CHULA VISTA, Calif. - When Park View's All-Stars won the Little League World Series in 2009, 12 pre-teens were thrust into the international spotlight. In the middle of it all was a 6-foot-2-inch 13-year-old named Luke Ramirez.
He and his teammates were media darlings: appearing on Conan O'Brien, visiting the White House and signing autographs wherever they went.
These days, Ramirez is a senior first baseman for Eastlake High School in Chula Vista.
"I've done a few tournaments out in Arizona and Georgia," he told 10News during an interview on Tuesday.
Ramirez said he has followed this year's Eastlake team closely and even spoke to them before they won the West Regional title.
"I tried to ease the tension a little bit, telling them they've got to keep doing what they've been doing," he said.
Eastlake has not looked back. However, Ramirez has dug into his memory bank about when Park View was in Williamsport, Pa.
"It was all just one huge blur," said Ramirez.
He said his team, like Eastlake, did not really know the impact they were having on the fans back home. It is probably better that way.
As Park View's star rose, so did their phone bills. The celebrity status at times got overwhelming to the point that cellphones were taken away.
"I couldn't even open it to reply to a text," Ramirez said. "It was impossible with the calls pouring in and the texts."
Eastlake's parents are doing similar things to keep the boys grounded. They all have homework – Chula Vista schools are year round – and a minimal amount of time is spent on the phone. It is a move Ramirez thought will help Eastlake focus on the diamond.