Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series

Fairfield represented Connecticut well in the 2012 World Series. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

When you think about Little League World Series champs, you probably think about Taiwan and California. And for good reason–the Taiwanese were a dynasty in the ’70s and ’80s, winning 17 titles. (California has won 7).

But Connecticut has more than held its own in the Little League World Series. Teams from the Nutmeg State have won four championships—that’s fourth-best all-time and second-best among U.S. states.

Everyone remembers the youngsters from Trumbull, who led by future N.H.L. star Chris Drury, broke a six-year drought for the U.S. and upset a heavily-favored and high-powered Taiwanese team to capture the world title in 1989.

But Connecticut was arguably the most successful state in the union in the early days of the tournament, advancing to three straight title games in the early ’50s and winning two national titles.

The Little League World Series began in 1947, and although international teams didn’t compete regularly until the 1960’s, teams throughout the U.S. made the pilgrimage to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to decide which Little League was the biggest and baddest of them all.

Connecticut teams were regulars in the championship round early, as a Bridgeport team reached the national final in 1950, losing to Houston, Texas, 2-1.

But teams from Stamford and Norwalk would win the whole thing in back to back years in 1951 and ’52, with Stamford besting Austin, Texas 3-0 in ’51  and Norwalk outlasting Monongahela, Pa., 4-3 in ’52.

Bridgeport and Darien each reached the semifinals in 1958, and Stratford reached the national final in ’63, falling to Granada Hills, Canada, 2-1.

A team from Windsor Locks gave Connecticut its third title in 1965, downing Stoney Creek, Ontario 3-1 in the final.

The Trumbull team broke a 24-year championship game drought for Connecticut, and captured the nation’s imagination when they stunned the Taiwanese in the 1989 final. It took another 19 years for a CT team to get back to Williamsport, as the Shelton Little League reached the Group Stage in 2008.

Per capita, Connecticut is certainly one of the most successful states in the U.S. Take a look at this chart:

 

Rank Team Championships Years
1 Taiwan Taiwan ______ 17 19691971741977-811986881990199119951996
2 23px Flag of Japan.svg Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series Japan _______ 8 19671968197619992001200320102012
3 23px Flag of California.svg Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series California ______ 7 1961196219631992199320092011
4 23px Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series Pennsylvania______ 4 1947194819551960
20px Flag of Connecticut.svg Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series Connecticut  ________ 4 1951195219651989
New Jersey New Jersey  ______ 4 1949197019751998
7 23px Flag of Mexico.svg Connecticut has a storied history in the Little League World Series Mexico  __________ 3 195719581997
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia  ________ 3 198320062007

 

Here’s a look at Connecticut’s history in the Little League World Series:

[colored_box color=”eg. blue, green, grey, red, yellow”]

Year      City                     Result

1950   Bridgeport        National Runner-Up*

1951    Stamford           Champions*

1952   Norwalk             Champions* 

1957   Bridgeport       Third Place

1958    Darien              Fourth Place

1963   Stratford            U.S. Champions, Int’l Runner Up*

1965   Windsor Locks  World Champions

1974   New Haven          Sixth Place

1976   Bristol                  Fifth Place

1981    Stamford            Sixth Place

1984    Bristol                 Eighth Place

1989    Trumbull      World Champions

2008   Shelton               Group Stage

2010    Fairfield             Group Stage

2012    Fairfield             Round 3

2013    Westport                 ?

*An international championship game was first held in 1963.

[/colored_box]

 

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