Saturday, December 31, 2011
West Coast Pop
For the last post of the 2011 calendar year, The Fitted Diaries is featuring a San Diego State University Aztecs inspired New Era 59/50. SDSU was founded in 1897, and is the oldest higher-education facility in the San Diego, California area. The Aztecs field 17 varsity teams in NCAA Division 1 athletics. The schools' more prominent programs are their football, baseball, softball, and men's and women's basketball teams.
To most, the team with the most national familiarity is likely the schools baseball program. Over the years, the baseball program has helped nurture many future professional ball players. One of which, Tony Gwynn, has the distinction of being perhaps the greatest Aztec of all time. Gwynn, or "Mr. Padre" as many refer to him, was perhaps the first to put the program on the map. Gwynn played for San Diego State from 1979 to 1982, where he announced his presence as a true baseball talent claiming many team records. He even performed well enough to be recognized as an NCAA All-American in his final two seasons. Another interesting facet of Gwynn's athletic career, which many aren't aware of, is that he was also a point guard on the schools basketball team throughout his 4 year Aztec career. To this day, he remains as the only athlete in the history of the Western Athletic Conference to be recognized as an All-Conference performer in multiple sports. Gwynn, who is currently the baseball coach for the Aztecs, is in his eighth season at the helm of the program. He has coached many talented athletes, the most prominent of which is starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg, a flame throwing right hander with un-godly breaking pitches, played under Gwynn for a three season span from 2007-2009. Strasburg began opening eyes his sophomore year, pitching to a record of 8-3. That season, Strasburg pitched to a minuscule ERA of 1.58 while striking out 134 batters in a mere 98 1/3 innings. In his third, and final season as an Aztec, Strasburg did the impossible; he improved: 13-1, 1.32 ERA, 195 K, 109 IP. He was the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, selected by the Washington Nationals. In 2010, Strasburg struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirate batters in his first major league start.. He suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow later that year, and is currently on his way back to the majors following surgery.
Other notable Aztecs to play in the schools baseball program are former major leaguers: Tony Clark, Travis Lee, Bud Black, Royce Ring, Bobby Meacham, Greg Nettles, Mark Grace, Aaron Harang and Tony Gwynn Jr.
The Aztecs play their home games at (you guessed it) Tony Gwynn Stadium. The 3,000 seat ballpark has been home to the schools baseball games since the 1997 athletic season.
The cap featured above has a black brim and scarlet crown. On the front of the cap there is an illustration of an Aztec warrior, wearing a yellow and red head-dress. On the back the cap features the word "Aztecs" in a black, cursive font. Unfortunately for all of those interested out there, the cap is indeed sold out. My best suggestion would be to check on Ebay or perhaps the schools' athletics website HERE.
To all, have a safe and happy new year. I appreciate the readers, so please, if you drink tonight DO NOT DRIVE. Until next time, over and out from TFD.