In just 17-years, Gary Sheffield went from LLWS loser to World Series victor.
Are there few guilty pleasures as fun as the Little League World Series?
Every year as summer begins to wind down, ESPN starts showing Little League games by the truck-load in an effort to drum up as much support as they can for the LLWS tournament, which kicks off today.
And as hard as we try to fill our time up with late-season baseball and pro football pre-season specials, we always find ourselves affixed to the television, watching 12- and 13-year-olds achieve more notoriety in a couple of weeks than most of us will in our entire lifetimes.
The alumni of the LLWS ranges from politicians to political activists to some of today's most talented athletes. Perhaps the most well-known LLWS star is Gary Sheffield, who led his Florida squad to the 1980 finals, only to lose to a team from Taiwan.
Get used to that, it's a theme in these slides.
But Sheffield isn't the only former child star who went on to achieve great things in the world of sports. Here's a look at the top 15 performers who took part in the LLWS and went on to bigger and better things.
Long before he was ripping up second base and taking it home with him as a big-league manager, McClendon was a Major Leaguer.
And before that he was "Legendary Lloyd," a Little League World Series star.
Back in 1971, McClendon pitched and hit his squad from Gary, Ind., into the LLWS. During three games, the former big-leaguer hit five homers, drove in 10 runs and earned five intentional walks in 10 at-bats.
McClendon was enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence in 2006.
Who said Little League stars always end up in baseball?
Drury was the star pitcher of the Trumbull, Conn., squad that won the 1989 LLWS, defeating Chinese Taipei and breaking a six-year drought for the United States in the annual event.
Drury left baseball behind to focus on other sports, namely hockey. He managed to earn a scholarship to Boston University, where he was named the best collegiate player in 1998.
Drury has since become an NHL star, winning Rookie of the Year honors back in 1998-99 and winning a Stanley Cup two years later.
Now a member of the New York Rangers, Drury is entering his 13th season in the NHL. He has scored 255 career goals and racked up 360 assists.
Drury wasn't the only hockey star to excel in the Little League World Series.
Nineteen-year veteran and former No. 1 overall pick Pierre Turgeon was a member of the Canadian squad that played in the 1982 LLWS.
He went on to log nearly 1,300 appearances in the National Hockey League, before retiring after the 2007 season. He scored more than 500 career goals and notched over 800 assists.
Turegon was a four-time NHL All-Star and the recipient of the 1992-93 Lady Byng Trophy, awarded to the player with the best sportsmanship.
Vosberg is just one of two men who can claim to have played in baseball's big three events: the Little League World Series, the College World Series, and the World Series.
Who cares if he pitched in only 266 big-league games, all but three in relief?
In 1973, Vosberg pitched a one-hitter in the LLWS semis to advance his Tuscon, Ariz., squad to the finals, where they ended up losing to a team from Taiwan.
In 1980, he played for the University of Arizona Wildcats, who ended up winning the CWS title.
And 17 years later, he made two relief appearances in the World Series for the eventual champion Florida Marlins.
Jason Varitek is the other player to have played in all three seminal baseball events.
In 1984, he led a team from Altamonte Springs, Fla., to the LLWS, only to fall at the hands of the Korean squad.
A few years later, Varitek was the driving force behind his high school's run to the state championship.
Approximately 10 years after his LLWS run, Varitek led the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to the College World Series. Again his squad lost.
Luckily, redemption was in store for him. He was a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox squad that won the World Series and he won another title in 2007.
Varitek is a three-time All-Star who has caught an MLB-record four no-hitters. He's a Gold Glove winner, a Silver Slugger recipient and a NCAA player of the year.
He holds most Georgia Tech offensive records and most certainly will get some support for the Hall of Fame.
Alvarez etched his name in baseball history by tossing a no-hitter in just his second big-league start back in 1992.
He went on to make 355 appearances in the big-leagues over a 14-year career that ended with his retirement back in 2005.
He gained notoriety years before, however, pitching his Venezuelan Little League squad into the LLWS, where they lost in the first round.
Bay has done a lot in his big-league career.
He became the first Canadian to ever win the Rookie of the Year Award and was later named to three All-Star teams. He has played for Pittsburgh, Boston and New York and just hit a major milestone, hitting his 200th career home run.
Long before his professional days, however, Bay was a member of the 1990 Trial, B.C., squad that advanced all the way to the semifinals before falling to the eventual champions from Taiwan.
For the longest time, Cassel has dwelled in the shadows.
He was a member of the USC squad that won back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004, although he never played in any games that really mattered.
A few seasons later, he was a member of the second undefeated team in NFL history as the Patriots rolled off 18 consecutive victories before falling in the Super Bowl to the Giants. Cassel didn't play much that year, either.
After a strong season replacing the injured Tom Brady, Cassel earned his way out of the shadows and into the limelight.
He is now the starting QB for the Kansas City Chiefs, although his most famous moment is probably still his epic performance in the 1994 Little League World Series.
He batted just under .500 and led his Northridge, Calif., squad all the way to the title.
Cassel isn't the only star QB with a LLWS title to his name.
Long before him, there was Brian Sipe, a MVP-winning quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Sipe was a bench-warmer for his California Little League squad that ended up winning the 1961 title, but he later earned his stripes at the professional level.
He led the NFL with 28 passing TDs in 1979 and won league MVP honors the next year after tossing 30 touchdowns and leading the NFL with a 91.4 QB rating.
Sipe enjoyed a 10-year career in the NFL, all with the Browns, finishing with 154 TDs and just under 24,000 yards.
Good ole Boog was the star pitcher and hitter of the 1954 Lakeland Little League squad that advanced all the way to the quarterfinals before falling to the eventual champions from New York.
He reportedly pitched in 11 games over the course of just a few weeks, obviously back when there were no pitching restrictions.
Powell went on to have a fruitful career with the Baltimore Orioles, winning two World Series trophies and one MVP. He was named to four All-Star squads and hit 339 career home runs.
He also cooks up some mean barbecue.
Sheffield was a menace at the professional level, both to his teammates and to the baseball, but back in happier days, he was a Little League World Series cult hero.
He led a squad that also featured future big-leaguer Derek Bell to the 1990 Little League World Series final, where his Tampa, Fla., squad lost to yet another team from Taiwan.
Sheffield didn't let that memory haunt him. He hit over 500 home runs in the Majors, earned nine All-Star nods, won five Silver Sluggers and was a member of the Marlins squad that won the 1997 World Series.
Bell jump-started his professional career with his showing in the 1980 LLWS.
Seven years later, he became a second-round selection in the MLB Draft. He went on to have a productive 11-year career with the Astros, Padres, Blue Jays, Mets and Pirates.
He hit 134 career home runs, including 22 during a sensational season in 1998, during which he also hit .314 and drove in 108 runs.
During the 1995 campaign, Bell finished fourth in the N.L. with a .334 batting average and finished 14th in the voting for N.L. MVP.
With more than 100 big-league victories, it's safe to call Marquis a very solid Major League pitcher.
He was pretty good back in his Little League days too, pitching his squad to the LLWS, where he faced off against Varitek and his Florida team.
The right-hander has gone on to have a successful career with the Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves and Diamondbacks.
And true to his two-way ways, he has one Silver Slugger, awarded to the league's top hitting pitcher, under his belt.
Arguably one of the top LLWS performers of all time, Burroughs is a two-time winner of Little League's highest team honor.
His Long Beach, Calif., squad won the 1992 championship by way of forfeit and then went out and won the 1993 tournament straight up.
Burroughs hasn't gone on to enjoy a very successful big-league career, but he can always fall back on the successes he had as a teenager.
Bichette Jr. hasn't really gone on to achieve anything yet, aside from being a second-round pick of the New York Yankees in the most recent MLB Draft after enjoying a prolific, record-breaking high-school career.
Still, he more than earned his way in the LLWS, where he achieved cult status that few, if any, other players have ever received.
In 2005, Bichette Jr.'s Maitland, Fla., squad made it all the way to the finals of the LLWS and as a result he was the feature of multiple publications about how big (and out of control) the Little League World Series has gotten.
Bichette himself admitted to having to rely on security guards to keep away hordes of young girls at the team's hotel during their run in '05.