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Several Major Leaguers in the 2011 MLB Postseason Got Their Start in Little League

Several Major Leaguers in the 2011 MLB Postseason Got Their Start in Little League

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Of the eight teams competing in Major League Baseball’s 2011 postseason, many featured players with ties to Little League.

For the first time in several years, there were not multiple players on the eight teams in the MLB playoffs that played in the Little League Baseball World Series. Many, however, have local Little League ties, and some have had their families recognized at the World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

Lance Lynn, who pitched this season for St. Louis and played in the 1999 Little League Baseball World Series for Brownsburg (Ind.) Little League, was a key contributor out of the bullpen for the Cardinals in their run to the National League pennant.

Lynn and the National Champions will meet the American League Champion Texas Rangers, owned by baseball Hall of Famer, Little League graduate and Little League Hall of Excellence enshrinee Nolan Ryan, in the 2011 Major League World Series. 

Sean Burroughs of the Arizona Diamondbacks was the lone Little League Baseball World Series alum in this year's playoffs. Mr. Burroughs was a two-time World Series Champion, leading Long Beach (Calif.) Little League to consecutive titles in 1992 and 1993.

CC Sabathia and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander and Brandon Inge, did not reach the Little League World Series as players, but their parents have all be honored as George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year. Mike and Joycelyn Victorino, the parents of Philadelphia Phillies’ outfielder Shane Victorino, were the 2011 recipients. See their story here.

Several other players spent seasons on Little League diamonds as children, including Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Russell Martin; Second baseman Chase Utley and catcher Carlos Ruiz for the Philadelphia Phillies; and Tampa Bay Rays’ outfielder B.J. Upton.

There may be other Major Leaguers in this year’s playoffs, which had their start in Little League. If you know of any former Little Leaguers who are not listed above, please e-mail Chris Downs, at: cdowns@LittleLeague.org with their name, current Major League team and the name of the city or town where they played.