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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2004 > Jason vs. Jason: LLB World Series Participants Square Off in MLB World Series

Jason vs. Jason: LLB World Series Participants Square Off in MLB World Series

Jason Marquis

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Oct. 27, 2004) – For the first time in Major League Baseball World Series history, Little League Baseball World Series participants faced each other as pitcher and batter in the Fall Classic that ended tonight when the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0, ending a four-game sweep.

Jason Varitek is the All-Star catcher for the Boston Red Sox, and was a key player in the team’s first World Series title since 1918. He played for Altamonte Springs National Little League of Altamonte Springs, Fla., in the 1984 Little League Baseball World Series, leading his team to the U.S. championship. Ironically, during his Little League regular season at Altamonte Springs, Jason played for the Cardinals. The Altamonte Springs team lost 6-2 in the world championship game against a team from South Korea. Jason played shortstop, catcher and third base in his three Little League Baseball World Series games, going hitless in seven at-bats, with two walks and a run scored.

Mr. Varitek batted .296 this season with 18 home runs, 30 doubles, and 73 RBI. Defensively, he committed only two errors and had only five passed balls in 1,062.2 innings behind the plate.

Faceing Jason Varitek in two of the games was St. Louis pitcher Jason Marquis, who played for South Shore Little League of Staten Island, N.Y., in the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series, helping his team to a third-place finish. Mr. Marquis pitched two complete-game shutouts in the Little League Baseball World Series for the U.S. East team, defeating the U.S. Central team (Hamilton, Ohio) 8-0, and the Canada team (Glace Bay, Nova Scotia) 16-0. The win against Canada was a no-hitter in which Jason struck out 10 and allowed only three runners via walks. At the plate, he had eight hits in 12 at-bats over three games.

This season, Mr. Marquis had the best year of his five-year career, with a 15-7 record and 3.71 ERA, along with 138 strikeouts.

Mr. Varitek is the second person to play in the Little League Baseball World Series, the NCAA College World Series (Georgia Tech, runner-up, 1994), and the Major League Baseball World Series. The first was Ed Vosberg, who played in the Little League Baseball World Series in 1974 for the runner-up team from Tucson, Ariz., for the NCAA champions from the University of Arizona in 1980, and for the world champion Florida Marlins in 1997.

When Jason Marquis faced Jason Varitek in the World Series, it was only the third time Little League World Series participants have faced each other as pitcher and batter in MLB playoff history. Both of the other times, it involved Gary Sheffield at the plate.

Jason Varitek

Gary Sheffield was 11 years old when he played for Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla., in the 1980 Little League Baseball World Series. Last year, for the Atlanta Braves, he faced Dave Veres (who was an 11-year old for Madrid, Spain, in the 1978 Little League Baseball World Series) in the National League Division Series when Mr. Veres was pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

Before that, the only other time two Little League Baseball World Series participants faced off was in the 1997 National League Division Series, when Gary Sheffield played for the Florida Marlins and Wilson Alvarez pitched in Game 3 for the San Francisco Giants. When he was 12, Wilson Alvarez played for Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, in the 1982 Little League Baseball World Series.

Over the years, thousands of Little League graduates have reached the Major League level. Twelve have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. They are: George Brett (1999), Steve Carlton ('94), Gary Carter ('03), Rollie Fingers ('92), Jim "Catfish" Hunter ('87), Jim Palmer ('90), Nolan Ryan ('99), Mike Schmidt ('95), Tom Seaver ('92), Don Sutton ('98), Carl Yastrzemski ('89), and Robin Yount ('99). (Year of induction in parentheses.)

All Little League Baseball World Series participants who have reached the Major Leagues are listed below (with year they participated in the Little League Baseball World Series in parentheses):

Wilson Alvarez (82)
Jim Barbieri (54)
Jason Bay (90)
Derek Bell (80-81)
Larvell Blanks (62)
Sean Burroughs (92-93)
Chen Chin-Feng (90)
Bill Conners (54)
Charlie Hayes (77)
Ken Hubbs (54)
Keith Lampard (58)
Carney Lansford (69)
Vance Lovelace (75)
Jason Marquis (91)
Lloyd McClendon (71)
Jim Pankovits (68)
Marc Pisciotta (83)
Boog Powell (54)
Guillermo Quiroz (94)
Gary Sheffield (80)
Carl Taylor (54)
Hector Torres (58)
Jason Varitek (84)
Dave Veres (78)
Ed Vosberg (73)
Dan Wilson (81)
Rick Wise (58)