Adrian Gonzalez Right At Home In Cali (Video)
Four-time MLB All-Star Adrian Gonzalez has experienced a whirlwind last three years of his life. After being traded from his hometown San Diego Padres, 2,600 miles east to the Boston Red Sox (Gonzalez's choice), the power hitting lefty has once again found himself back home in Southern California, as a result of the blockbuster trade, which sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers last August.
Gonzalez evolved into a Major League superstar during five highly productive and comfortable seasons with the Padres. When it became clear that the frugal San Diego franchise was both unable and unwilling to pony up the 100's of millions of dollars needed to fairly compensate a ballplayer of Gonzalez's stature, the team shipped its most popular attraction to Boston, allowing him to sign a seven-year/$154 million contract with the free spending organization from New England.
Gonzalez's 1.5 years in Beantown were exceedingly productive on the field (2011 stats - .338 BA, 27 HR 117 RBI, while leading AL in hits), but full of tumult in the media and amongst the team's rabid fanbase, since the big market Boston squad thoroughly underachieved in the standings, during that period. The team's epic 2011 late-season collapse will forever stand as one of the most shocking developments in the long history of baseball.
Entering the 2013 season, Gonzalez once again finds himself on one of the most talented and well compensated rosters in his sport. The suddenly deep pocketed Dodgers are not letting any stone go unturned, in their efforts bring the fans of LA's National League organization their first World Series appearance and victory since 1988. While the pressure is certainly on the new look Dodgers, the strain felt by Gonzalez and his teammates will be nothing compared to the level of expectation exuded by the rabid followers of MLB's Northeastern based franchises. The notoriously laidback Southern California fan really only places that level of demand of the area's most prominent and successful team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Saturday, the immensely talented first baseman was spotted entering the SoCal Baseball and Sports Collectors Expo, at the Anaheim Marriott hotel, per the above iFolloSports.com original video. The Marriott sits roughly 90 miles north of Gonzalez's 7 bed/10 bath, 11,000-square-foot, La Jolla, California home. Gonzalez purchased the north San Diego palace, shortly before signing his lucrative contract with Boston. Gonzalez must be exceedingly happy to once again reside year-round in Southern California (minus spring training in Arizona), while armed with the contract and talented roster his hometown team in San Diego is simply unable to provide.