CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - When you have been coached by one of the greatest hitters of all time, expectations can get high. That is the case for Charlotte Knights catcher Seby Zavala as his former college coach is the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. But it’s what Gwynn taught him off the field that has had the biggest impact on Zavala.
“He was just an amazing person,” said Zavala. “He really cared for you as a person and not just a baseball player.”
He had such and impact on the catcher that Seby got Tony’s #19 tattooed on his arm after Gwynn passed in 2014. June 16th was the 5th anniversary of his mentor’s death.
“It’s just a little gesture to show how good of a person he was,” said Zavala.
Most times when people get tattoos of athletes, it is because of their accomplishments on the field.
“I didn’t realize how good his numbers were until after he passed away."
And that shows how much Tony Gwynn meant to Seby.
His greatest lesson to Seby is not one of how to hit a curve ball, but how to treat others.
“How can you make your relationships better around you? How can you further someone else’s career and not think about yourself. He meant a lot to me in my baseball life and even more in my personal life.”