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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2009 > May - August > Chris Drury, Captain of the NHL’s New York Rangers, To Be Enshrined in Little League Hall of Excellence

Chris Drury, Captain of the NHL’s New York Rangers, To Be Enshrined in Little League Hall of Excellence

Chris Drury, Captain of the NHL’s New York Rangers, To Be Enshrined in Little League Hall of Excellence

Former Little League Baseball World Series Champion To Be Honored on 20th Anniversary of Championship

ChrisDruryHSRangers

The pursuit of excellence has defined Chris Drury since his childhood, and it is fitting that at the prime of his professional career, the Captain of the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers will be honored with enshrinement into the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence during the 63rd Little League Baseball World Series.

As a child, Mr. Drury’s diversity in sports was equaled by his success on the baseball field as a pitcher and catcher during his years in Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League, and later as he established himself as one of the elite ice hockey players in the world.

“Playing Little League molded me,” Mr. Drury, who has been Captain of the Rangers since 2008, said. “I had so many good coaches in Little League. They taught me about sportsmanship, and Little League is where I really learned to compete.”

Mr. Drury’s skill and fortitude converged on Aug. 26, 1989. That day, he went to the mound at Howard J. Lamade Stadium to pitch the Championship Game of the 43rd Little League Baseball World Series versus Far East Region Champion Kang-Tu Little League from Chinese Taipei. Mr. Drury and his Trumbull National Little League teammates were tasked with stopping a five-year losing streak for the United States, which included three straight defeats to teams from Chinese Taipei.

Having already earned a pitching victory in the World Series, Mr. Drury was comfortable with facing down his opponent, and his team was up to the challenge, as Trumbull National Little League defeated Chinese Taipei, 5-2, to win the world championship.

Mr. Drury earned the mound win in the championship game victory, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, with two strikeouts. At the plate, he was equally productive, collecting two hits in three at-bats, driving in two runs and stealing a base.

“A willingness to positively influence others and make a difference on every play was nurtured from Chris Drury’s first Little League practice,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Chris’s drive to excel and his depth of character have been evident throughout his Little League days, a collegiate career at Boston University that culminated with him receiving the Hobey Baker award as the best player in NCAA Division I Hockey; and his 10 years in the NHL. Drawing on his experiences in Little League and applying them to his professional and personal life makes Chris a deserving enshrinee into the Little League Hall of Excellence.”

“I remember my first Little League practice, my coach said, ‘Go to where you want to play.’ I tripped and stumbled because I had to tie my shoe. When I got my shoe tied there were no other positions left except pitcher,” Mr. Drury said. “I was a pitcher and catcher, and that was fine with me because I wanted to be in on every play and I loved pitching right away.”

ChrisDruryPitching_400pxIn the 1989 Series, Mr. Drury collected two pitching wins; and was 4-for-7 at the plate, with three singles, a double and three bases on balls.

“We exceeded expectations by getting to Williamsport,” Mr. Drury, whose team didn’t make it out of district play the year before, said. “A team from our town had never won a single game in the state tournament, so when we won the state and regional, everyone was blown away from that.

“We didn’t get much respect coming from New England,” Mr. Drury said. “It was a huge thrill playing other teams from around the world. I remember driving down the road on our bus (a six-hour ride from Connecticut), I caught a glimpse of Lamade Stadium and said to myself, ‘Holy cow! This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’ It was an amazing feeling being at the World Series.”

After winning the Little League Baseball World Series, Mr. Drury was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game Two of the 1989 Major League Baseball World Series, and later that year, he met President George H.W. Bush.

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