On This Date in Sports August 26, 1989: Trumbull Stuns the World
In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
A team from Trumbull, Connecticut, stuns Taiwan 5-2 to win the Little League World Series in Williamsport. Taiwan was seeking to win the Little League World Series for the fourth straight year. Taiwan had become a dynasty in Williamsport, winning 12 of the last 20 titles. Chris Drury, days after turning 13 limited Taiwan to two runs and five hits to get the win. Drury would later choose hockey over baseball and had a 13-year career in the NHL.
Taiwan was the Goliath of the Little League World Series over a 20-year period from 1969-1988; they won the Little World Series 12 times and played in the championship 13 times. This included three straight titles heading into 1989, with the 1987 and 1988 title game being won by a combined score of 30-3.
The Little League World Series was smaller in 1989, with eight teams, four from the USA, and four from the International Regions. Trumbull got to the Little League World Series final by beating Davenport, Iowa 4-3, and San Pedro, California 6-3. San Pedro early beat Tampa, Florida 12-5. On that Tampa team, was Kevin Cash, who later had a brief major league career and is currently the manager of his hometown Tampa Bay Rays. Taiwan got to the title game with a 9-4 win over Saudi Arabia and a 13-0 win over Venezuela.
Chris Drury, a future NHL star, made the start for Trumbull, who made the necessary pitches as the team’s defense was flawless. Taiwan looked like they were set to dominate early as they started with back-to-back doubles to score the first run of the game. Drury would settle down and strike the next three batters out.
In the third inning, Trumbull took the lead on a two-run single by Ken Martin. In the fourth inning, Trumbull adds to their lead on a single by Chris Drury. In the fifth inning, Taiwan loaded the bases, but only score one run as Danny McGrath threw out a second runner at home with Cody Lee making the perfect tag. After Taiwan scored, Martin homered for his third RBI to give Connecticut kids a 5-2 lead. Trumbull would finish the game off in the sixth inning to stun the world and create lasting memories.
None of the kids from Trumbull reached the majors. Though Chris Drury, the team’s biggest star, went on to have a successful NHL career, playing 13 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, and New York Rangers. Drury won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in 1999, won the Stanley Cup in 2001, and served as Captain with both the Sabres and Rangers before injuries ended his career in 2011. Today, Chris Drury serves as Assistant General Manager for the Rangers.