Gonzalez and his younger brother, All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, have been on the Park View bandwagon for several weeks. Both players grew up in the Park View, Calif., area and played Little League baseball in Chula Vista, Calif., and nearby Sweetwater, Calif.
Better still, the players on the current Park View team honed their hitting skills in the batting cage at the very same house the Gonzalez brothers grew up in. The family of Park View shortstop Andy Rios purchased the house several years ago.
"It's a nice touch," Adrian Gonzalez said of the story of the players hitting in the cage where he crafted his left-handed swing, "but I think more credit goes to the kids."
The Park View team from Chula Vista, located just south of PETCO Park, beat Taiwan, 6-3, in the championship game in Williamsport, Pa. That victory came a day after the team captured the United States championship with a victory over a team from San Antonio, Texas.
Park View became the first team from California to win the championship for 11- and 12-year-olds since Long Beach captured back-to-back titles in 1992-93.
Adrian Gonzalez didn't play in Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Marlins due to a sore left biceps, which gave him the chance to take in the Park View game on television in the clubhouse in Florida.
"It's not good to be injured, but it was good to watch both games [the Padres game being the other] at once," said Adrian Gonzalez, who phoned the Park View players before the Western Regional championship earlier this month. " ... It was a pretty cool feeling. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
The Padres plan on honoring the Park View team at PETCO Park at some point during their next homestand, which runs from Sept. 11-16.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less