The Little League World Series is a national Little League organization tournament that takes place every August. Since 1957, it has been the final championship for all Little League teams from the United States and Canada. The World Series pits each of the US and Canadian teams against each other in a series of games.
On the journey to the Little League World Series, teams of all ages travel for months, through weather, terrain and time zones. But they never expect to hear something as cheesy as “I’m just looking forward to the first park I get to.”
In the Little League World Series, as in life, it’s not always easy being the star player. With a reputation to protect, these young baseball players are under intense scrutiny, and they’re pretty candid about what it’s like to get all the attention.
Every year, Little League World Series officials conduct interviews with the players, inquiring about their favorite foods, books, TV shows, athletes, and other topics.
Here’s what the students had to give in 2019, when the LLWS was last held:
Harrison Ford () is an actor “Oscar Clout, Cash Compliment, and Everest Ouellette, who competed in the Little League Home Run Derby (“It’s a little annoying being asked about my name all the time, but it’s OK,” he said), Oscar Clout, Cash Compliment, and Everest Ouellette, who competed in the Little League Home Run Derby (“It’s a little annoying, but it’s OK,” he said). His parents were the first to climb Mount Kilimanjaro “Kilimanjaro was too lengthy for a first name, so they gave me the name Everest,” he said.
Adventures in travel
To get to Williamsport, the Australian squad had to take several planes and buses. Lincoln Gruppelaar, a 4-foot-11, 103-pound infielder/outfielder, celebrates his birthday on Aug. 27. On August 26, his team traveled back to the United States. The trip to Sydney takes 30 hours, and due to the time difference, they arrived on August 28. His 12th birthday had just passed him by.
“But we’ll toast it on the aircraft,” Lincoln replied, a smile on his face. “”We’ve got cake.”
Connections to a different era and location
Jackie Robinson is the favorite baseball player of all time, according to Maddy Freking of the Midwest squad.
When asked who he would want to speak to, teammate Jack Brandl replied, “I’d like to talk to Babe Ruth to learn how he managed stardom.”
Ryan Darrah of the Southwest team informed us that he had a sign from Henry David Thoreau on a set of stairs in his home that says, “Go boldly in the path of your goals!”
The West team’s Marley Sebastian was named after Bob Marley.
“The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho, is Seongjoo Lim’s favorite book from the Asia Pacific team.
The Great Lakes team’s favorite band is Led Zeppelin, according to Sol Guyer.
Brett Buettner’s great-great-uncle, football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin, was a member of the Midwest squad.
Evan Schallert of the Great Lakes team’s grandmother was Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter.
Outside of baseball, he has a wide range of interests and abilities.
The tuba is played by Chase Obstgarten of the Southeast squad.
Noah Culpepper, a teammate, can solve the Rubik’s Cube in under a minute.
The New England team’s Henry Kelsey solved it in 48 seconds.
Keep track of the schedule, scores and highlights for every LLWS game as the competition returns for 2021. Little League World Series >>
The Southwest team’s Derek DeLatte II has done some acting. He featured in a commercial with then-Saints quarterback Drew Brees when he was four years old. Derek said, “I played his son.” “I had to kick a football that shattered a lot of glass,” says the player.
The West team’s Kamaha’o Akima can cook eggs Benedict.
Caleb Chai, a teammate, can imitate The Rock’s eyebrow lift.
The Mid-Atlantic team’s Sal Garcia is a qualified scuba diver.
When Thomas VanBishler of the Northwest team was two years old, he caught (with assistance) a 45-pound fish.
The Great Lakes team’s Luke Idlett can count to ten in both Spanish and Chinese.
“Jeopardy!” was Jacob Hoda’s favorite TV program on the Northwest squad.
Having a sense of humor
L.J. Aponte of the Mid-Atlantic team visited Italy in 2018 and stated that “we had gelato every 15 minutes” in Rome and Pompeii.
The Australian team’s Max Miotto claimed his mother is so loud in the grandstand that “it becomes embarrassing occasionally.”
“We get asked all the time, ‘Where is your third brother?’” said Brett Triplett of the Southeast squad, whose twin brother, Chase, also played on the team.
When asked what he would want to contribute, Chase Triplett replied, “My buddy claims that the only thing that can make you weep is an onion. I expressed my displeasure by hurling a coconut in his direction.”
The Caribbean team’s Zion Pardo hit his first grand slam in Little League play against the Virgin Islands, but he added, “I hit a lot of them in the lower leagues.”
The Southwest team’s Reece Roussel is known as “380” because, as he put it, “I can hit dingers 380 feet.”
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