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World champs enjoy day with Chargers
During ESPN’s broadcast of the Little League World Series, Park View shortstop Andy Rios was asked to identify the person he’d most like to meet. The youngster listed Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, and Tuesday afternoon Rios, along with his World Champion teammates, had his wish granted.
The recently-crowned Little League World Series Champions, who returned to San Diego from Williamsport, Penn. Tuesday, received royal treatment from the Chargers. The group of 11 and 12-year-olds were invited to Chargers Park, where they toured the practice facility, watched practice and were introduced to the team.
“It was awesome,” Rios said. “It was really cool that the Chargers invited us.”
The Park View players each received a goody bag from the Chargers that included a hat, t-shirt and football which Chargers players happily autographed following their practice. When the Chargers completed practice, they formed a tunnel that each member of the Park View team ran through getting high fives from their favorite football players.
“It was exciting for our guys and I’m sure it was exciting for them,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “What they did will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It’s quite an accomplishment and it was nice to be able to honor them today.”
Park View’s Luke Ramirez got teased about his 6-2 frame throughout the World Series, and he wasn’t immune to a little ribbing Tuesday.
“LT asked to see my birth certificate,” Ramirez said. “I heard that one a lot, but it was really funny coming from LT.”
Several Chargers followed the Chula Vista team throughout their championship run. Prior to the Bolts’ preseason game at Arizona two weeks ago, Park View’s opening-round game was on every TV in the Chargers’ locker room.
“That was crazy when we heard that,” said Kiko Garcia. “We watch them every Sunday and it was cool to hear that they were watching us.”
The Chargers posed for a group photo with the “Blue Bombers” and spent several minutes mingling with the youngsters after practice. While the Little Leaguers certainly enjoyed the visit, many Chargers players seemed to be having an equally good time.
“It’s great having them out here and it’s great to meet each of them,” Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo said. “I watched them the whole way. We’re really proud of what they accomplished and how they represented our community.”