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Little big leaguers

Little League World Series paved way to majors for some

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Latest: Sunday August 27, 2000 05:08 AM

  Derek Bell Derek Bell is the only major-leaguer to have participated in two Little League World Series. Greg Fiume /Allsport

By Ryan Hunt and Lonny Krasnow

Jim Barbieri had 82 major league at-bats. Boog Powell had 339 major league home runs.

Together, however, their careers are intertwined like a strand of DNA.

Barbieri and Powell are two of 22 players who have played in the Little League World Series then went on to reach the majors.

Amazingly, eight of the 22 (36 percent) -- including Barbieri and Powell -- made it to the major league World Series as well.

But Barbieri and Powell managed to accomplish the feat in the same years, playing each time for different teams.

Powell, one of the Orioles' most famed players, played in the 1954 Little League World Series for Lakeland, Fla. Barbieri played for Schenectady, N.Y, which defeated Colton, Calif., for the '54 title.

Double Duty
Players who appeared in both Little League World Series and major league World Series
Player  LLWS  MLB WS 
Jim Barbieri  1954  1966 
Boog Powell  1954  1966, '69, '71 
Rick Wise  1958  1975 
Carney Lansford  1969  1988, '89, '90 
Ed Vosberg  1973  1997 
Charlie Hayes  1977  1996 
Gary Sheffield  1980  1997 
Derek Bell  1980, '81  1992 

Twelve years later, Powell's Orioles defeated Barbieri's Dodgers in a sweep of the 1966 World Series. Barbieri had one pinch-hit appearance in that series, which turned out to be his last big league at-bat.

That 1954 Little League World Series proved to be a breeding ground for future major leaguers. There were five players who went on to play in the majors, the most of any year.

Carl Taylor, who had a six-year big league career, teamed with Powell on the Lakeland team, while Bill Connors was a member of Barbieri's winning team from Schenectady. The 1962 National League rookie of the year, Ken Hubbs of the Cubs, also participated in the '54 series.

Twenty-seven years later, Derek Bell and Gary Sheffield, two of the National League's premier outfielders, were teammates on the 1980 team from Tampa, Fla., that made it to Williamsport. Bell also made it to the Little League World Series the following year as well, making him the only major leaguer to play in the event twice.

Bell's team lost in the finals both year. But Bell, who is now with the New York Mets, finally earned a championship ring as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992.

Williamsport and Beyond
Little Leaguers who reached the major leagues
Player  LLWS  City 
Wilson Alvarez  1982  Maracaibo, Venezuela 
Jim Barbieri  1954  Schenectady, N.Y. 
Derek Bell  1980-81  Tampa, Fla. 
Larvell Blanks  1962  Del Rio, Texas 
Bill Connors  1954  Schenectady, N.Y. 
Charlie Hayes  1977  Hattiesburg, Miss. 
Ken Hubbs  1954  Colton, Calif. 
Keith Lampard  1958  Portland, Ore. 
Carney Lansford  1969  Santa Clara, Calif. 
Vance Lovelace  1975  Tampa, Fla. 
Lloyd McClendon  1971  Gary, Ind. 
Jim Pankovits  1968  Richmond, Va. 
Marc Pisciotta  1983  Marietta, Ga. 
Boog Powell  1954  Lakeland, Fla. 
Gary Sheffield  1980  Tampa, Fla. 
George Tsamis  1979  Campbell, Calif. 
Carl Taylor  1954  Lakeland, Fla. 
Hector Torres  1958  Monterrey, Mexico 
Jason Varitek  1984  Altamonte Springs, Fla. 
Ed Vosberg  1973  Tuscon, Ariz. 
Dan Wilson  1981  Barrington, Ill. 
Rick Wise  1958  Portland, Ore. 

Charlie Hayes, Carney Lansford, Ed Vosberg and Rick Wise are the only other major leaguers to play in both World Series. Vosberg is the only player to also play in the College World Series, doing so at the University of Arizona.

Four major leaguers (Barbieri, Connors, Hector Torres and Marc Pisciotta) have won a Little League World Series championship. But Barbieri remains the only major leaguer to win a Little League World Series and play in the World Series.

The NHL and NFL has had its share of representation in the Little League World Series, as well.

Chris Drury pitched Trumbull, Conn., to the Little League World Series title 11 years ago. Last year, Drury was the NHL rookie of the year with the Colorado Avalanche. Current NHLers Pierre Turgeon (St. Louis Blues) and Stephane Matteau (San Jose Sharks) also played in Williamsport.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe was a member of the 1963 championship team from El Cajon, Calif. Former NFL quarterback Turk Schonert also played in the LLWS.

Related information
Stories's Little League World Series Coverage
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