News: San Diego State Set To Honor Tony Gwynn Before Baseball Opener


It still hasn’t been a year since the Padres and the city of San Diego lost its greatest sports icon in Tony Gwynn to cancer last June. Gwynn’s legacy and impact in baseball continues to spread beyond Major League Baseball, as his alma mater, San Diego State University, is set to honor the legend when they retire his number 19 before the team’s home opener on February 13th.

SDSU recruited Gwynn as a basketball point guard in 1977 before becoming a two-sport star athlete when he became the Aztecs left-fielder in 1978.

Over the course of his three-year career as a starter, Gwynn was a two-time All-American. He hit .416 with eleven homers and 62 RBI, while earning a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference in 1981 being drafted in the third round by the Padres later that year.

Immediately following Gwynn’s Hall of Fame career with the Padres’,  he once again returned to the Aztecs when he was named the fourth head coach in the history of SDSU’s baseball program after taking full reign in 2002.

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Gwynn found instant success as a head coach when he was named Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2004. With ace Stephen Strasburg, he would lead the Aztecs to their first trip to the NCAA Regionals since 1991 when the Aztecs posted a 43-21 record in 2009.

In the year prior to his passing, Gwynn would once again take his team to the NCAA Regionals when SDSU beat 13th ranked New Mexico twice to win the Mountain West Tournament.

With the retirement of his jersey in two weeks, Gwynn’s death continues to leave an empty hole in the hearts of every San Diegan, young and old, who was touched by the way he played and talked about the game he worked so hard to perfect.

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