Angel Macias, the only pitcher to ever pitch a perfect game in the Little League Baseball® World Series final has served as a major influencer in the growth of baseball in Mexico, and because of his commitment to growing the game, Little League® International will enshrine Mr. Macias into its Hall of Excellence, the highest honor that Little League can bestow.
“It is an honor to enshrine Angel into the Little League Hall of Excellence this year as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his historic game here in Williamsport,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Angel’s dedication to the growth and support of baseball throughout Mexico has been truly inspiring, and believe that the foundation that he has created across the country will help the game continue to grow.”
In 1957, Angel Macias and his Monterrey Industrial (Mexico) Little League team made an improbable run to Williamsport, becoming the first ever international team to claim the title of Little League Baseball World Series Champions. Back then, Mexico did not have direct entry into the Little League Baseball World Series, so the team had to play through the Texas state championship followed by the Southern Regional Championship.
What started with expectations of only playing one game in McAllen, Texas, turned into 12-straight wins for Monterrey Industrial LL entering the championship game in Williamsport. At the time, the tournament format eliminated a team with one loss at any time from the district-level tournament all the way to the World Series.
Led behind a historic pitching performance by Mr. Macias, the undersized team from Mexico went on to win the championship game, 4-0, in perfect fashion over La Mesa (Calif.) Little League. Normally an ambidextrous pitcher, Mr. Macias chose to only use his right arm that day, retiring all 18 batters in order with 11 strikeouts to record the first ever perfect game in the Little League World Series final, and it remains the only one to occur in the championship game.
“In the championship, I was concentrating so much on trying to win that I did not realize that I was pitching a perfect game,” said Mr. Macias said in a previous interview. “At the end of the game, I remember most of all César Faz and Pepe González celebrating the triumph with us. That was the most important thing.”
After Little League, Mr. Macias went on to sign with the Los Angeles Angels where he played as an outfielder in their farm system for two years before returning to Mexico to play 12 years in the Mexican League.
Being a part of the first Mexican team to play in and subsequently win the Little League World Series put Mr. Macias in a spot where he could help take the growth of youth baseball in Mexico to new heights. He and his teammate from that championship team, Jose “Pepe” Maiz Garcia, were active volunteers in promoting and helping the Monterrey Little League. Mr. Macias was also the director of the Mexican Baseball Academy until his retirement.
Mr. Macias will join Mr. Maiz (Class of 2005) as the second player from that 1957 Monterrey team to be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. The enshrinement ceremony for Mr. Macias will take place on Wednesday, August 23, the anniversary of the date that Mr. Macias threw his perfect game, at the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. He will be joining fellow 2017 enshrinees, Sydney Leroux and Champ Pederson.