ST. LOUIS -- Houston first baseman Brett Wallace is doing a lot of scoreboard watching these days. No, Wallace isn't gazing intently at the National League Central and Wild Card chases. Instead, the Sonoma, Calif., resident has been keeping a watchful eye on the Petaluma, Calif., squad that has won three of its first four games at the Little League World Series this week in Williamsport, Pa.
The 25-year-old grew up in Northern California and resides about 15 minutes from Petaluma. Wallace, along with Houston pitcher Bud Norris, have become huge fans of the team. Norris was born in Novato, just outside of Petaluma. "We've been watching as much as we can," Wallace said. "A couple of their games, we've been playing or traveling, but we always find out what they're doing and watch the highlights." Wallace gets a kick out of the aggressive play of the Petaluma team. He is well aware of the Little League tradition in and around his home town. "Baseball is serious business there," he said. "A lot of the better teams, Little League and others, are from Northern California." Wallace is anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the tournament this weekend. Although the Astros will be in New York facing the Mets, Wallace's heart will be in Williamsport. "It's just fun seeing kids from back home getting an opportunity to play there and playing well," he said. Wallace competed in Little League, but never got the chance to advance to the World Series. "We went to the tournament every year, but never advanced past the second round of the local round," he said. "But it brings back memories. Just watching and seeing the passion they are playing with, it kind of takes you back a little bit."