Since the inception of the Little League World Series in 1947, less than 70 youngsters to compete in Williamsport were fortunate (and talented) enough to go on to play Major League Baseball. From that elite group, less than 15 were lucky enough to compete on the grand stage of the MLB World Series.
But there’s only one man who lived the dream of not only playing in both the Little League World Series and the MLB World Series but also winning both. And chances are you’ve likely never heard of him. Have you guessed it yet? We’ll wait…
Okay, we’ll spill. The honor of being the only man to win both the Little League World Series and the MLB World Series is Venezuela pitcher Yusmeiro Petit.
Yusmeiro Petit helped Venezuela win their first Little League World Series in 1994
Born in Maracaibo, the second-largest city in Venezuela, in November 1984, Yusmeiro Petit helped his Coquivacoa Little League qualify for Williamsport in 1994. In addition to Petit, the squad also featured future big-league catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who played parts of 10 MLB seasons, two of those alongside Petit.
In international pool play, as part of a group that also featured Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Canada, Venezuela went 3-0, giving up just two runs in those three games to reach the final four. Facing Saudi Arabia in the tournament semifinals, Coquivacoa dominated, easily winning 10-1 to advance to the title game.
There, Venezuela faced the team from Northridge, California, who’d gone 2-1 in U.S. pool play before shutting out Virginia in the semis to reach the championship game. In a close battle, Coquivacoa eeked out a 4-3 victory, giving Venezuela its first Little League World Series title in eight appearances.
Petit won the 2014 MLB World Series with the San Francisco Giants
Initially signed by the New York Mets as an international free agent in 2001, Petit made his MLB debut with the Florida Marlins in 2006 and spent the next three seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, bouncing back and forth between the major and minor leagues.
Petit was out of the big leagues for two years but signed a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants in 2012 and appeared in one big-league game that season. He again bounced between the majors and minors in 2013, but was a full-time big-leaguer in 2014, working as both a reliever and a starter.
At one point during the year, he set an MLB record by retiring 46 consecutive batters over an eight-game stretch, also setting a new mark for consecutive perfect innings pitched at 15.1. In total, Petit appeared in 39 games that season with 12 starts, going 5-5 with a 3.69 ERA with 133 strikeouts in 117 innings.
In San Francisco’s 18-inning victory over the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, Petit pitched six shutout innings in relief and earned the win in the 2-1 victory. He also picked up a win in the Giants’ NLCS victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals, Petit earned a victory in Game 4, a win the Giants desperately needed to tie the series at 2-2. He was also the first relief pitcher to record a hit in the Fall Classic in more than two decades.
San Francisco ultimately took the series in seven, making Yusmeiro Petit the only person to ever win the Little League World Series and the MLB World Series.
In the years since, he’s pitched in the bigs for the Nationals, LA Angels, and the Oakland A’s. Petit signed a minor-league deal with the San Diego Padres in May 2022 but was released the following month.