SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego State baseball season is still a few months away, but they recently made the signing of a lifetime. The newest addition to the Aztecs program is only 10-years-old.
His name is Nathaniel Wolpoff, and the Aztecs started off his official signing day with a sprint through a human tunnel of players, coaches, and cheerleaders.
"He's been hanging out with us for about a month getting to know us," says Aztecs Head Coach Mark Martinez.
Nathaniel, with the help of SDSU baseball, and Team IMPACT, officially put pen to paper this week and signed his national letter of intent.
"This is the official day of saying you are a part of the family for the next two years."
Team IMPACT supports children who suffer from serious or chronic illness and forms partnerships between the children and college athletic teams
"He does have some medical challenges, but this is an opportunity for him to be a part of a great baseball program and around a lot of great young men."
Nathaniel, who suffers from Crohn's disease, has been given an opportunity to hang out on the diamond, be a little kid, and just enjoy baseball.
"He comes out and shags baseballs during batting practice, hangs out with our guys, and also is getting his feet wet as a batboy. As we grow into it, there will be more opportunities to infuse himself into the program."
Coach Martinez says this is a great learning experience for everyone and especially his players.
"Part of it is the growth and development of our young people, as well trying to manage a young person who has challenges. and trying to understand his challenges. The part we learn from his is the pure joy of baseball."
This is a great moment for the Aztecs as well as Nathaniel, who is also very aware of Aztecs and Padres' history. On signing day, he passed the coach Martinez baseball quiz.
"So do you remember what Tony Gwynn's batting average was?"
"338," says Nathaniel without hesitation.
"That's right, 338"