The Little League World Series is 70 years old this summer, and in that time, the tournament has showcased it all. More than 50 no-hitters. Even more grand slams. A handful of perfectos. Seven decades' worth of champions.Through all of the marvels and milestones, several Little Leaguers have left indelible
The Little League World Series is 70 years old this summer, and in that time, the tournament has showcased it all. More than 50 no-hitters. Even more grand slams. A handful of perfectos. Seven decades' worth of champions.
Through all of the marvels and milestones, several Little Leaguers have left indelible legacies with their individual feats, team results aside. In no particular order, the players below -- among them future Major Leaguers and regular Joes alike -- represent the Top 10 performers in Little League World Series history.
Although the pitching staff of the Southeast Region representatives from Greenville, N.C., may have proved itself worthy of inclusion with a perfect game and a no-no during this year's tournament, we'll stick to past performers here. Let's get started:
Lloyd McClendon, 1971
Nearly 50 years ago, a Little Leaguer from Gary, Ind., put on a show that earned him the nickname "Legendary Lloyd." The future MLB player-turned-manager appeared in three games for his team, including the championship against Taiwan, and recorded five at-bats. McClendon hit a home run in each of them, finishing the tournament with record-breaking marks. His 1.000 average and on-base percentage remain LLWS records, although several players have since tied him in those categories. But McClendon's slugging percentage (4.000) and OBP (5.000) still stand as the top marks in the tournament to this day.
Jurickson Profar, 2004-05
Onetime uber-prospect Profar first garnered international attention as a Little Leaguer from Curacao who played in back-to-back LLWS. His team triumphed in 2004, when the then-two-way star posted a 2-0 record on the mound with 19 strikeouts across 12 1/3 innings. He backed up that performance with a .313 average and five RBIs.
The following summer, Profar picked up his bat to record the third-best average in the tournament (.389) while scoring five runs and knocking in two. He also established himself as a strikeout machine, with 26 across 13 frames.
Randal Grichuk, 2003-04
Grichuk returned to his roots for the Little League Classic on Sunday, and although his performance in that game was underwhelming, he can at least look back fondly. Now 26, the Cardinals outfielder appeared in two straight Little League World Series with his team from Lamar, Texas, from 2003-04. In the former, Grichuk went 4-for-9 at the plate (.444) with three RBIs and as many runs scored. The next summer, he topped those solid numbers, batting .632 with four home runs (seven is the record), 11 RBIs and nine runs scored.
Michael Conforto, 2004
Completing the trifecta of 2004 LLWS stars on this list is the Washington state Little Leaguer-turned-Mets outfielder, who owns quite a unique distinction: He's one of just three players to have completed the epic World Series slam, appearing in the Little League World Series, College World Series and MLB World Series.
"I'll definitely remember those moments," Conforto said during New York's 2015 World Series run. "The feelings I got on those two home runs, it's indescribable. You dream about those moments."
But long before he reached that stage, Conforto represented Redmond, Wash., finishing the LLWS with a .600 batting average. In the tournament opener, he faced Grichuk's team, and both players went yard: a fitting foreshadowing of their famous futures.
Chin-Hsiung Hsieh, 1996
Just over two decades ago, Hsieh enjoyed an all-around outstanding tournament at the plate for the eventual champions from Chinese Taipei's Fu-Hsing Little League. He launched seven homers -- including a three-run shot in the LLWS final -- scored 13 runs, knocked in 16 and finished with 38 total bases, all of which are records that still stand.
Bradley Smith, 2012
Smith stood an imposing 6-foot-3, towering above his Little League teammates from Petaluma, Calif. He also stood out for his performance across the team's six games, setting LLWS records for hits (14) and doubles (six), while helping his team average an impressive eight runs per game.
Three years later, though, the slugger made headlines for another reason: a near-death experience in an ATV accident. Thankfully, though, Smith made a full recovery, returning to both the basketball court and the baseball diamond.
Todd Frazier, 1998
Frazier showcased his future Home Run Derby-winning ways during the opening contest of the 1998 LLWS, when he launched a grand slam to propel his Toms River, N.J., squad over its Michigan foes. The affair then ranked as the longest in tournament history by both innings (11) and time (three hours, 11 minutes), and the victory paved the way for Frazier's fantastic performance in the final against Japan: a 4-for-4 day at the plate including a leadoff home run, and a legacy as the winning pitcher.
Colby Rasmus, 1999
Rasmus missed crossing paths with Frazier in the LLWS by just a year when his Phenix City, Ala., team reached the pinnacle of Little League competition. Rasmus recorded 10 at-bats in tournament play and reached base safely in nine of them while posting a .500 average with a home run and three RBIs.
Chin-Mu Hsu, 1971
Before this year's Southeast Region representatives dominated the headlines, Chinese Taipei had set a perfect pitching precedent throughout its numerous LLWS appearances. And in 1971, Hsu took the spotlight, going the distance (pre pitch-count limits) and striking out 22 batters in the nine-inning championship game to earn his team from Tainan City the title.
Chao-An Chen, 1979
Eight years after Hsu's historic showing, Chen authored a gem of his own for Chinese Taipei. His 18-strikeout perfecto -- yes, he struck out every batter he faced -- likely made for quite a boring game for the fielders behind him, but wowed everyone lucky enough to see it. Chen's team scored as many runs as opponents he struck out in the victory, which was the fifth perfect game in tournament history.
The 2017 Little League World Series continues through Sunday, with the U.S., International and overall championship games remaining. Don't miss any of the action; after all, it's in the biggest moments that many players proved themselves worthy of inclusion in this list.
Allison Duffy-Davis is a contributing editor to MLB.com.