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9 MLB Players You Didn't Know Who Played in the Little League World Series

When the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies stopped in to play the 2018 MLB Little League Classic, it was a homecoming of sorts for Todd Frazier, Michael Conforto and Scott Kingery.

The Aug. 19 appearance in Williamsport brought Frazier and Conforto from the Mets and Kingery from the Phillies back to a place where they competed as youngsters. They are a part of a select group that cut their baseball teeth at the Little League World Series and eventually made it to MLB.

There are more than 50 players who have accomplished this feat. Here are 9 MLB players that played in this international event.

Randal Grichuk

The current Toronto Blue Jays outfielder and former St. Louis Cardinal made it to Williamsport twice as a youngster. He played for Lamar National of Richmond, Texas.

Jason Varitek

Before a storied career with the Boston Red Sox, the longtime MLB catcher played in the 1984 LLWS. As a member of the Altamonte Springs, Florida team, Varitek was part of a team that won the U.S. championship. Varitek, along with Conforto and Ed Vosberg, are the only players to have appeared in the Little League, College and Major League World Series.           

Joey Jay

The Middletown, Connecticut, native was the first Little League player to ever advanc to the Major Leagues. Jay represented his hometown as a Little Leaguer and broke into the majors with the Boston Braves. He went on to have a 13-season career with three different teams.

Boog Powell

Powell was born in Lakeland, Florida, and represented his birth city in the 1954 LLWS. He went on to have a storied career in the majors that included four All-Star Game appearances, an American League MVP and two World Series championships.

Lloyd McClendon

Prior to becoming a major league player and manager, McClendon made a name for himself at the 1971 LLWS. McClendon had a historic run at the tournament, including five home runs in five consecutive at-bats. He helped lead his Gary, Indiana, team to the final and was part of the first all-African American team to reach the LLWS finals. As a pro, McClendon lasted seven seasons. He managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-05 and the Seattle Mariners from 2014-15.

Gary Sheffield

Sheffield was destined for baseball success as a child growing up in Tampa, Florida. He lived with his uncle, legendary pitcher Dwight Gooden. He then played on the Belmont Heights Little League All-Stars that made it to the 1980 LLWS. The roster featured Sheffield and future MLB draft picks Ty Griffin and Derek Bell. Sheffield had a storied career in the majors but first made a name for himself in Williamsport.

Colby Rasmus

Rasmus got the chance to play in the 1999 LLWS with the Phenix City National Little League Team. The nine-year Major Leaguer hit .417 at that year’s LLWS while helping his team to the final.

Cody Bellinger

Bellinger stepped on to the scene in a big way as the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But first, Bellinger was on a big stage at the 2007 LLWS. He played for a Chandler, Arizona, team that made it to the quarterfinals of that year’s tournament.

Lance Lynn

Lynn grew up in Indianapolis and made it to Williamsport with his team out of Brownsburg, Indiana. He ended up playing in the same tournament as Rasmus, a future St. Louis Cardinal teammate of his.

From GameChanger and Tom Robinson.

Also check out What One Family Has Learned in its Three Little League World Series Trips

Baseball, youth baseball, Youth sports, MLB, little league world series, llws