Adrian Gonzalez has a team from each of his hometowns in the Little League World Series.
The Mexico entry is from the Tijuana Municipal Little League, where Gonzalez played as a youngster. The United States West entry is from Eastlake Little League of Chula Vista, in the area where Gonzalez attended high school.
“They’re like four miles apart,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he would host the Tijuana team on Friday in Philadelphia, where the Dodgers open a series against the Phillies. The Tijuana team plays Australia in a Little League World Series opener on Thursday.
Gonzalez said he has autographed items of baseball memorabilia — and has encouraged teammates to do the same — for the Eastlake league to use in a fundraising auction. The Eastlake team plays its Little League World Series opener on Friday, against Grosse Pointe, Mich.
The Tijuana and Eastlake teams would only play each other in the championship game.
When he played, Gonzalez said, the Tijuana league won the Mexican title. However, he said, his team did not qualify for the Little League World Series because the league was not officially affiliated with the Little League movement.
“We would have gone if we were part of it,” Gonzalez said. — Bill Shaikin