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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2004 > Ten Major Leaguers Have Little League World Series Connections

Ten Major Leaguers Have Little League World Series Connections

Gary Sheffield

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Oct. 5, 2004) – As Major League Baseball moves into October, five of the 10 Major Leaguers who participated as children in the Little League Baseball World Series are still on the field.

Wilson Alvarez and Chen Chin-Feng of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jason Marquis of the St. Louis Cardinals, Gary Sheffield of the New York Yankees, and Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox all were first exposed to big crowds when they were 11 or 12 years old, in Williamsport, Pa. This week, each will try to help lead their team in the first round of playoffs, with professional baseball’s ultimate prize as the goal.

Of those, only Chen Chin-Feng has worn the title of Little League Baseball World Series champion – the ultimate prize in youth sports. He led the San-Hua Little League of Tainan, Chinese Taipei to the title in 1990.

All 10 of the current Major Leaguers who played in the Little League Baseball World Series are listed below.

Wilson Alvarez (played for Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, in the 1982 Little League Baseball World Series) – A pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wilson Alvarez appeared in 40 games this year, finishing with a 7-6 record, a 4.03 ERA, and 102 strikeouts. He has played 14 years in the Major Leagues for five teams, with 101 wins and 88 losses, and a lifetime ERA of 3.94.

Jason Bay (played for Trail Little League, British Columbia, Canada, in the 1990 Little League Baseball World Series) – A left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jason Bay is the leading contender for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He finished the 2004 season with a .282 batting average, with 26 home runs, 24 doubles, and 82 runs batted in.

Jim Brower (played for East Tonka Little League of Minnetonka, Minn., in the 1985 Little League Baseball World Series) – A pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Jim Brower appeared in 89 games during the 2004 season with a 7-7 record, and a 3.29 ERA. He has pitched for four teams since he broke into the Major Leagues in 1999, and is 30-28 lifetime with a 4.22 ERA.

Sean Burroughs (played for Long Beach Little League of Long Beach, Calif., in the 1992 and 1993 Little League Baseball World Series) – A third baseman for the San Diego Padres, Sean Burroughs batted .298 with 23 doubles and 47 RBI in his third season. He is the only active Major League player to have played in two Little League Baseball World Series tournaments.

Chen Chin-Feng (played for San-Hua Little League of Tainan, Chinese Taipei in the 1990 Little League Baseball World Series) – Called up at the end of the 2004 season to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chen Chin-Feng is the first player from Chinese Taipei to reach the Major Leagues. He, Sean Burroughs, and Guillermo Quiroz, are the only current Major League players to have played on a Little League Baseball World Series championship team.

Jason Marquis (played for South Shore Little League of Staten Island, N.Y., in the 1991 Little League Baseball World Series) – A pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Jason Marquis had the best year of his five-year career in 2004, with a 15-7 record and 3.71 ERA, along with 138 strikeouts. He played the first four years of his career with the Atlanta Braves.

Guillermo Quiroz (played for Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, in the 1994 Little League Baseball World Series) – A catcher, Guillermo Quiroz was called up at the end of the 2004 season to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he played in 17 games, batting .212. He is one of three active Major Leaguers to have played on a Little League Baseball World Series championship team.

Gary Sheffield (played for Belmont Heights Little League of Tampa, Fla., in the 1980 Little League Baseball World Series) – A 19-year Major League veteran, outfielder Gary Sheffield batted .290 with 30 doubles, 36 home runs and 121 RBI this year for the New York Yankees. Lifetime, he has played for six teams and has a batting average of .298 with 415 home runs.

Jason Varitek (played for Altamonte Springs National Little League of Altamonte Springs, Fla., in the 1984 Little League Baseball World Series) – A catcher for the Boston Red Sox for every season of his eight-year Major League career, Jason 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.

Dan Wilson (played for Barrington Little League, Barrington, Ill., in the 1981 Little League Baseball World Series) – A catcher for the Seattle Mariners, Dan Wilson played in 103 games this season with a .251 batting average and 80 hits. Defensively, he had just two errors and no passed balls in 837.1 innings behind the plate.

One Little League Baseball World Series participant is a current manager in the Major Leagues. Lloyd McClendon played for Anderson Little League of Gary, Ind., in the 1971 Little League Baseball World Series. He is the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

These other former Major Leaguers also played in the Little League Baseball World Series (Little League World Series year of participation in parentheses):

Jim Barbieri (54)
Derek Bell (80-81)
Larvell Blanks (62)
Bill Connors (53-54)
Charlie Hayes (77)
Ken Hubbs (54)
Erik Johnston (78)
Keith Lampard (58)
Carney Lansford (69)
Vance Lovelace (75)
Bobby Mitchell (67)
Jim Pankovits (68)
Marc Pisciotta (83)
Boog Powell (54)
Carl Taylor (54)
Hector Torres (58)
Dave Veres (78)
Ed Vosberg (73)
Rick Wise (58)