ATLANTA -- A team of Venezuelan baseball players aged 16-18 won the Latin American championship of an international baseball tournament, and with it a trip to South Carolina. The team also received an unexpected treat on Monday.
Venezuela was off from Little Big League World Series play, so Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez -- who once played in the tournament against future Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki and future Nationals pitcher Tyler Clippard -- arranged for a bus to bring the group to Atlanta.
Gonzalez also donated each of the players two pairs of shoes -- one with plastic spikes, one with actual spikes -- plus shoes for the coaches
Several Venezuelan-born Rockies -- infielder Jonathan Herrera, catcher Yorvit Torrealba and pitcher Jhoulys Chacin -- hosted the players, who also met Tulowitzki and Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler. The team was on the field as a guest of the Rockies for Monday's game against the Braves.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.