It’s a sunny Tuesday afternoon at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. The Padres are engaged in batting practice while the Washington Nationals patiently wait their turn to take the field. The dugout is calm as the players prepare for the game.
Number 37 enters and the dugout is suddenly energized. Despite his presence, he is cool, calm and collected.
Stephen Strasburg, former Aztec pitcher and No. 1 overall draft pick has come a long way since his years at San Diego State University.
But he hasn’t forgotten about the school that helped make it all possible.
A loyal Aztec
With both parents as Aztec alumni, Strasburg said the choice to attend SDSU was obvious, despite tempting offers from Stanford and Harvard.
“The school is in my family, and I’ve had Aztec pride forever,” Strasburg said. “SDSU gave me many opportunities on and off the field. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the experiences I had there.”
An impressive recovery
Even today, Strasburg maintains connections with his trainers and coaches at SDSU. Many of them assisted his recovery from ligament-replacement surgery.
But Strasburg is back and better than ever.
Strasburg has helped lead the Nationals to the top of the National League East and won Pitcher of the Month in April.
Strasburg and SDSU baseball
After leaving a legacy behind, Strasburg hopes to bring more fans and recognition to SDSU baseball. “SDSU has a great baseball program that deserves a lot of attention,” he said. “I would love to see them succeed and gain attention at a national level.”
Strasburg supports the Aztec baseball program through donations and the Strasburg 5K.
“I would love to change the face of the program,” he said. “It would be great to play as long as I can, then eventually return to SDSU and coach.”