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Best teams to ever play in the little league world series championship
Many teams and players have graced the baseball fields of Williamsport, Pa., in the month of August as they play for the right to be crowned the best team in Little League baseball. Now in its 64th year of existence, the Little League World Series is one of the top amateur sporting events for young boys in the world.
As America's pastime, baseball takes on a uniquely international flavor when an international team plays against the United States champion for the World Series title. Some of the best teams have won titles once in dominating fashion while others have actually done the improbable by repeating. Here's a look at some of the best teams to win a Little League World Series title.
Monterrey Mexico Industrial League
In the years 1957 and 1958, a ragtag bunch of players from the streets of Monterrey, Mexico, won back-to-back Little League World Series championships for the first time in the game's history. In 1957, Monterrey's Angel Macias tossed the only perfect game in LLWS title game history. The team has been immortalized in a book and movie called The Perfect Game.
The team stood for more than just baseball. Many of the players came from extreme poverty, living on the streets, and turning horrible living conditions into living the dream that many boys can only read about in the newspapers or watch on television. The team was an underdog in more ways than one as the players were a head shorter and gave at least 20 pounds per player to the Americans from California. Winning one title was amazing in and of itself. Twice in a row, out of the thousands of teams that played in 1957, is nothing short of astounding.
In the 1970s, Asia dominated the Little League World Series. The year 1971 saw one of the most one-sided romps to the title game ever. The team from Tainan, Taiwan, became the second Taiwanese champion in three years, but how they did it is probably what the team will be remembered for the most.
In the first game of the quarterfinals, Tainan blanked Latin America 7-0 and then in the next game they defeated a team from the United States 11-0. In the title game, it was knotted up 3-3 until the top of the ninth inning when Tainan ripped the baseball world apart when they scored nine runs to go ahead 12-3. That run total stood after the bottom half of the inning. Another team from Tainan would win again two years later in 1973 in even more dominating fashion by winning 18-0, 27-0, and 12-0 in the final three games of the tournament on the way to another title. Tainan as a city would win three more titles spread out over the next 20 years. These victories were pretty impressive for a tiny island in south Asia.
Long Beach, California
As far as teams from the United States, two years in a row saw a team from Long Beach, Calif., claim victory. In the year 1992 an expanded format included a round-robin portion to start the Little League World Series and ended with a championship game.
A team from the Philippines was the first from that country to make it to the title game in 1992 but unfortunately the Filipino media found and proved allegations of ineligible players on the team. The second place team from Long Beach, Calif., was awarded the title. A year later, Long Beach repeated the title with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over a team from Panama. A highlight of the 1993 campaign was a 21-1 drubbing in the round robin phase over a team from New Hampshire. Sean Burroughs, a Major League player, was on the team in both years.
In 2004, a team from the tiny Caribbean country of Curacao won the title for the first time in its region's history. One player, Carlos Pineda, was 5-11 and 168 pounds in Keep in mind that no player can be over 12 years old. Suffice it to say, Pineda was a force to be dealt with. Curacao won 5-2 in 2004 and almost repeated the following year if not for surrendering a home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Despite all of the great players that have come out of the Caribbean such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, it took nearly 60 years of Little League World Series play to come up with a champion. The same team from Curacao made the title game twice in a row, better than any other Caribbean team to date.
Best Team Not to Win
Merchantville, N.J., came close, oh so close, in two consecutive years in the Little League World Series. In the years 1955 and 1956, a team from Merchantville won games by margins of not more than two runs. In fact, every single game Merchantville played in Williamsport was decided by two runs or less, and the team had a win-loss record of 4-2.
Unfortunately, the two losses came at the worst possible time. In 1955 Merchantville lost to Morrisville, Pa., 4-3 in the championship game. The next year they lost 3-1 to a team from New Mexico. Don't think that New Jersey has some kind of alien-conspiracy theory against them since they lost to Roswell, N.M., in 1956. New Jersey has won four times out of the seven title games in which they have participated.
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