It is an unbelievable accomplishment for any younger athlete to succeed in the Little League International Collection.
It is every other factor totally to make it the entire method to the championship recreation. (The 2019 Little League International Collection semifinals – Willemstad, Curacao vs. Chofu Town, Japan and River Ridge, Louisiana vs. Wailuku, Hawaii – will likely be held Saturday, with the overall happening Sunday at three p.m. ET on ABC.)
From inside of that already elite inhabitants, simply 11 gamers have then long past on to succeed in a certified sports activities league, with just about as many going professional in one thing outdoor baseball as in Main League Baseball itself.
LLWS: Extra Little League International Collection protection
Matt Cassel (NFL)
When: 1994, Northridge, Calif.
When he went professional: Cassel has confirmed to be an NFL journeyman, possibly most famed as Tom Brady’s backup who just about led the Patriots to the NFL playoffs right through the season through which Brady suffered a torn ACL. Prior to his soccer profession petered out, he used to be a primary baseman for a Northridge squad that reached a championship showdown towards Venezuela, the place it fell simply brief.
Chris Drury (NHL)
When: 1989, Trumbull, Conn.
When he went professional: Drury has a in reality distinctive declare to reputation: He is the one guy to win a Little League International Collection and still have his identify etched at the Stanley Cup. After pitching Trumbull to glory in Williamsport in 1989, Drury went directly to win the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche (in 2001) and, ultimately, earn induction into the Hockey Corridor of Popularity in 2015. Now not a nasty profession, eh?
Todd Frazier (MLB)
When: 1998, Toms River, N.J.
When he went professional: Frazier has had a cast MLB profession and lately begins for the Mets at 3rd base. A two-time All-Superstar and House Run Derby champion with the Reds, Frazier continues to be recalled as without equal LLWS hero, beginning the championship recreation at shortstop, taking on and ultimately profitable as pitcher and hitting a great 4-for-Four on the plate. It is a feat that will likely be onerous to ever most sensible with the rest wanting a International Collection name.
Gale Gilbert (NFL)
When: 1974, Purple Bluff, Calif.
When he went professional: Gilbert evolved a a lot more ignominious declare to reputation than Drury: He’s the one guy to be a member of 5 consecutive groups that misplaced within the Tremendous Bowl. A profession backup quarterback, Gilbert’s soccer highlights began when he served because the Cal quarterback right through the well-known recreation towards Stanford when his Bears gained on a landing stampeding during the Stanford band, then performed as Jim Kelly’s backup for the 4 Expenses groups that misplaced within the Tremendous Bowl, in addition to the Chargers who fell to the 49ers the next yr. Gilbert, whose son Garrett Gilbert is lately an NFL backup quarterback himself, additionally misplaced within the LLWS ultimate.
Billy Hunter (NFL)
When: 1955, Delaware Township, N.J.
When he went professional: Consider the ones Dos Equis (XX) beer ads that touted being the collection of, “probably the most fascinating guy on the earth”? Neatly, that is Billy Hunter in sports activities. The previous extensive receiver spent a season each and every with the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins sooner than turning to a post-playing profession in legislation, incomes his legislation level at Cal-Berkeley. That ended in his 2d profession — as a federal prosecutor — and 3rd as the manager director of the Nationwide Basketball Avid gamers Affiliation (NBPA), the group that negotiates on behalf of NBA gamers. He used to be ousted from that function in scandal, however held it for 17 years.
Yusmeiro Petit (MLB)
When: 1994, Coquivacao, Venezuela
When he went professional: Consider how Cassel’s California squad reached the LLWS finals after which fell brief? Neatly, Petit used to be one of the most gamers who beat them. The MLB pitcher later changed into the primary participant to win each the LLWS and MLB International Collection in a profession, taking the later with the San Francisco Giants in 2014. He now feet the rubber for the Oakland Athletics.
Jurickson Profar (MLB)
When: 2004, Willemstad, Curacao
When he went professional: Profar used to be an enormous consider Curacao’s 2004 LLWS victory, blasting a two-run homer because the Willemstad squad captured the name. He returned with the similar team a yr later, however could not take back-to-back crowns. Regardless of. The wunderkind slugger used to be signed by means of the Rangers simply 4 years later and used to be a stalwart in Arlington for 5 years sooner than touchdown with Oakland within the prior offseason. He is now a 3rd baseman for the Athletics.
Colby Rasmus (MLB)
When: 1999, Phenix Town, Ala.
When he went professional: Prior to Rasmus retired following the 2018 season, he used to be a robust journeyman outfielder who’s most probably perfect recognized for a couple of seasons gambling for the Houston Astros. Prior to that he used to be a celebrity for the Alabama squad which captured the U.S. crown on the LLWS sooner than falling to a group from Osaka, Japan in 1999. One different a laugh minutiae word? Rasmus used to be the participant decided on with the compensatory draft select the Boston Purple Sox despatched the St. Louis Cardinals for signing shortstop Edgar Renteria following the 2004 International Collection between the 2 groups.
Jonathan Schoop (MLB)
When: 2004, Willemstad, Curacao
When he went professional: Profar wasn’t the one long run megastar at the group from Curacao. Schoop, who’s now an influence hitting infielder for the Twins, used to be an influence pitcher for the champion Willemstad facet, incomes the save within the championship recreation. A 2017 All-Superstar, he debuted for the Orioles a yr after Profar did for the Rangers. Like Profar, he performed for 2 other Curacao groups that performed within the LLWS, despite the fact that he overlooked the overall on his first strive in 2003 sooner than profitable the name in 2004.
Brian Sipe (NFL)
When: 1961, El Cajon, Calif.
When he went professional: Sipe is but every other early life baseball megastar became quarterback, nonetheless preserving the Cleveland Browns franchise marks for many passing yards and touchdowns, in addition to the 1980 NFL MVP. Prior to he used to be a Professional Bowl passer, Sipe starred for the El Cajon squad that captured the 1961 LLWS, making him the primary LLWS champion to later generate profits gambling skilled sports activities.
Devon Travis (MLB)
When: 2003, Boynton Seashore, Fla.
When he went professional: Travis is simplest 4 years into his MLB profession, all with the Blue Jays, however the second one baseman has an outstanding Little League profession to lean again on. Travis’ Florida group reached the 2003 championship recreation sooner than falling brief. A part of a nonetheless younger core, Travis hopes to be a part of a Blue Jays revival that might achieve the International Collection in the following couple of seasons.
Practice USA TODAY Top Faculty Sports activities’ Cam Smith on Twitter @camsmithsports.