As I mentioned Sunday morning, I know next to nothing about basketball, so when I hear about tournament teams, the only thing that comes to mind is baseball players who went to those schools. Since Arizona and Gonzaga were facing off that night at Viejas Arena for the right to face the Aztecs in the Sweet Sixteen, I checked with Baseball Reference to see how many Padres played for each school. Arizona won handily, 9-to-1, and then went on to win on the basketball court.
Since Arizona won and will be facing San Diego State tonight, I thought I'd revisit the premise and see how these two schools match up. As a refresher, here are the nine Padres that Arizona has to its credit:
- Craig Lefferts, RP (1984-'87, '90-'92)
- Ed Vosberg, P (1986, '99)
- Jack Howell, 3B (1991)
- Kevin Ward, LF (1991-'92)
- Trevor Hoffman, RP (1993-2008)
- Jason Thompson, 1B (1996)
- George Arias, 3B (1997-'99)
- Cory Burns, RP (2012)
- Nick Hundley, C (2008-present)
In what must be a good omen, the Aztecs have five more Padres than the Wildcats.
- Dave Robinson, P (1970-'71)
- Dave Roberts, C/IF (1972-'75, '77-'78)
- Tony Gwynn, RF (1982-2001)
- Mike Couchee, P (1983)
- Graig Nettles, 3B (1984-'86)
- Chris Gwynn, OF (1996)
- Alex Pelaez, IF (2002)
- Royce Ring, RP (2007)
- Tony Clark, 1B (2008) *
- Edgar Gonzalez, IF (2008-'09)
- Anthony Gwynn, Jr, OF (2009-'10)
- Lance Zawadzki, IF (2010)
- Aaron Harang, SP (2011)
- Alex Hinshaw, RP (2012)
In addition, former Aztecs outfielders Al Newman (1984) and Quintin Berry (2010) played at the AA level in the Padres organization before reaching the majors with other teams. Second baseman Harold Reynolds (1994) and outfielder Jeff DaVanon (2008) were Spring Training Padres toward the end of their careers, but didn't suit up with the team in the regular season. Two other San Diego State alumni with Padres ties are current manager Bud Black and his first base coach for the 2007 season, Bobby Meacham.
I wish I had thought of this before the whole shebangabang started; I would have done a bracket where the school with the most Padres advanced. Oh well, there's next year. And if there isn't a next year, failing to be one of the 28,138,019 people to make some whimsical bracket won't be one of my regrets.
I'd say "Best of luck to the Aztecs" but they don't need it; they've got the most Padres. It's science.