Aztecs to Honor Gwynn During Season-Opening Week
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State will honor the memory of Tony Gwynn during its season-opening weekend as it hosts Valparaiso for the three-game series Feb. 13-15. Among the events planned are the retirement of Gwynn's No. 19 SDSU jersey, an Aztecs vs. Cancer event and a tribute to SDSU's Golden Spikes Award winners Stephen Strasburg and Travis Lee.
The week begins with the monthly Aztec Coaches luncheon on Monday, Feb. 9, at the Courtyard Marriott Central. The luncheon will feature Aztec Head Coach Mark Martinez along with a selected player presenting a preview of the weekend's activities as well as a look at the upcoming season. Cost of the luncheon is $20 with check-in starting at 11:00 a.m. and the luncheon getting underway at 11:30 a.m. For more information and to make reservations contact Sydney Bates at (619) 594-0960 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the baseball team will receive their rings for winning the 2014 Mountain West championship during halftime of the men's basketball game vs. Wyoming that starts at 8:00 p.m. Prior to the contest, Gwynn's daughter, Anisha, will sing the national anthem after family members help lead the traditional "I Believe" chant. Members of Gwynn's family will be on hand to accept his ring during the halftime ceremony.
The Aztecs will give out commemorative t-shirts featuring Gwynn's basketball number 24 to the first 2500 student in attendance at the basketball game with those shirts also available to the general public for a nominal fee.
On Friday, Feb. 13, the Aztecs will host a VIP reception from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium prior to the season opener vs. Valparaiso. The reception is open to San Diego State baseball letterwinners who played under Gwynn as well as his former teammates at SDSU along with invited dignitaries. Athletes are asked to RSVP for the reception as soon as possible to Sydney Bates at (619) 594-0960 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pre-game ceremony to retire Coach Gwynn's jersey will get underway prior to that evening's game with Ted Leitner serving as emcee. SDSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk will speak along with a member of the Gwynn family. Commemorative Tony Gwynn pins will be distributed to the first 1500 fans in attendance at the game
Also in attendance will be former Aztec and current Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg as new artwork on the wall behind right field showing Gwynn along with SDSU Golden Spikes winners Strasburg and Travis Lee will be christened. Strasburg will also be at Saturday's contest recognizing him and Lee as two of the Aztecs' all-time best.
On Saturday (Feb. 14, 1:00 p.m.), the baseball team will sponsor an Aztecs vs. Cancer event in Gwynn's honor. Prior to the game several players will have their heads shaved in support of Coach Gwynn's fight against cancer as well as someone in their lives who has been struck by the disease. A preview of that event may be seen by clicking here. Fans can help the baseball team reach its fundraising goal by clicking here. 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.
Opening weekend will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 15, with the third game vs. Valparaiso set to begin at noon. During that contest 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.
The San Diego State baseball team, along with several other teams in the Mountain West, will be wearing commemorative Tony Gwynn "TG" patches on their uniforms throughout the 2015 season.
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