So many of us played Little League baseball it is almost seen as a rite of passage for young Americans. Little league baseball is as red-blooded as it gets, along with mom and apple pie. Some of the most famous names in the world have played in Minor League Baseball, for example Presidents George W. Bush, Adam Sandler, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Singer Jason Aldean played in the minor leagues and was offered a baseball scholarship but turned it down to pursue a singing career. Bruce Springsteen and Brent Musberger both talk about little league as their fondest memories. And if you think little league is just for boys, think again, with the stars Julia Stiles and Elizabeth Banks both played minor league baseball in their youth.
Of course, not everyone who plays in the minor leagues makes it to the World Series. That list is shrinking pretty quickly, but there are still a few big names outside of baseball who have played on little league’s biggest stage.
National Football League players Matt Cassel, Jake Fromm, Gail Gilbert, Billy Hunter, Jack Loesch, Trey Quinn, Turk Schonert, Brian Sipe and Julian Vandervelde all appeared in the LLWS when they were young.
The National Hockey League is represented by such players as Chris Drury, Ray Ferraro, Stefan Matto and Pierre Turgeon who all took the field in Williamsport.
Mo’n Davis was one of two girls to play in the 2014 Little League World Series and was the first girl to win and throw a shutout in Little League World Series history. The 18th girl to play and the sixth to have a hit, Mo’n was the first minor league baseball player to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a minor leaguer.
NASCAR champion driver Austin Dillon played in the 2002 World Series when he was on the team representing Forsyth County, North Carolina.
Former US Women’s National Hockey Team player and current Pittsburgh Penguins scout, Chrissy Wendell was the first girl to start as a catcher when she played for Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in the 1994 World Series.
However, the names you will recognize from the LLWS are those who went on to play in the MLB. Interestingly, there are only three players who have ever played in a Little League World Series, a College World Series, and an MLB World Series: pitcher Ed Vosberg, outfielder Michael Conforto and catcher Jason Varitek