The Sweetwater Valley Little League team's opening game at the Little League World Series was rained out on Thursday, but SVLL had a good reason to celebrate the day nevertheless.
Right-hander Guido Knudson, whose roots trace to SVLL, Bonita Vista High and UCSD, was called up on Thursday from Triple-A Toledo by the Detroit Tigers for the team's game againt the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park.
Knudson is the second Barons player to reach the major leagues, joining right-hander Joel Zumaya. His name now belongs alongside catcher Bob Natal, left-hander Kyle Abbott and right-hander Randy Miller as former UCSD players to reach the majors.
Bonita Vista coach Vince Gervais said Knudson is the most intense high school player he has ever coached. Knudson continues to make an impact on campus.
"He has returned each winter to the school to get ready for spring training," Gervais said. "He has mentored each of our captains each time he has returned. I believe he gives them all his cell number once they have proven their dedication to the game."
Knudson was taken by the Tigers in the 28th round of the 2011 draft after a four-year career at UCSD, where he graduated with a degree in structural engineering.
Knudson graduated in 2007 from Bonita Vista, where he starred as the Barons' No. 1 pitcher and shortstop.
"Last year, we had five generations of Bonita Vista High shortstops working out together on their own, and he was the leader," Gervais said.
The group included Esteban Velasco and Daniel Schneemann, the Barons' starting shortstops the past two seasons who have now moved on to college at Bethel University and BYU, respectively.
"I do not think it was a coincidence that Esteban and Daniel were league Players of the Year and all-CIF," Gervais said.
For those wondering, Knudson is not the first Guido to make the major leagues. He does have an opportunity to be the best, however.