Tony Gwynn Commemorative Issue: Stephen Strasburg

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Glenn Connelly / The Daily Aztec

Texas Christian University Horned Frogs vs. San Diego State University Aztecs First game in three game series. Sean Hoelscher (2-1, 7.00) vs. Stephen Strasburg (8-0, 1.28)

by Stephen Strasburg, Former SDSU Pitcher

This is speaking to the type of guy he was.

This is before I was at State, I was young, like 9 or 10 years old, playing for a travel baseball team and Bruce Bochy’s son, Brett, was on the team with me.

Bruce took us into Qualcomm to take a tour and when we walked by the underground batting cage we saw Tony Gwynn hitting.

He was getting some cage work in, hitting off of the tee, and we are just sitting there star-struck.

He saw us kids and proceeded to stop, mid-workout, and said, “Hey you guys coming in here to hit? Come on in I’ll throw batting practice to you.”

He threw batting practice to us for over an hour. Just all these kids, like 9 and 10 years old, and that was the first time I had met him.

I had always been a fan of Tony Gwynn and I’d say it was about my junior year in college and for his birthday, there’s this picture of my mom and I from one of my birthdays. It must’ve been my third or fourth birthday.

We were over at a bakery and it was a picture of me with this Tony Gwynn shirt on, Padres hat, Tony Gwynn wristbands with his face on it and holding a poster up, just a big smile, and my mom gave that to him for his birthday and he kept that on his desk at the baseball field.

That was cool because I had always been a huge fan, he was my favorite player. I was No. 19 in high school and the whole deal. I just couldn’t hit. I could hit a heater, its just when you throw me the other stuff, then I’m done.

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