These are the wildest 'Little League home runs' from the last few years
The BBQ's Best 5 is exactly what it sounds like: Each week, we'll pick a category around the world of baseball and talk about the five best things within that group. Today, we're highlighting the five wildest "Little League" home runs from the past five seasons.
The 72nd edition of the Little League World Series begins Thursday, as 16 of the best youth teams from across the globe come together in Williamsport, Pa., to compete in one of the coolest baseball tournaments on the calendar. The quality of play at the Little League World Series never ceases to amaze, as the 10-13-year-old players routinely make highlight-reel catches and show off legitimate home run power at the plate, making them look like big leaguers.
However, Little League can also be a place where certain combinations of defensive misplays occur that we almost never see at the Major League level.
These are the five craziest "Little League home runs" from the last few seasons:
Brian Dozier vs. the Tigers -- Sept. 23, 2017
Cesar Hernandez reminded us earlier this season of the glory of the vaunted bunt home run:
But while Hernandez's had the ball actually go out of play and was thus awarded home automatically, Dozier managed to make it all the way around the bases on pure hustle. Better yet: Dozier was the first batter of the game! A leadoff homer over the fence is cool, but having your leadoff bunt result in an instant run is even cooler.
Josh Harrison vs. the Brewers -- July 19, 2016
Whereas Dozier led off the game with a Little League roundtripper, Harrison once ended a game with a deep triple to center field followed by a fortunate (or unfortunate, for the defense) throw that skipped away and out of play. Once he realized the ball was out of play and would be awarded home plate, Harrison took his time coming down the first-base line just as he would have had he actually hit a real walk-off homer. What a crazy ending.
Omar Infante vs. the Orioles -- Aug. 24, 2015
The camera cuts to the crowd as Infante is motoring into the third base, with the expectation that he has completed his baserunning journey and the Royals fans are excited about the RBI triple. But the camera panned too soon! The ball sails over the third baseman and Infante trots home without a play.
Lesson learned: You never know what play is going to turn into a home run. Broadcast cameras must remain vigilant.
Christian Yelich vs. the Padres -- Aug. 27, 2017
Oftentimes with these plays, the baserunner has a pretty good idea of where the ball is and what his chances of scoring are thanks to an errant throw or catch. In this case, Yelich seemed completely content with his triple and instead had to be urgently alerted that the ball was in fact still bouncing around the field. The moment he realized what was happening was rather amusing:
Marcus Semien vs. the Astros -- Aug. 20, 2017
Semien's trip around the bases was especially improbable considering that off the bat, it looked like a tailor-made double play for the Astros. Instead, the ball rolled down the right-field line, only to be thrown wildly again down the left-field line seconds later. It's possible the ball traveled even farther than Semien did during this play. Nevertheless, the result was a classic Little League home run.