Gwynn's number to be retired at Aztecs' season opener Friday
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Tony Gwynn's baseball uniform number at San Diego State University will be retired Friday before the Aztecs' season opener against Valparaiso.
Gwynn was a multi-sport star at SDSU and was the head baseball coach at the time of his death at age 54 last year from cancer. The Aztecs and several other Mountain West teams will sport "TG" patches on their uniforms this season.
At a ceremony before the game, Gwynn's No. 19 will be retired, and a member of his family will speak. The first 1,500 fans in the gates will receive commemorative pins, and artwork on the right field wall that features Gwynn and fellow former Aztec stars Stephen Strasburg and Travis Lee will be dedicated.
"It's a celebration for what he did for our baseball program and our entire university," said Mark Martinez, who succeeded Gwynn as head coach.
"He wore No. 19 for 12 years on the mesa as head coach, so it seemed very appropriate to retire his number."
The coach said the number won't be shelved for good, though.
"We're also starting up a new tradition where one of our players will wear No. 19 for one series a year," Martinez said. "The player that will be honored with that will be a player that met Tony's ideals and values of doing things the right way. This year it will be Ryan Muno, our senior first baseman."
On Saturday, the team will hold an "Aztecs Vs. Cancer" event, in which some of the players will have their heads shaved as part of the fundraiser.
The Gwynn family was honored at Wednesday night's basketball game.
Gwynn still holds several school basketball records for assists. After college, he was drafted by the Padres and the Clippers of the National Basketball Association.