latin America Region and won the first Little League championship for Venezuela. Quiroz (being embraced by a teammate, at left) played error-free ball in five games behind the plate, and was 6-for-15 at the plate with four singles, a double, a triple, one run batted in and a run scored. Quiroz has played major league games with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles, and has a minor-league deal with the Mariners this year.
San Diego Padres pitcher Jason Marquis led the South Shore American Little League from Staten Island, N.Y., to a third-place finish in the 1991 Little League World Series. As a 12-year-old, Marquis collected both his team’s pitching wins, highlighted by a no-hitter. He struck out 21 batters, walked four and scattered three hits in the tournament as well as collecting eight hits in 12 at-bats, with a double and seven runs batted in. Fifteen years later, Marquis was on the St. Louis Cardinals roster for NLDS vs. the Padres, but was not on the roster for the NLCS or for the World Series, which the Cardinals won. His teammates still voted him a full playoff/World Series share and he was given a World Series ring.
Mets OF Jason Bay played in the 1990 Little League World Series for the Canadian Region champions from Trail, British Columbia. As an 11-year-old, Bay went 2-for-5 with two walks, three runs scored and one run batted in. The Canadian champs finished 1-1 in that year’s World Series tournament.
Twins third baseman Sean Burroughs led his Long Beach (Calif.) Little League team to back-to-back world championships in 1992 and '93, pitching two no-hitters during the 1993 tournament and striking out 16 in each game. His father Jeff, the 1974 AL MVP, coached the team. He also won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. His professional career has had its ups and downs as Burroughs struggled with substance abuse and was out of baseball for three seasons from 2008-10.
Retired Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek played in the 1984 Little League World Series at age 12, leading the Altamonte Springs, Fla., team to victory in the US bracket with a 4–2 win over Southport, Ind. His team then fell, 6-2, in the championship game to Seoul, South Korea. Varitek played shortstop, third base and catcher in his three LLWS games, going 0-for-7 with two walks and a run scored. He also played in the College World Series title game for Georgia Tech, losing to Oklahoma. He finally got to taste World Series victory with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
In 1982, Wilson Alvarez played for the Maracaibo, Venezuela, team that represented the Latin America region at the Little League World Series. They lost to Taiwan in the first round. Alvarez pitched in the major leagues from 1989-2005 for five teams. He pitched a no-hitter in 1991 and was an All-Star in 1994.
Derek Bell played for the Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla., in the 1980 and 1981 Little League World Series, losing to a team from Taiwan in the championship game both years. Gary Sheffield was his teammate in 1980. Bell had a 10-year major league career. He appeared in 61 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, the year the Jays defeated the Atlanta Braves in six games for the World Series championship.
As an 11-year-old, Sheffield played for Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla., in the 1980 Little League World Series, losing to Taiwan in the championship game. His Little League batting average that year was .600. Sheffield won a World Series in 1997 as a member of the Florida Marlins.
Dwight Gooden played for the Belmont Heights team from Tampa, Fla., in the Senior League Baseball World Series in Gary, Ind., in 1979. As a major leaguer, he was a three-time World Series champion: 1986 with the Mets, 1996 with the Yankees and 2000 with the Rays.
Charlie Hayes' Hattiesburg, Miss., team played in the 1977 Little League World Series, losing in the first round. In his 14-year MLB career, Hayes made a World Series appearance as a member of the Yankees in 1996. Hayes caught the last out as the Yankees beat the Braves in six games.
Ed Vosberg played in the 1973 Little League World Series for the Cactus Little League of Tucson, Ariz., which lost the championship game to Taiwan. He pitched a one-hitter in the semifinal game. In 1997 Vosberg won a World Series with the Florida Marlins. He made two appearances, pitching three innings and giving up three hits and two earned runs. Vosberg is one of two players (Jason Varitek is the other) to play in the LLWS, the College World Series and the MLB World Series. His University of Arizona team won the CWS in 1980. Gary Sheffield, whose 1980 LLWS team also lost to Taiwan, was a 1997 Marlins teammate of Vosberg's.
In the 1971 Little League World Series, Lloyd McClendon led Anderson Little League of Gary, Ind., to the United States championship, hitting five home runs in five at-bats. The US team lost to Taiwan in the championship game. In 2006 he was enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence. McClendon went on to a nine-year major-league career, followed by a career in coaching.
Carney Lansford played in the 1969 LLWS for the USA West team from Santa Clara, Calif. His team lost to a team from Taiwan. As a major leaguer, the third baseman made three straight World Series appearances with the Oakland A’s — 1988, 1989 and 1990. He won a World Series ring in '89 when the A's swept their Bay Area rivals the Giants.
Catcher Rick Dempsey played for the Sunrise Little League team fromCanoga Park-Woodland Hills, Calif., that won the 1963 Little League World Series, beating the Eastern Regional team from Stratford, Conn., in extra innings. Robin Yount's older brother Larry was a pitcher on the team. As a major leaguer, Dempsey won two World Series: 1983 with the Balitmore Orioles, when he was World Series MVP, and 1988 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
John "Boog" Powell played in the 1954 Little League World Series for Lakeland, Fla., losing to the champions from Schenectady, NY, in the first round. Powell appeared in four World Series with the Balitmore Orioles. In 1966, the O's swept the Dodgers for the title and in 1970 they defeated the Reds in five games. He was on the losing side of two other World Series with the O's, in 1969 and 1971. Jim Barbieri was an opponent of Powell's in both the 1954 LLWS and the 1966 WS.
Wise grew up in Portland, Oregon and led his Rose City Little League team to the Little League World Series in 1958. Rose City lost in the first round to the eventual runners-up from Kankakee, Ill. He went on to an 18-year major league career and, as a reliever, was the winning pitcher in extra innings for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The Reds won that Series in seven games.