Even though Tony Gwynn has been honored in just about every conceivable way possible, I don't think I'll ever grow tired of it. I love that dude and I know you do too. When I saw the tweet last week that SDSU would retire his number, I was a little perplexed because he's already had his number 28 retired, but that was as a player!
In 1988, San Diego State retired Gwynn’s number. Long-time head baseball coach Jim Dietz presented the jersey to him. In his time at San Diego State, Gwynn wore multiple jersey numbers, but No. 28 was the number they settled on retiring.
This time he'll have his number 19 retired as a coach. I think I mentioned this before but I'm not sure if I ever saw him wear his famous #19 as a coach. He was always wearing a nylon pullover or a jacket when I saw him on the field. Nonetheless, no SDSU player or coach shall ever wear 19 ever again, especially if it's underneath a nylon jacket!
SDSU Baseball has quite the week planned for Gwynn and you, starting on February 9th. Let me break it down for you in bullet point form:
- Monday 2/9: Aztec Coaches luncheon will cost you $20 and I hear that there's more on the menu than just coach Mark Martinez, see the link above for details.
- Tuesday 2/10: This will be a day of rest. You'll need to keep up your strength, it's a long week.
- Wednesday 2/11: The first 2,500 students at the basketball game will get commemorative t-shirts sporting Gwynn's hoops number 24. Non-students can buy the shirt for a nominal fee. Gwynn's daughter, Anisha, will sing the national anthem prior to family members leading the traditional "I Believe" chant. Gwynn and his players will receive their championship rings during halftime.
- Thursday 2/12: Rest. Get to bed early you've got a big weekend ahead of you, starting tomorrow.
- Friday 2/13: There will be a VIP reception for Gwynn's players, both past and present. Then a pre-game ceremony emceed by Voice of the Aztecs Ted Leitner will begin. AD Jim Sterk will speak along with a member of the Gwynn family as Gwynn's jersey is retired. Commemorative Tony Gwynn pins will be distributed to the first 1,500 fans in attendance at the game Aztec all-time greats Stephen Strasburg and Travis Lee will be on hand to christen new artwork featuring Gwynn.
- Saturday 2/14: Prior to the game several players will shave their heads in support of Coach Gwynn's fight against cancer. Fans can help the baseball team reach its fundraising goal. SDSU will also pay tribute to Strasburg and Lee by handing out Golden Spikes t-shirts to the first 500 fans in attendance for the 1:00 p.m. contest.
- Sunday 2/15: During the game the Aztecs will be hosting the West Covina Little League, an organization that held a special place for Gwynn. The players and coaches will hold a clinic for the little leaguers after the game.
Tickets for San Diego State's opening weekend baseball games can be purchased in advance online at www.GoAztecs.com, at the Aztec Ticket Office at Qualcomm Stadium Gate E, by calling (619) 283-7378.