50 Great Moments In Little League World Series History
In a typical year, all eyes in the baseball world would be focused on Williamsport this weekend as the Little League World Series concludes its championship weekend. This is, of course, not a typical year, as the games were canceled for 2020 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. So we're choosing instead to celebrate some of the best moments in Little League World Series, sorted by decade below.
2019: Reese Roussel sets the LLBWS doubles (7) and hits (15) record as Eastbank Little League wins the LLBWS Championship.
2017: The first MLB Little League Classic makes its debut with a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Omar Romero takes the hearts of millions with his display of sportsmanship.
2015: The LLBWS single-game attendance record was set during the U.S. Championship Game with an estimated 45,716 fans attending the game, which also led to the LLBWS full-series record of 469,964 fans attending the Little League Baseball World Series tournament over the course of its 10 days.
2014: Mo’ne Davis of Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League becomes the first female pitcher at the LLBWS to win a game after throwing a shutout in the team’s first appearance.
2013: Robert Hassell III helps power South Nashville to their first of back-to-back LLBWS appearances. Years late, Hassell becomes a professional, going No. 8 overall to the San Diego Padres in the 2020 MLB Draft.
2012: The first team from Africa makes it to Williamsport - Lugazi (Uganda) Little League.
2011: Kansas City Royals 2017 first-round pick, Nick Pratto, hits the game-winning hit to lead Ocean View Little League to a 2-1 walk-off win over Japan. His teammate at the time, Hagen Danner, was also selected 61st overall in the 2017 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
2011: For the first time since 1969, a Williamsport-area team advances to the LLWS, as Keystone LL brings record-setting crowds to Lamade Stadium.
2008: Mexico ace Jesus Sauceda pitched four perfect innings, striking out all 12 batters he faced. At the plate, he went 3-for-3 with six RBI, including a grand slam.
2007: Pitch count is used at the Little League Baseball World Series for the first time.
2004: Future MLBers Jonathan Schoop and Jurickson Profar help their Pabao LL team win Curacao’s first LLBWS Championship.
2001: The first LL Challenger Exhibition Game is played at the LLBWS.
2001: After expanding the World Series to 16 teams in this year, including the first games played inside Volunteer Stadium, it was also the first time that a sitting President of the United States came to visit the Little League Baseball World Series when George W. Bush came to Williamsport. He is also the first Little League graduate to be elected as President of the United States. First Lady Laura Bush and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge also attend. A day earlier, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani attended a Little League Baseball World Series game involving a New York City team.
1998: Behind Todd Frazier’s stand-out performance, Toms River East American LL wins the LLBWS Championship.
1995: Hall of Famer Stan Musial throws the ceremonial first pitch for the Little League Baseball World Series.
1994: After a record three-hour, six-minute rain delay, Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, becomes the first Latin American team to win the Little League World Series since 1958.
1994: Brooklyn Center American Little League from Minnesota features catcher Krissy Wendell, a future Hockey HOFer and Olympian, became the first girl to start at catcher in a LLBWS game.
1993: Long Beach becomes the first U.S. league in history to win consecutive Little League Baseball World Series championships with a thrilling 3-2 victory against a team from Panama. Long Beach is led for a second year by Sean Burroughs, who pitches two no-hitters in the World Series, and later would later play in the Major Leagues.
1992: The first night game of the Little League Baseball World Series is played.
1991: Michael Cammarata competes in the LLBWS with the South Shore American LL from Staten Island. 10 years later, Michael would become the youngest firefighter to perish in the 9/11 attacks. His number 11 is the only retired number in the LLWS.
1989: Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League becomes the first U.S. team to win the World Series since 1983 before an estimated crowd of 45,000. Future NHL star Chris Drury is on the mound for Trumbull; Betty Speziale, the first female LLBWS umpire, is on the field.
1988: Tom Seaver, graduate of Spartan Little League in Fresno, California, is the first enshrinee of the Little League Hall of Excellence.
1985: Little League mascot, Dugout (who was created by Disney “Imagineers”) makes its debut.
1985: LLBWS airs live on ABC’s Wide World of Sports with Frank Rizzo wearing the first-ever ump cam.
1984: The first girl to play in the LLBWS - Victoria Roche - Brussels Little League (Brussels, Belgium); Seoul, Korea, wins that country’s first Little League World Series championship, defeating Altamonte Springs, Fla., 6-2. One Altamonte Springs player is future Major Leaguer, Jason Varitek.
1983: East Marietta (GA) National Little League wins the World Series with future Major Leaguer Marc Pisciotta on the mound.
1982: Future Major Leaguer Wilson Alvarez plays for the Maracaibo, Venezuela team in the Series.
1981: Dan Wilson, later a Major Leaguer, plays for Barrington (IL) Little League in the Little League World Series; Derek Bell returns with Belmont Heights, but his team falls to Taiwan again. Bell becomes the first Major League player to have played in two Little League World Series.
1980: Future MLBers Gary Sheffield and Derek Bell advance to the LLBWS championship, falling one run short of the title to Taiwan.
1978: Future Major Leaguer Erik Johnson is a pitcher in the 1978 Little League Baseball World Series championship game for San Ramon Valley Little League of Danville, California.
1977: Future Major Leaguer Charlie Hayes plays in the 1977 Series for Hattiesburg, MS.
1976: Baseball Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ernie Banks, and Bob Gibson are Series guests as Chofu, Japan, wins that country’s third championship, led by Kiyoshi Tsumura, who pitches a perfect game in the semifinal against Europe.
1975: To provide better guidance for its international Little League program structure, the LLBWS is played with only four U.S. Region champions, the smallest tournament in its history.
1973: Future Major Leaguer Ed Vosberg plays in the Little League World Series for the runner-up team from Tucson, AZ, and goes on to become the first person to participate in the Little League World Series, College World Series (University of Arizona, champions, 1980) and Major League World Series (Florida Marlins, champions, 1997).
1971: Lloyd McClendon hits five home runs in five at bats during the World Series for Gary, Indiana; One of the longest games in World Series history is played over two hours and fifty-one minutes as Gary and Tainan, Taiwan battle for nine innings.
MLB Proposes Converting New York-Penn League To Summer Wood Bat Circuit
Under MLB’s proposal, the NYPL’s teams would pay their league dues to Prep Baseball Report, the national showcase and scouting service.
1969: Newberry Little League participates in the World Series, becoming the first Williamsport-area team to play in the World Series since 1948.
1968: Turk Schonert, future NFL quarterback, is a member of the Garden Grove, California, team in the Series.
1967: Future Major Leaguer Bobby Mitchell plays for Northridge Little League. West Tokyo LL becomes first Asian team to win the LLBWS; Ted Williams is the announcer.
1963: LLBWS airs on ABC’s Wide World of Sports for the first time, with Chris Schenkel calling the play-by-play.
1962: Jackie Robinson is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and is a guest at the Little League Baseball World Series.
1961: Brian Sipe, who would later play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, plays for the World Series champions from El Cajon, Calif.
1959: The World Series is played for the first time at its present site in the borough of South Williamsport.
1958: Hector Torres, who would later play in the Major Leagues, plays for Monterrey, Mexico. Rick Wise, who would also play in the Major Leagues, plays for Portland, Oregon.
1957: Angel Macias throws Perfect Game to win the LLBWS, becoming the first team from outside the United States to win the LLBWS.
1956: The first Little League World Series perfect game is pitched by Fred Shapiro of Delaware Township, N.J.
1955: A player for the New Jersey team is Billy Hunter, who would go on to play football for the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, and executive director of the NBA Players Association. Cannon Street YMCA Team is welcomed to Williamsport as guests of Peter McGovern.
1955: Cannon Street YMCA team welcomed to Williamsport after being denied the chance to compete for their spot on the field due to race.
1954: Boog Powell, who would later play for the Baltimore Orioles, participates for Lakeland, Florida, in the World Series. Ken Hubbs, who would win the 1962 National League Rookie of the Year Award with the Chicago Cubs, plays in the Little League World Series for Colton, California. This World Series also features future MLBers Jim Barbieri, Billy Connors, and Carl Taylor also compete, tying it with the most LLWS players to make an MLB appearance (1999, 2004). Powell and Barbieri became the first baseball players to play in both the MLB and Little League World Series, and the only to play against each other in both events, as the two competed against each other in Williamsport in 1954 and in the 1966 MLB World Series.
1952: The Little League World Series welcomes its first international team from Montreal, Canada.
1947: First ever LLBWS was played at Original Field at Memorial Park in Williamsport. All the teams except one were from Pennsylvania. At the time, Little League only existed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A Williamsport-area team (Maynard Midgets) won the first Series.