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The first time Ozzie Smith met San Diego State baseball recruit Isaac Galloway IV, the Hall-of-Famer Famer frowned and wondered why the Aflac All-American we was greeting him while wearing an Atlanta Braves jersey.
After all, Smith, the honorary chairman of the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic played Saturday at SDSU‘s Tony Gwynn Stadium, was a St. Louis Cardinals shortstop that started his career with the Padres.
But as Smith would learn, Galloway is a young man from Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga that appreciates baseball history.
That wasn’t just any Braves jersey Galloway was wearing. Smith at first didn’t notice it was a Hank Aaron replica emblazoned with No. 44 on the back. Galloway, apparently, knows who the real home run king is.
Isaac Galloway III, a pro ball player that rose to Triple AAA in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, smiled with pride when it was mentioned to him that his son was honoring Hammerin’ Hank.
Young Galloway, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder that was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the Aflac game, also took baseball history into account when he made his early college commitment to play for Aztecs baseball coach and Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn as a member of his 2008 recruiting class.
“It was great playing on a field where I’m going to be playing in college,” Galloway said. “This is a nice place, and it will be great to play for a Hall-of-Famer.”
Galloway says his decision to attend college or sign a pro contract after the draft in June, 2008 will depend on how high he is picked, the dollars offered and what team takes him.
“I hope to get better out and I hope to get drafted,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the draft.”
Galloway and Valhalla High’s Ryan O’Sullivan, who pitched a 1-2-3 second inning with a strikeout as the West’s second-inning pitcher in a game won by the East 5-4, gave SDSU two Aflac All-Americans in the game.
— TOM SHANAHAN