When fans offer even a quick glance at a lineup card, some names might stand out more than others.
Names like Moonlight Graham, Catfish Hunter, Goose Gossage, Chipper Jones, Coco Crisp, and several other former Major Leaguers may come to mind.
In the 2022 Junior League Softball World Series (JLSWS), Hampton Little League from Victoria, British Columbia, provided an addition to this list: Kiki Sluggett. In her team’s matchup against the Southeast Region champions, Irmo (S.C.) Little League, Kiki embraced her hitter-friendly last name with a 2-for-2 performance at the plate.
Like many other aspiring baseball and softball players, Kiki’s inspiration at the plate comes from another talented young hitter as her favorite player is former Little Leaguer® and Toronto Blue Jays All-Star, Bo Bichette.
In 2005, the younger Bichette cheered on his older brother, Dante Bichette Jr., as his Maitland (Fla.) Little League team played at the Little League Baseball® in Williamsport – two years before Bo Bichette would play for Maitland Little League and 16 years before he was named to the 2021 MLB American League All-Star team.
Here’s Bo. #AllStarGame pic.twitter.com/lHyaRW92wn
— Little League (@LittleLeague) July 14, 2021
Kiki is not the only player at the World Series who has taken an interest in the Blue Jays slugger, with teammate Kaelyn Smart also noting Mr. Bichette as her favorite player. As a superstition, Kaelyn writes Bichette’s number in the on-deck circle.
Mr. Bichette and the countless other Little League alumni scattered throughout the pros will continue to inspire younger generations of Little Leaguers® like Kiki and Kaelyn as they create lifelong memories on local baseball and softball diamonds around the world.