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Little Big Men

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THE LEGEND OF SEAN BURROUGHS IS building. A baseball signed by the 12-year-old Long Beach, Calif., Little Leaguer reportedly sold for $35. Sean’s kindergarten teacher told reporters how, at age 5, Sean used to throw beanbags through a cutout board from clear across the playground. And David Letterman has asked him—twice!—to appear on his show. “It’s like a dream come true,” says Sean, whose father, Jeff, the team’s coach, won the American League’s Most Valuable Player award in 1974. “We are really heroes in Long Beach.”

Small wonder. All the 5’6″, 155-lb. Sean did was pitch three no-hitters and bat .563, helping his team win the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., for an American record second consecutive year. Yet the big moment in the big game against Panama on Aug. 28 belonged to light-hilling Jeremy Hess, 12. With the score tied 2-2 and two outs in the bottom of the last inning, Hess took his 167 series average to the plate and knocked in the winning run. “I went crazy,” says Hess.

So did Sean, who celebrated by pulling the fire alarm in the team’s dorm, causing the Williamsport fire department to crash the victory party. “My dad yelled at me a lot,” says Sean. “I fell kinda bad.”

Not for long. Back in Long Beach, the proud citizens staged a parade for their triumphant boys—and girls started slipping Sean their phone numbers. Says Jeff, 42: “It’s hard for the boys to comprehend all the attention they’re getting.” But as for the postgame shenanigans, mom Deborah suspects there’s more to it than baseball. “They’re going through puberty,” she says. Oh.