The Little League World Series’ Only Perfect Game

In 1957, Mexico’s scrawny players overcame the odds to become the first foreign team to win the Little League World Series

The little league baseball team from Monterrey, Mexico became the first team from outside the United States to win the Little League World Series. (Getty Images)

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Riley was cruising along himself until the fifth inning. The first Monterrey batter walked on four pitches. The second bunted perfectly between Riley and the third baseman, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Maiz came to bat. He saw a fastball from Riley, drilling it into centerfield for a double that scored the game’s first run. In the inning, Monterrey sent nine batters to the plate and scored four times, leaving La Mesa one last chance.

With two outs in the sixth and final inning, Macias threw three balls, then came back with two strikes to La Mesa’s Byron Haggard. For the next pitch, he reached back for a curveball. Haggard swung and missed. The crowd in Williamsport exploded. So did those listening to the radio broadcast in Monterrey.

Fifty-two years later, their victory remains the only perfect game in a Little League World Series Championship. After the celebration, Maiz says the team’s first thoughts were to go home. That would take nearly a month. The Monterrey players traveled by bus to New York to see a Dodgers game and go shopping with $40 each (given to them by Macy’s). Then, they made stops in Washington, D.C. to meet President Dwight Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon before going on to celebrations in Mexico City. When they finally returned to Monterrey, they were met by hundreds of thousands in the streets.

Each earned a high school and college scholarship from the Mexican government although Maiz says only he and one other went to college. Angel Macias was signed by the Los Angeles Angels and invited to their first spring training in 1961 as a 16-year-old. He played briefly for the Angels in the minor leagues before going on to a career in the Mexican League.

“All the doors opened and everywhere we went somebody would point us out or want an autograph,” Macias told an interviewer a few years ago. “People knew our names, and my name was Angel Macias, champion child.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the 1952 and 1953 Canadian teams were composed of sons of American expatriates. They were composed of native Canadians. The incorrect statement has been deleted.

About Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison is a freelance writer whose stories, reported from two dozen countries, have appeared in numerous publications including, the New York Times, and National Wildlife.

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