SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the Petaluma Little League team took the field Saturday for the U.S. championship game, the 12-year-old players got a special phone call from one of their biggest fans -- Giants ace Matt Cain.
"It was just showing our support and letting them know we're watching their games," Cain said.
Petaluma took on Goodlettsville, Tenn., for the chance to advance to the World Series title game Sunday, and the Tennessee-native Cain said he was still rooting for the local California team.
The star pitcher is unsurprisingly listed by several Petaluma players as their favorite Major League player, something Cain doesn't take for granted.
"You always see other guys being mentioned before the game, and to be mentioned with those guys, it's cool to think that there are some kids who look up to you," Cain said. "You have to live up to that role."
Cain's main message to the young players was simple -- have fun.
"They've done all the hard work now, so just have fun with it and enjoy it," Cain said.