Half of MLB Playoff Teams Have Little League Baseball World Series Alums on Rosters
Here’s the list:
Lastings Milledge, New York Mets
A graduate of Manatee G.T. Bray East Little League of Bradenton, Fla., Lastings was called up to the Mets earlier this year. The outfielder played in 56 games, hitting .241 with seven doubles, three triples, four home runs and 22 runs batted in. In 1997, the Mets top prospect was the starting pitcher in his team’s first Little League Baseball World Series game and played third base for the remainder of the tournament, batting .273 (3-for-11, all singles), with a three runs batted in, and two runs scored.
|Lastings Milledge of the Southern Region
champion Manatee G.T. Bray East Little League from
Bradenton, Fla., slides toward home plate during the 1997
Little League Baseball World Series. Lastings made his Major
League debut with the New York Mets this year.
Jason Marquis, St. Louis Cardinals
A graduate of the South Shore Little League of Staten Island, N.Y., Jason faced another Jason from the Little League Baseball World Series two years when Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox batted against him twice in the Major League Baseball World Series. Jason Marquis helped his team to a third-place finish in the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series. He was 14-16 in 33 starts for the Cardinals in 2006, with 96 strikeouts in 195 innings.
|Jason Marquis pitched two complete-game shutouts in the Little League Baseball World Series for the U.S. East team, including this no-hitter against Canada in which he struck out 10 and allowed only three runners via walks.|
Gary Sheffield, New York Yankees
A graduate of the Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla., Gary is coming back from a wrist injury that kept him out of the lineup for most of the season. Still one of the most feared hitters in baseball, Gary is expected to see time at first base and as a designated hitter this postseason. In the 1980 Little League Baseball World Series, Gary’s team lost the championship game to Chinese Taipei. Gary batted .298 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 39 games for the Yankees in 2006.
Gary Sheffield, shown here in a team photo from 1980, played in the Little League Baseball World Series for Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla.
Lloyd McClendon, Detroit Tigers
A graduate of the Anderson Little League of Gary, Ind., “Legendary Lloyd” hit five home runs on five pitches in the 1971 Little League Baseball World Series. He was the losing pitcher in the championship game as Taiwan claimed the third of the country’s six consecutive World Series titles. Lloyd went on to play Major League Baseball for nine seasons, and later managed the Pittsburgh Pirates for five years. This year, he is a coach with the Tigers, who reached the postseason for the first time since 1987. In August, during the 60th Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., he was enshrined into the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence.
|Lloyd McClendon pitches in the final game of the 1971 Little League Baseball World Series. Today, he’s a coach on the playoff-bound Detroit Tigers.|
Other Little League Baseball World Series participants who played on a Major League Baseball team this year include: Jason Varitek (National Little League, Altamonte Springs, Fla., 1984) of the Boston Red Sox; Sean Burroughs (Long Beach Little League, Long Beach, Calif., 1992-93) of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; and Jason Bay (Trail Little League, British Columbia, Canada, 1990) of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A total of 30 players have played in the Little League Baseball World Series and later played Major League Baseball. There are 13 Little League Baseball graduates enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.