CHULA VISTA, Calif. - As the Eastlake All-Stars took the field again Wednesday night in Williamsport, Pa., their focus was not only winning the Little League World Series but their buddy and honorary teammate back home in Chula Vista.
"It's kind of cool seeing my friends representing the West in Willamsport," said Daniel Villareal.
This past season, Villareal – known as "DJ" – played with many of the kids who went on to make the Eastlake All-Star team.
DJ was not picked, as he missed weeks of the season at a time in the hospital battling cystic fibrosis.
"When he's in the hospital, it's about a two-week stretch," said DJ's father, Adam Villareal. "It's two games and about four practices when he's missing."
As DJ recovered, his All-Star buddies showed up at the hospital to cheer him on.
"Actually, Nick and Charlie and Dommo came to visit me," he said. "At the end when they had to leave, they said, 'I hope you feel better.'"
DJ's mother told 10News their hospital visit, autographed ball and honorary uniform all makes these kids champions, no matter what happens in Willamsport.
"The kids really embrace and make him feel special," said DJ's mother, Maggie Villareal."They make him feel like he's part of them."
10News Special Coverage:
- Eastlake All-Stars road to Williamsport: http://bit.ly/1cOkPr2