Every Little Leaguer dreams of making it to the big leagues. A total of 45 players have made both the Little League World Series and MLB, including these 13 current players who first made their names on the fields of Williamsport, Pa.
Conforto played in the 2004 Little League World Series for Redmond North (Wash.) as an 11-year-old. Redmond was eliminated after three games, the last a 3-2 heartbreaker to Owensboro, Ky., but Conforto had an impressive tournament line, going 6-for-10 with four runs scored.
Conforto, who later helped lead Oregon State to the 2013 College World Series, comes from athletic bloodlines. His mother, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming and his father, Mike, played inside linebacker at Penn State and grew up not far from Williamsport.
On July 24, 2015, the New York Mets -- who selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft -- promoted Conforto, 22, to the major leagues. The next day he collected his first major league hit and went 4-for-4.
Before he became a hometown Home Run Derby champ -- the first Little League World Series alum to win the Derby -- Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier led his Toms River, N.J., team to the 1998 LLWS championship. As the leadoff hitter, the 13-year-old hit a grand slam in the third inning to put his team up 6-4 in Game 2 of the U.S. Central vs. U.S. East matchup. He also hit a homer and went 4-for-4 in the 12-9 victory over Kashima, Japan, in the championship game and was the winning pitcher.
This season he's busy mounting a National League Rookie of the Year-worthy campaign as a slugging outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. (The 24-year-old Grichuk is batting .284 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs in 85 games -- and has 43 extra-base hits, the most among rookies.) Back in 2003 and 2004, Grichuk was leading the Lamar National Little League (of Richmond, Texas) to back-to-back LLWS appearances. In the 2004 LLWS, he helped power Lamar into the U.S. championship game -- which it lost to Thousand Oaks, Calif. -- by going 12-for-19 at the plate for a .632 batting average, including three doubles, four home runs, 13 RBIs and a slugging percentage of 1.421.
As a 12-year-old, Loewen was a member of the 1996 Kennedy Little League team from Surrey, British Columbia, that reached the Little League World Series. He tossed a three-hit shutout in the Canadian Little League championships to propel his team past Toronto and to the LLWS. The left-hander (above, in Williamsport) was the team's best pitcher as well as its top hitter. The Kennedy team lost two of three games it played, but the experience helped Loewen choose baseball over hockey. "I always loved hockey more," he told The Morning Call. "But I remember that summer [playing in the LLWS] being the most fun I ever had."
Loewen -- who became the fourth Canadian selected in the first round of the draft when the Baltimore Orioles took him fourth overall in 2001 -- pitched for the Orioles from 2006-08 before converting to a position player and playing all three outfield positions as well as first base for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. After spending the next two seasons in the minors as a position player, Loewen then converted back to being a pitcher, and was called up to the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month.
Lynn helped lead Brownsburg, Ind., Little League to the Little League World Series in 1999. In Williamsport, the 12-year-old, who was 5-foot-9 and 169 pounds, threw eight innings, posting a record of 0-1 with an ERA of 4.09 -- and also saw time at first base. In seven LLWS at-bats, he had three hits and scored a run for a .429 batting average. Brownsburg finished the World Series tournament 0-3, but 12 years later Lynn made his way back to the grand stage. As an MLB rookie, Lynn won the 2011 World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a key contributor out of the bullpen for the NL champions, including a perfect eighth inning in the Game 7 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Profar played in the 2004 Little League World Series as an 11-year-old and helped Pabao Little League win the first championship for the island of Curacao. He was a force both on the mound and at the plate for Pabao, going 2-0 with a save over 12.1 innings and striking out 19 while also batting .313 (5-for-16) with a double and five RBIs. Profar returned to the LLWS in 2005, when his team reached the international title game. That year, he hit .389 (7-for-18) with seven hits, five runs scored, three walks and two RBIs. He also pitched 13 innings in three games, giving up seven hits and four runs, striking out 26 and walking eight, earning a 1-0 record and a 1.85 ERA.
In his first game for the Rangers on Sept. 2, 2012, Profar homered in his first major league at-bat. He was tabbed as the Rangers' starting shortstop in 2013, but a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery have relegated him to the DL for the past two seasons.
As a 10-year-old -- and backup second baseman -- Petit (No. 3, right-center, above) helped his team from Coquivacoa Little League in Maracaibo, Venezuela, win the 1994 Little League World Series title. It was the first time a Venezuelan team had won the championship in eight appearances and the first title for a Latin American team since Mexico won in 1958. When Petit won the MLB World Series last year with the San Francisco Giants, he became the only player to win both the Little League World Series and the MLB World Series.
Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus led the Phenix City, Ala., National Little League to the 1999 Little League World Series. Phenix City battled back through the losers' bracket and beat Toms River (N.J.) East American Little League (3-2) to win the U.S. title but lost the championship game 5-0 to Hirakata Little League from Osaka, Japan. Rasmus went 5-for-10 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs -- and also recorded seven strikeouts over the course of the tournament. Rasmus was also a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic baseball team and was selected 28th overall in the 2005 amateur draft by the Cardinals. He finished eighth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2009 and has since played for the Blue Jays and Astros.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Cory Rasmus took a back seat to his older brother during the 1999 LLWS. Nonetheless, he followed his sibling to the big leagues in 2013, where the two faced off in a rare fraternal matchup. Just 10 days into his rookie season, Cory (then with the Atlanta Braves) faced Colby, then with Toronto. It marked the first time one brother had pitched to another in MLB since June 13, 2010. Big bro had the upper hand once again, as Colby lined a double to left field.
Saunders grew up playing baseball in British Columbia and going to Seattle Mariners games at the Kingdome. Like many Canadian kids, he played hockey too, but a run to the Little League World Series in 1999 as a 12-year-old with the Gordon Head Little League convinced Saunders that baseball was the sport for him. "I think playing in an international competition [at that age] and then getting a chance to play with the national team and travel the world really made me fall in love with the game," said Saunders, who was drafted by his favorite team in the 11th round of the 2004 draft and played for Seattle from 2009-14. He was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason but stepped on a sprinkler head during spring training and has missed most of the season following surgery on his left knee.
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop made back-to-back trips to the LLWS, playing for the Pabao Little League from Curacao that represented the Caribbean Region in 2003 and 2004. They lost in the semis in 2003 and won the whole thing the next year. Schoop, then 11 and all of 5-foot-3, went 10-for-19 with a .526 batting average, with three doubles, seven runs scored and four RBIs. Schoop, who batted third, and played shortstop and pitcher, shared his favorite memory of the LLWS with ESPN.com's Eddie Matz, "In the semifinals in 2004, we were losing to Chinese Taipei 8-4 in the last inning, and came back. I got a base hit to tie the game. Then I came on in extra innings to pitch. I struck out all three batters, and then the next inning I got another base hit to win the game. That was the best."
In 2001, Tejada played for the Santiago de Veraguas Little League team that represented the Latin American region at the Little League World Series. He went 2-for-3 in a victory over eventual champion Japan, the only loss it would suffer. Tejada signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2006 and debuted with the Mets in 2010 at age 20.
Long before he homered in his major league debut (with the Blue Jays on April 6), Devon Travis went deep in the Little League World Series, propelling his Boynton Beach, Fla., team past Saugus, Mass., and on to the 2003 world championship game against Japan. And even after Travis and his team lost 10-1 in the LLWS finale against Tokyo's Musashi-Fuchu All-Stars, they celebrated on the field with their opponents. "We were just little boys playing the game we loved," Travis, Boynton's second baseman and catcher, told the Palm Beach Post in 2013.
Travis led off his major league career with similar enthusiasm -- and success. He was named the AL rookie of the month for April after batting .325/.393/.625 with 6 home runs, 17 runs scored, and 19 RBIs for the month before shoulder injuries relegated him to the DL.