Former Little Leaguers Make it Big
It’s easy to be starstruck when we tune in for televised Major League Baseball matchups. When our MLB heros make a living throwing 100 mile-per-hour fastballs and crushing homeruns 400 feet out of the park, we sometimes forget that they are human, let alone that they used to be kids. Of the many Big League greats who got a Little League start, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox are heading to the MLB Hall of Fame this year.
Major League Baseball manager, Joe Torre, is most renowned for his work with the New York Yankees from 1996 – 2007. The Yankees made it to the post-season for each of Torre’s years with the franchise. Also in his eleven years as the team’s manager, Joe Torre’s Yankees won ten Division titles for the American League East, as well as winning six pennants and earning four World Series rings. Now, as Joe Torre heads to Cooperstown as the 2013 winner of the William A. Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award, he will certainly be remembering his roots.
Alongside Joe Torre, ranking fourth on the Baseball All-time Managerial Wins list, is the legendary Bobby Cox. Though Cox began his career as a MLB manager in 1978, his baseball career began back in 1951 when he first joined Little League. As Little League Baseball celebrates its 75th year, Bobby Cox now reflects not only on his 2,504 victories as a Major League manager, but also on his earliest wins as a Little Leaguer.
So many professional baseball players began their career in Little League, from Hall of Fame greats like Torre and Cox, to new names on the MLB circuit, like pitcher Addison Reed. Entering his third year in the majors,after having recently been traded from Chicago to Arizona, Reed will in a way be returning to the Diamondbacks next year. As a kid in California, Reed once played for a Little League team called the Diamondbacks. If only he still fit into his old uniform!
It is important for kids to remember that baseball ought to be fun. It is also important for kids to remember that their Little League dreams could become Major League reality. With hard work and lots of practice, your child could be the next Little League Graduate Award winning Hall of Famer! Now, time to hit those batting cages…