Steve Krah
Steve Krah
Baseball has been sports reporter Steve Krah's passion since childhood. In Season Tickets, there will be plenty of stories from the diamond, but that's not all. Look for stories about athletic happenings and personalties of all kinds.

Other Stories by Steve Krah
Reporter Steve Krah covers sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Justin Masterson learned much in short time with Tony Gwynn

Justin Masterson played for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn at San Diego State in 2006 and considers himself fortunate for the experience.

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 2:40 p.m.


Tony Gwynn seemed to bring out the best in everybody he met.

Justin Masterson, who began his college baseball career at Bethel, was lucky enough to spend one season learning from the Hall of Famer after the lanky right-hander transferred to San Diego State University.

Masterson played for the Gwynn-coached Aztecs in 2006 and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox at the end of that season. He fondly recalls his time with Gwynn.

"A lot of times when people are really good at something they can have an arrogance, like they're better than the rest of the world, but the way he treated people was unlike any other," Masterson, a Cleveland Indians right-handed pitcher, told the Associated Press. "Whether you were a freshman or a senior, he treated you like a regular person. He did that to the people who were nagging him to get autographs from the stands every single game we went to. He was great to everybody."

Masterson considers himself fortunate that their paths crossed.

"At the right time, in the right moment, he would do anything for anybody, and I think that was more of the life lesson," Masterson told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "A man can say a lot of things, but you watch his life and you'll truly know what's going on, and that's what he showed."

Another former Bethel pitcher, Eric Stults, is now a pitcher for the Padres. While the left-hander never had the privilege of meeting Gwynn, he plays for the team on which Gwynn made his legend.

"It's been a tough year for our team," Stults said. "We haven't played as well as we can play."

Not only has the franchise lost icons Gwynn and Jerry Coleman (the veteran broadcaster and World War II/Korean War hero died in January at 89), San Diego got off to a 32-43 start on the field and general manager Josh Byrnes was fired Sunday, June 22.

And Stults has struggled with his own game. He is 2-10 with a 5.49 ERA. Last season, Stults went 11-13 with 3.93 ERA.


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