Little League World Series: The All-time Team
With the Little League World Series beginning on August 20th, it seems appropriate to take a look back into history at some of its best players.
Most of these kids may have been largely unrecognized at the time, but some of them went on to make a huge impact in Major League Baseball, as well as other sports.
So, if you tune into the Little League World Series this year, keep in mind that this may not be the last time you see these kids on national television.
With that being said, let's take a look at the best Little Leaguers at each position who have gone on to make a name for themselves.
Catcher: Jason Varitek
While Varitek is best known for his successes as a member of the Boston Red Sox, he also goes down as one of the best players in the history of the Little League World Series.
Varitek is especially worth mentioning because he has proved that he can win at any level. In fact, he is one of only two players to have played in the championship games of the Little League World Series, the College World Series, and the Major League World Series.
During his time in the Majors, Varitek has received three all-star selections, a gold glove award, and a silver slugger award while on the way to two World Series titles.
First Baseman: Boog Powell
While there have been quite a few Little League World Series first basemen that have gone on to do great things, Boog Powell has to lead the list. Powell played in the MLB from 1961 to 1977 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Powell has four all-star selections, two Major League World Series titles, two AL Comeback Player of the Year awards, and was named the AL MVP in 1970.
Over the course of his career, Powell amassed 339 home runs, 1,187 RBIs, and a batting average of .266.
After retirement, Boog Powell entered the business world and is now the owner of restaurant Boog's Barbecue in Ocean City, Maryland.
Second Baseman: Ken Hubbs
Ken Hubbs is likely the least well-known player on the Little League World Series All-Time Team and he also has the most tragic story.
Hubbs was the starting second baseman for the California team that lost to New York in the finals of the Little League World Series in 1954. Five years later he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.
He played for the Cubs from 1961 to 1963 before being killed in a tragic plane crash at the age of 22.
In his short career at the Major League level, Hubbs was known as an excellent fielder. In 1962, he became the first rookie to win a Gold Glove Award. He also won the Rookie of the Year Award that season and was considered one of the best second basemen in the league at the time of his death.
Shortstop: Brian Sipe
This selection may come as a bit of a surprise as Brian Sipe never played professional baseball. He did, however, play in the 1961 Little League World Series before going on to become a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Sipe spent a total of 11 years in the NFL as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns and accrued over 23,000 yards and 154 touchdowns.
His best year came in 1980 as he was a Pro Bowl selection, a first-team All-Pro, and was named the NFL MVP. With his arm, Sipe would be able to throw out runners with ease while playing shortstop.
Sipe is currently a quarterbacks coach for San Diego State University.
Third Baseman: Charlie Hayes
Charlie Hayes is undoubtedly the most accomplished third basemen to have played in the Little League World Series. Charlie played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues as a member of seven different teams.
For his career, Charlie posted a .262 batting average with 144 home runs and 740 RBIs. In 1993 he led the National League in doubles with 45. He was also a member of the New York Yankees' 1996 World Series Championship team.
Charlie currently runs a baseball academy in Texas and his son, Tyree, is a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
Left Field: Gary Sheffield
While in the Little Leagues, Gary Sheffield was both an outstanding hitter and outstanding pitcher. Sheffield eventually carried over his hitting ability to the Major Leagues as he established himself as one of the game's most prolific sluggers.
Sheffield is a five-time Silver Slugger award winner and a nine-time All-Star selection. In 1997 he won the Major League World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins.
Sheffield has a career batting average of .292 as well as 1,676 RBIs, and 509 home runs, making him a member of the exclusive 500 home run club.
Center Field: Colby Rasmus
Colby Rasmus actually played primarily as a pitcher and first baseman during the 1999 Little League World Series, but has since established himself as an exceptional center fielder. He finished his Little League career with a batting average of .417.
Rasmus made his Major League debut on April 7th, 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals and has played very well since then. In less than two seasons, Rasmus has compiled 34 home runs and 102 RBIs with a batting average of .260.
Rasmus has quite a bit of speed and has already established himself as one of the better defensive players in the game. He is currently the starting center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and appears poised to have a long and successful Major League career.
Right Fielder: Jason Bay
Originally from Canada, Jason Bay began a successful baseball career very early as a player in the 1990 Little League World Series. He went on to play for Gonzaga University before being drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2000.
During his seven-year Major League career up to this point, Bay has established himself as a very good hitter, posting a batting average of .278 with 191 home runs and 657 RBIs.
He is a three-time All-Star selection and has spent time with the San Diego Padres, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Red Sox, and is currently a member of the New York Mets.
Starting Pitcher: Jason Marquis
Jason Marquis proved himself to be an excellent pitcher very early on in his career. In fact, he led his team to a third place finish in the Little League World Series while throwing a no-hitter along the way.
Marquis went on to be drafted straight out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the MLB draft. In his major league career up to this point, he has won 11 or more games for six straight years and has compiled a career record of 94-87.
He won the Silver Slugger award in 2005, was an All-Star selection in 2009, and won the Major League World Series in 2006 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Marquis is currently a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals.
Relief Pitcher: Ed Vosberg
Ed Vosberg makes the team because of his incredible knack for winning games. He is the only baseball player besides Jason Varitek to have won the championship game of the Little League World Series, the College World Series, and the Major League World Series.
Vosberg went on to have a 10-year career in the Major Leagues as a relief pitcher. He had a career ERA of 4.32 and was a member of the World Series-winning Texas Rangers in 1997.
His Major League career was certainly not the most glamorous, but it is hard to argue with the championships he was a part of.