When the Little League World Series rolls around every August, the sports world collectively goes, “oh yeah, that’s a thing.” Kids from across the country play for the chance to go to the Mecca of amateur baseball: Howard J. Lamade Stadium in Williamsport.
ESPN televises the event up from the regional games up to the championship, and it’s the perfect thing to throw on the TV for some background noise.
Every LLWS team is generally the same. There are certain player archetypes that every successful LLWS has. Let’s break it down.
The Kid That Hit Puberty Earlier Than Everyone Else
This is a LLWS staple. There’s always at least one kid that’s well above 6 feet tall. He’s batting cleanup and is probably the team’s ace. He’s bringing the heat in the mid-70s and crushes dingers with ease. His favorite player is Giancarlo Stanton and he has a girlfriend that’s at least three years older than him, which makes him popular in the dugout. Do not ask his mom to see his birth certificate.
The Little League World Series is great because a kid will try to throw a big looping curveball and a 6’2 12-year old named Brackstyn will hit it to the moon.— Chris Schutte (@ChrisSchutte3) August 9, 2018
The Portly Catcher That Rakes
You’ve seen Sandlot, right? If you haven’t, shame on you. Anyways, every team has a Ham Porter type player. He’s still carrying some of that baby fat on his frame, which limits his versatility in the field. But the kid can hit the absolute hell out of the ball. You can live with the frequent passed balls behind the plate when he goes 2-3 with three RBI.
The Pinch Runner That Plays Because The Rules Say He Has To
Tommy has never really been a huge fan of baseball, but his mom thinks it’s good for him to get out and be outside instead of staying inside playing Fortnite all summer. He’s not very big, and doesn’t really have any skills that translate to being an effective baseball player. But he can run! Tommy exclusively comes in during the fourth inning to pinch run for our portly catchers. He’s going to score a timely run at some point in the tournament and his teammates will mob him in the dugout. Very wholesome moment for Tommy.
4) bench warmer who has high fives with all his more talented and more interesting teammates.— fabio fognini appreciator (@kicknyrgios) August 10, 2018
The best LLWS pitchers are the ones that have an overpowering fastball or a wicked breaking ball. The latter operates with a 2:1 curveball to fastball ratio. He’s looking to make his opponents look silly, but he’s also going to walk seven batters. He’s going to reach the pitch count limit in the third inning because he can’t get the 42 MPH slider over the plate.
I hate it when my braxtyn ruptures his ucl after bringing some 78 mph cheese and we have to replace him on the mound with Rylan, who throws 46 but has a mean 38 mph slider.— fabio fognini appreciator (@kicknyrgios) August 10, 2018
Tiny Middle Infielders
Manning the middle infield spots of a LLWS team require quick hands and a solid glove. That’s why coaches rely on the twin duo of Connor and Collin to turn two. They’re both 4’9 and weigh 83 pounds. They’re a combined 1-17 so far at the plate, but dammit nothing gets past them in the field. Connor and Collin’s favorite players are David Eckstein and Dustin Pedroia, respectively. Neither of them wear batting gloves.
He’s not the best player on the team, but he’s not the worst either. His value comes from being the designated hype man. Is he hitting a Fortnite dance after raking a double? Absolutely. Does he have a handshake with every player on the team? You bet. Is he just pounding Monsters instead of water or Gatorade? I think you know the answer. He will be the one to go viral on Twitter and definitely won’t let it go to his head.
The Accessories Haver
When Amy was out shopping for her son Dresdin leading up to the season, she had one thing in mind. Look Good, Play Good. You can find Dresdin at third base decked out with accessories. He’s rocking the flip down shades, an arm sleeve, and has the nicest bat that money could buy. He absolutely looks the part. Unfortunately, he’s prone to chasing bad pitches, and was notoriously benched in the semifinals for bat flipping on an Infield Fly.
His dad made it to AA ball with the Mariners back in the early 2000’s, so yeah, he knows a little bit about the game. He’s batting leadoff and will be the one taking the mound in crucial moments. He’s the most likely one on the team to argue with an umpire, and his dad will leave him in far too long despite getting shelled for seven runs in less than two innings of work. Most of the team secretly hates him, and he will ultimately be the one to strikeout to end the team’s title hopes. At least that touching moment with his dad got on ESPN though.