SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball program will take part in the first-ever Tony Gwynn Classic next February 26-28 in San Diego, Calif., it was announced in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Created to honor the career and legacy of the late San Diego State coach and Padres Hall of Fame legend, the Tony Gwynn Classic will feature 12 games in a true championship format. Along with Bryant, the inaugural field includes Nebraska, Nevada, Kentucky, Tulane, UC Santa Barbara and tournament co-hosts San Diego State and San Diego. The games will take place at SDSU’s Tony Gwynn Stadium and USD’s Fowler Park.
“Our goal is to make the Tony Gwynn Classic the country’s preeminent in-season tournament, as well as baseball’s yearly coming-out party in San Diego,” said tournament founder and chairman Jack Murray, who is managing the event for TAG, the Tony and Alicia Gwynn foundation.
Gwynn, a 2007 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame after an exceptional 20-year career with the San Diego Padres, coached his alma mater of SDSU for 12 seasons, compiling a 363-363 record that included three Mountain West Conference Championships to go along with three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prior to his time in the coaching ranks with the Aztecs, Gwynn starred on the diamond for the Padres, leading the franchise to their only two World Series Appearances in 1984 and 1998. He was a 15-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove Award recipient and a seven-time Silver Slugger Award honoree. The Los Angeles native won eight National League batting titles, as well, and his career batting average of .338 is tied for 18th-highest in the history of Major League Baseball.
“Hopefully, this can be a focal point for the beginning of each college baseball season nationally,” stated Gwynn’s successor and current SDSU head baseball coach Mark Martinez. “There’s a lot of people behind the scenes who made this happen, and we can’t thank them enough for putting Tony’s name out there. The idea behind it was to have it ongoing to celebrate Tony’s legacy – and do it forever.”
Follow the Tony Gwynn Classic on Twitter, @TGwynnClassic and Facebook, Tony Gwynn Classic