The New York Yankees are inching closer and closer to reclaiming their spot (“rightful place” if you ask fans) as the team to beat and the champions of Major League Baseball. While Aaron Judge has been the focus of the media narrative around the young team’s insurgency, the more compelling story might be about Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and his quest to become just the second person ever to win both an MLB World Series after winning a Little League World Series.
Frazier won the 1998 Little League World Series as the star player on the Toms River East American Little League All-Star team. After the win, Frazier and the rest of the team were invited by, coincidentally, the New York Yankees to watch a game at Yankee Stadium, where Frazier got to stand next to Derek Jeter during the National Anthem. Frazier came into the MLB years later after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. He spent two seasons with the Chicago White Sox before landing in New York. Now, he has the opportunity to do something profoundly implausible: follow in the steps of Yusmeiro Petit.
Petit is not exactly a household name. He’s a pitcher from Venezuela won the 1994 LLWS with his country’s team and subsequently won the World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2014. For the record, Petit is not only still in the League, he’s still in the playoffs, meaning there’s a roughly equal chance Frazier becomes the second player to accomplish his unusual feat or that Yusmeiro becomes the first to do it twice. Anyone eager to see that second outcome should root for the Dodgers.
Interestingly, several players have been to both the MLB and LL World Series. Jason Varitek, the former Red Sox catcher, is the most prominent of the bunch. He won the World Series, but never got the chance to consider winning both because his team lost the in the Little League World Series finals when he was a kid.
Some losses follow you.