Most people must wait for an opportunity to encounter Tony Gwynn and congratulate him for his Hall-of-Fame induction on July 29 in Cooperstown. But Ryan O’Sullivan isn’t most people — or even most high school baseball recruits.
The Aflac All-American from Valhalla High was able to contact Gwynn with congratulations as well as offer news Gwynn wanted to hear — an oral commitment to play for San Diego State.
“It was pretty cool to talk about the Hall of Fame with him,” O’Sullivan said. “San Diego is where I grew up, and I want to have the chance to play for Tony Gwynn.”
O’Sullivan is one of 38 Aflac All-Americans named to play in the East vs. West game that matches the nation’s best players the summer before their senior year. The game is at noon on Saturday SDSU’s Tony Gwynn Stadium and will be televised by Fox Sports.
O’Sullivan said one reason he committed to San Diego State is Gwynn will allow him to pitch and play shortstop. Some college coaches and scouts see O’Sullivan as a pitcher and others as a position player. He says he prefers to play the field, but if he’s drafted high and offered a large signing bonus, he may have his position chosen for him.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the draft, but school is an option I put a lot of thought into,” O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan joins his brother, Sean, as an Aflac All-American. They are the first brothers chosen Aflac All-Americans.
Sean, who committed to SDSU out of high school, also was a pitcher and infielder at Valhalla, but the Los Angeles Angels drafted him as a pitcher. He is pitching for the Angels’ A League team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and leading the league with a 2.43 ERA.
— TOM SHANAHAN