Little League World Series 2012: Ranking Greatest Moments in Tournament History
Photo Credit: Sportspress Northwest
As the 2012 Little League World Series kicks off, we are reminded of some of the tournament's most brilliant moments.
From game-winning home runs, to perfect games, to come-from-behind victories, we've been treated to some magnificent feats throughout the years.
Whether you remember the team from the little town of Kirkland, WA, or the first international team to win the LLWS, it's all here for you.
Here's a look at the top five moments in Little League World Series history.
5. Chinese Taipei Dominates in 1996
Al Bello/Getty Images
Chinese Taipei's 1996 championship squad may be the most dominant Little League World Series team in history.
Not only did Chinese Taipei score 62 runs in five games—including a 13-3 rout over Rhode Island—the team allowed just nine runs. The squad blew out Canada in qualifying, 21-2.
Chinese Taipei also boasted one of the most dominant players in LLWS history, Chin-Hsiung Hsieh. Hsieh hit .706 (12-for-16) in the tournament, including a record seven home runs and 15 RBI.
4. Pennsylvania Storms Back vs. New Jersey, 1955
Photo Credit: ScenicBucksCounty.com
What do you get when Cy Young throws out the first pitch?
A tremendous game.
The 1955 championship game lived up to its billing. Pennsylvania and New Jersey battled to a 3-3 tie after six innings, sending the game into extra innings.
Then right fielder Rich Cominski (second from left, front row) led off the bottom of the seventh inning with the first walk-off, series-ending home run in LLWS history.
Pennsylvania won the LLWS five years later, but hasn't won since.
3. Hawaii Storms Back vs. Curacao, 2005
Hawaii was a big underdog against defending champion Curacao in the 2005 championship game, and fell behind 6-3 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
But when all hope appeared to be lost, Hawaii stormed back with three runs in the sixth, sending the game into extra innings.
After blanking Curacao in the seventh frame, Michael Memea ended the game in dramatic fashion, leading off the bottom of the seventh with a walk-off home run to give the Hawaiians a stunning 7-6, come-from-behind victory.
2. Kirkland Stuns Taiwan, 1982
Photo Credit: AP
What Kirkland, WA did in 1982 will never be forgotten.
First of all, it was the first time the championship game was televised. Secondly, the kids from the little town of Kirkland ended up defeating Taiwan, who hadn't lost in 31 straight games and had won the last five national championships.
Cody Webster became an instant hero after pitching a two-hitter and hitting the longest home run in LLWS history (280 feet). Kirkland won, 6-0.
Webster and the 1982 championship team from Kirkland were highlighted in the documentary "Little Big Men" in ESPN's 30 for 30 series.
1. Mexico Becomes First International Team to Win LLWS
Photo Credit: 543TriplePlay.Blogspot.com
Talk about "little big men"—Mexico became a sensation in 1957 when the team became the first international squad to win the Little League Series, despite the players averaging 4'11" and 92 pounds.
The Mexicans faced a team from La Mesa, CA that averaged 5'4", 127 pounds and had beaten Michigan in the semifinals, 7-1.
But the ambidextrous Angel Macias proved to be Mexico's secret weapon, pitching a perfect game right-handed against the righty-dominant La Mesa squad and racking up 11 strikeouts in the process.
The 4-0 victory was made into a movie entitled "The Perfect Game" in 2009.