Tony Gwynn Commemorative Issue: Ken Gerdau

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by Ken Gerdau, Former SDSU Teammate

When Tony first came to campus he was not known as a baseball player.

The baseball team did not even know he played baseball, they knew him as a basketball player.

He was drafted by the NBA San Diego Clippers in 1981 and still holds SDSU’s all-time assist record.

Tony showed up in March after basketball season ended, having not picked up a bat for a good seven months, stepped into the batter’s box and raked.

Everyone was trying to figure out who this new guy was that just showed up out of no where.

I do not recall ever getting Tony out while facing him in team intra-squad games.

He would throw a pitch on the outer-half and Tony would hit it to left, then he would hit an Inside pitch to right.

Like clockwork.

Tony was “a horrible outfielder,” and those are Tony’s words not mine.

Tony called himself “defensively challenged” as well, and because of this he found himself in the designated hitter role frequently early in his Aztec career.

When Tony decided that he was going to pursue baseball instead of basketball, he started working on his defensive skills.

And in only Tony Gwynn fashion, he would turn a weakness into a strength.

He won five Gold Glove Awards in the Major Leagues for his above-average defense out in right field.

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