What famous baseball players came out of Little League Baseball?

Numerous legendary baseball players got their start in Little League Baseball, where chance and passion collide. In this article, we pay tribute to the amazing people who progressed from Little League to become renowned baseball stars. Their stories demonstrate the transformational power of hard work, skill, and the unwavering spirit of the game, from Hall of Famers to current superstars. Join us as we explore their inspiring stories and consider the significant influence Little League Baseball has had on both their lives and the game of baseball.

The Little League World Series features athletes from all around the world each year. Following their time in the spotlight, the players frequently choose different paths. Some people play baseball for an extended period. Others find another outlet for their enthusiasm, which is frequently another sport. 

After having the chance to participate in the Little League World Series, several rather well-known individuals have returned to the biggest sporting platforms over the years. These have included athletes that progressed to Major League Baseball as well as others who rose to prominence in the NHL, NASCAR, NFL, and other sports.


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Cody Bellinger

Bellinger assisted the Chandler National Little League team from Arizona advance to the 2007 Little League World Series before becoming a World Series champion. His group advanced to the playoffs, when it was defeated by Georgia, the eventual Little League World Series champion. 

Bellinger made an impressive MLB debut ten years later. He was voted the National League Rookie of the Year and selected to his first All-Star team. The following year, he won the MVP award for the National League Championship Series. In 2020, he won the World Series title.


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Nick Pratto

First baseman for the Major League Baseball (MLB) Kansas City Royals, Nicholas Michael Pratto was born in the United States on October 6, 1998. In 2022, he made his MLB debut. 

Pratto was a member of the Huntington Beach, California, Little League Baseball team that competed in the 2011 Little League World Series. When Huntington Beach faced Japan in the championship match, Pratto struck a walk-off single to seal the victory. He represented Team USA in the 18-and-under Baseball World Cup in 2015. 

Prior to transferring to Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach, California, Pratto spent his first two years of high school at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. He played on the same team as Hagen Danner at Huntington Beach. He hit.330 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs as a senior in 2017. In order to play college baseball, he pledged to the University of Southern California (USC).

Wilson Alvarez

Alvarez participated in the 1982 LLWS for Venezuela. Alvarez pitched as a journeyman with the White Sox, Rays, and Dodgers for 14 seasons. His finest seasons were spent with the White Sox, as he amassed 15, 12, 13, and 15 victories over five years. He qualified for the 1994 All-Star Game. In 1991, against the Orioles, Alvarez made his second professional start and pitched a no-hitter.

Conforto with the Giants 2023

Michael Conforto

Baseball player Conforto has a long history in the northwest. When he led the Redmond Little League team from Redmond, Washington, to win the Northwest slot in the Little League World Series, he first gained notoriety. Despite the fact that his team was eliminated, Conforto remained in the region for some time and finally switched to Oregon State, where he played baseball and made it to the 2013 College World Series. He was only the third player to ever play in all three World Series when, two years later, he was representing the Mets in the World Series. 

The outfielder has kept improving to become a top player for New York. He hit 30 home runs in a season for the first time in his career in 2019, when he blasted 33, and was selected to the NL All-Star team in 2017. A career-high 154 OPS+,.322 batting average,.412 on-base percentage, and a second-best.515 slugging percentage were all posted by him in 2020, despite the fact that the season was cut short.

Frazier in 2016

Todd Frazier

Few former players are as well-known as Frazier from his time competing in the Little League World Series. Frazier, the star of the 1998 Toms River East American Little League All-Star Team, guided his squad to the championship game, where they competed against the Far East. He went 4-for-4 with a home run in that contest, helping the squad win the championship. Since then, any broadcast where Frazier is mentioned has included a picture of him standing next to Derek Jeter. 

As he progressed through the lower leagues, Frazier did not gain quite as much prominence, but he had an immediate effect with the Reds. In addition to winning the Home Run Derby in front of his Cincinnati fans, he placed third in the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year voting and was chosen an All-Star for the first time in 2014 and again in 2015. With the White Sox in 2016, Frazier blasted 40 home runs for the first time in a season. He won a silver medal for the United States in 2021. The USA Baseball team lost to Japan 2-0, and the Olympic squad was in Tokyo.


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Stephane Matteau

Matteau participated in the 1982 LLWS representing Quebec. Matteau spent 13 seasons as an NHL journeyman wing. He is most known for his outstanding performance during the New York Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup run. In games three and seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils, Matteau scored twice in overtime.

Children playing baseball on the field

Dan Wilson

Wilson participated in the 1981 LLWS representing Illinois. Wilson served as the Mariners’ catcher from 1994 through 2005. He qualified for the 1996 All-Star Game and three ALCS appearances during that period. The sixth-best fielding percentage for a catcher in history came from Wilson when he retired, with a mark of .995. Wilson hit a grand slam in the park in 1998.

Milledge with the New York Mets in 2006

Lastings Milledge

Florida’s Milledge participated in the 1997 LLWS. In 2006, when he played for the Mets, Milledge was the youngest player in the Major Leagues. Milledge is the Pirates’ starting left fielder following a time in Washington. At PNC Park, he has a fan base known as the “Milledge People.”

Rasmus with the Houston Astros in 2015

Colby Rasmus

Rasmus participated in the 1999 LLWS for Alabama. For the Cardinals, Rasmus is a second-year player. He bats fifth in the lineup most of the time and is their current starting centerfielder. Rasmus just hit his first grand slam of his career last week, helping the Cardinals defeat the Reds and go into first place in the NL Central.

Marquis with the San Diego Padres

Jason Marquis

Marquis participated in the 1991 LLWS for New York. Marquis is a pitcher with the Washington Nationals, but his three seasons in St. Louis, when he appeared in two World Series, are most remembered. It is ironic that he had his worst season in 2006 and sat out of the Cards’ championship run. When he represented the Rockies in his first All-Star game, he enjoyed possibly his finest season to date. But this season, it has not led to success. In 2010, he has not yet achieved victory. In 2005, Marquis also received the Silver Slugger honor.

Carney Lansford in 2010

Carney Lansford

Lansford participated in the 1969 LLWS representing California. Before being sold to Oakland, Lansford was an effective third baseman for the Angels and Red Sox. Lansford helped the A’s to three consecutive World Series trips in the late 1980s by typically batting behind Rickey Henderson for the A’s. During that run, the A’s won the 1989 World Series. Lansford hit 151 home runs in his career and had a batting average of.290. He won the 1981 hitting championship as well.

Cassel with the Minnesota Vikings in 2013

Matt Cassel

Cassel may have become famous in football, but in 1994 he came dangerously close to making history in baseball. Cassel was a member of the Northridge City Little League squad that defeated Virginia 3-0 to advance to the championships. His squad lost to Venezuela 4-3. 

Despite being selected by the Athletics in the 2004 draft, Cassel eventually turned his attention to football. When Tom Brady suffered a knee injury in 2008, the Patriots selected him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Later, while playing for Kansas City, he was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010 after tossing 27 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions and leading the Chiefs to a 10-5 record. After leaving the Chiefs at the end of the 2012 season, he continued to change teams, playing for five more teams before calling it quits after the 2018 season. 

Bay with the Boston Red Sox in 2009

Jason Bay

Bay, a Trail, British Columbia, native, participated in the 1990 Little League World Series with the Trail Little League squad. The team beat Mexico in the quarterfinals before losing to Taiwan, the eventual champion, in the semifinals. The Canadian team defeated California 5-4 in the consolation round. 

Bay had a distinguished MLB career, especially during his stint with the Pirates, where he won the 2004 Rookie of the Year and was a two-time All-Star. In 2009, while playing for the Red Sox, he made his third All-Star appearance. His 11-year MLB career ended with a slash line of.266/.360/.481, 222 home runs, and 95 stolen bases. In 2019, he was admitted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Derek Bell

Bell participated in the LLWS representing Florida in 1980 and 1981. Although Bell’s statistics were not spectacular, he was a vital part of the Killer B’s, which helped the Astros win three straight division titles in the late 1990s. In Houston, Bell enjoyed a couple of exceptional seasons. He received votes for MVP in 1995 and had the fourth-best league-hitting average (.334).


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Ray Ferraro

In the 1976 LLWS, Ferraro competed for British Columbia. Roughly over the course of his 18 seasons in the NHL, Ferraro amassed over 400 goals and 1,200 games played. Ferraro’s two overtime goals against the Capitals almost guided the Islanders to the 1993 Stanley Cup. In Game Seven versus Pittsburgh, over time, he also provided an assist for the winning goal. The Stanley Cup was ultimately won by Montreal, whom the Islanders were unable to defeat. In the playoffs, he had 13 goals and 20 assists. Ferraro entered the world of radio after retiring in 2002. He has had positions at TSN, NBC, and ESPN.

Rick Wise

Rick Wise

Wise participated in the 1958 LLWS representing Oregon. During his 18-year career, Wise played for many clubs and had two All-Star selections, but he is arguably most remembered for pitching Boston to victory in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The match in which Carlton Fisk hit his renowned walk-off home run is regarded by many as the best game ever played. Against the Reds in 1971, Wise pitched a no-hitter. He was the only player in the game to hit two home runs, another rarity. Additionally, Wise was exchanged for Dennis Eckersley and Steve Carlton, two Hall of Famers.  

Brian Sipe

Brian Sipe

Sipe was a member of an El Cajon Little League team that made history before moving to Cleveland and becoming a legend there. He and the 1961 Northern Little League team won the Little League World Series by defeating Texas in the championship game after winning two games in extra innings.

In the end, Sipe felt most drawn to the gridiron. The Browns selected him in the 13th round of the NFL Draft in 1972, and he finally debuted as the team’s starting quarterback in 1976. He then began to turn the team around, leading it to its first postseason appearance since 1972 in 1980. He threw for 4,132 yards and completed 30 touchdown passes throughout that season, earning him the title of NFL MVP. In terms of passing yards (23,713), passing touchdowns (154), and quarterback victories (57), he continues to hold the franchise record. 

Powell with the Oakland Athletics in 2017

Boog Powell

Powell participated in the 1954 LLWS representing Florida. In the 1960s and 1970s, Powell played a significant role in the Baltimore Orioles’ heyday. He participated in four All-Star Games and won the 1970 AL MVP. In 1966 and 1970, Powell’s Orioles won the World Series. In 1969 and 1971, he attended the World Series as well. In 1983, his lone year on the ballot, he garnered five votes for the Hall of Fame.

Billy Hunter

Billy Hunter

For New Jersey, Hunter won the LLWS in 1955. Three sports have been a part of Hunter’s career. Since 1996, Hunter has served as the NBA Player’s Association’s executive director. In the interim, he played football at Syracuse and spent one season each as a wide receiver with the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.  

Drury with the New York Rangers in 2008

Chris Drury

The Connecticut squad that won the 1989 LLWS had Drury as its MVP. Drury serves as the New York Rangers captain. Drury received the Hobey Baker Award for finest collegiate player at Boston College. He won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL. Despite having a poor season and against the recommendation of veteran Olympian Jeremy Roenick, he was selected for the 2010 Olympic team. However, Drury came through with the winning goal against Canada. The United States won silver.

Turgeon in 2009

Pierre Turgeon

Baseball provided Turgeon his first chance at popularity, despite the fact that his involvement in the “Punch-up in Piestany” between Canada and the USSR may have garnered him some notice in his youth. Turgeon participated in the 1982 Little League World Series as a member of the Rotary Little League in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. The team represented Canada and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Taiwan. He shared the field with Stephane Matteau, a teammate who will play in the NHL.

Five years later, the Sabres selected Turgeon first overall, beginning an exceptional NHL career. He received the 1993 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and was selected to five All-Star teams. He was a prolific goal scorer who reached a career high of 58 goals in 1993 and recorded at least 40 goals three times in a single season. With 515 goals and 812 assists at the end of his playing career, he holds the record for the most goals scored in the NHL by a player who is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Gooden with the New York Mets in 1986

Dwight Gooden

Florida’s Gooden participated in the 1979 LLWS. Before using drugs, Gooden was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1980s. In 1984, he participated in the MLB All-Star Game as the youngest player ever. He won the NL Cy Young Award and the Triple Crown of Pitching in 1985. He was a member of four All-Star teams and received three World Series rings. In 1996, Gooden pitched a no-hitter.

Lynn with the Minnesota Twins in 2018

Lance Lynn

Lynn was an important member of the 1999 Central Brownsburg Little League club before he became the front-runner for the AL Cy Young Award. Although Lynn and his group won the central division, they lost in pool play against Toms River, which advanced to the semifinal without Frazier this time. 

However, Lynn has since had the opportunity to bolster his athletic résumé with a championship. He played in the World Series for the Cardinals in his debut season in the major leagues, earning his lone championship to date. He received his first All-Star designation the following year. He later changed teams several times, playing for the Twins, Yankees, and Rangers before settling down with the White Sox.

Varitek in 2009

Jason Varitek

For Florida, Varitek participated in the 1984 LLWS. Ed Vosberg and Jason Varitek are the only players who have participated in the finals of the LLWS, CWS, and World Series. He played a significant role in the Red Sox World Series teams in 2004 and 2007. After Carl Yastremski and Jim Rice, he was chosen to serve as the third Red Sox team captain in franchise history. He’s also caught four no-hitters, which is a record in MLB.

Sheffield with the Yankees in 2005

Gary Sheffield

Sheffield was a feared hitter for the Belmont Heights Little League squad before becoming a feared slugger in Miami. The team, which was representing Florida in the 1980 Little League World Series, advanced beyond the American side of the bracket and faced Taiwan in the championship game. Florida lost the final to Taiwan 4-3 despite Sheffield establishing a then-record for doubles in the competition with four. 

Sheffield concluded his career with 467 doubles, 509 home runs, and a slash line of.292/.393/.514 to become one of the biggest bats in MLB for many years. In his career, Sheffield was recognized nine times as an All-Star, five times as a Silver Slugger, and in 1997, he won a World Series with the Marlins. He has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for a number of reasons, including his use of PEDs and BALCO. Nevertheless, he will be back on the ballot in 2022 after receiving 40.6 percent of the vote. 


In conclusion, many gifted athletes who later became well-known baseball players got their start in Little League Baseball. Many baseball greats have come through Little League over the years, displaying their talent and love for the game at an early age. These athletes improved their skills, built a solid work ethic, and acquired priceless experience that put them on the road to success. Little League Baseball continues to mold the future of the sport by developing and nurturing young talent, therefore its influence on the growth of future stars cannot be emphasized. As we commemorate baseball’s illustrious past, we must recognize the essential role Little League played in developing some of the sport’s most renowned athletes.