In all of sports, there are few clubs that are as exclusive as the World Series Slam – players who have competed in the Little League Baseball®, College, and Major League Baseball World Series. That fraternity is adding a member.
With the New York Mets completing the four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, October 21, rookie Michael Conforto will become just the third person in the history of baseball to play in all three major World Series tournaments, joining Ed Vosberg and Jason Varitek.
Conforto was one of the key contributors on the 2004 Northwest Region Championship team from Redmond North Little League from Redmond, Wash. He finished the tournament tied for fifth in batting average, going 6 for 10 from the plate in three games. In his first game of the Little League Baseball World Series, he faced off against fellow current MLB outfielder, Randall Grichuk, who played in the 2003 and 2004 World Series with Lamar National Little League from Richmond, Texas. Both Conforto and Grichuk homered in that game.
At Oregon State University, Conforto was a standout for the Beavers baseball team. In 2012, he was named Freshman of the Year, and his sophomore year, he hit .328 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI, leading his team to the 2013 College World Series (CWS) in Omaha, Neb. At the CWS, he went 7 for 16 at the plate and was named to the All-Tournament Team. He was selected as a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association, and was drafted by the New York Mets as the 10th overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft.
Conforto, who made his big league debut on July 24, is the first rookie and youngest player to achieve the accomplishment of playing in all three World Series tournaments. Vosberg competed in the 1973 Little League Baseball World Series with his team from Cactus Little League from Tucson, Ariz. He went on to play in the 1980 College World Series while at the University of Arizona, and was a member of the 1997 MLB World Series Champion Florida Marlins team. Seven years later, Varitek joined the club when his Boston Red Sox team won the MLB World Series in 2004. Varitek played in the 1984 Little League® World Series with Almonte Springs National Little League from Almonte Springs, Fla., and in the 1994 College World Series while at Georgia Tech.
From your friends at Rockaway Little League, good luck @Mets! #LGM pic.twitter.com/sQg1jQDPRI
— Little League (@LittleLeague) October 21, 2015
The 2015 New York Mets World Series roster includes many players who got their start on Little League fields. Ruben Tejada, injured in Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series, played in the 2001 Little League Baseball World Series and the 2005 Senior League Baseball World Series with his team from Activo 20-30 Little League from Santiago, Panama. Reliever Tyler Clippard also played in the Senior League Baseball World Series, winning the 2001 Championship with his Palm Harbor Little League team from Tampa, Fla. That year’s Senior League Baseball World Series also featured future MLB stars Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Mets stars Matt Harvey, Curtis Granderson, and David Wright are all Little League graduates, as well.
The 2015 MLB World Series begins on Tuesday, October 27, where the Mets will face off against either the Toronto Blue Jays or Kansas City Royals.