Below is an online article from ZU Magazine, a publication of ZU Media.
ZU Radio General Manager | Toph Buzzard
Trying to follow in the footsteps of an older sibling can feel overwhelming.
It’s especially overwhelming when your older brother is one of the best baseball players to ever come through Azusa Pacific University.
When Osvaldo Tovalin was offered a scholarship to play baseball at APU, the Tovalin name already had an impressive rapport.
Osvaldo’s brother, Adrian, played for the Cougars from 2015 to 2017. In those three seasons, Adrian led the program with a total of 51 home runs and 165 runs batted in. Those marks cemented him in the APU record books as second all-time in the home run category and sixth all-time for RBIs.
Adrian compiled these numbers in just three seasons. Following his junior year, he was eligible for the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft and was selected by the reigning World Series Champions, The Houston Astros, in the 16th round.
Little did APU baseball fans know that while Adrian was deciding to pursue his professional career, little brother Osvaldo was getting ready to step on the diamond at the Cougar Baseball Complex for the following season.
Now, seeing the same last name in the game of baseball is more common than one might think. What isn’t often seen is duplicated success.
Both Ken Griffey Sr. and Bobby Bonds had impressive careers, but baseball fans know that the seniors weren’t nearly as accomplished as their sons.
So far, Osvaldo is living up to the pressure that comes with having the Tovalin name on the back of his brick and black jersey. In his first 26 games of his true freshman season, the Chula Vista native leads the #1 ranked D2 baseball team with 27 RBIs. He ranks first on the team with three triples, second with seven doubles, and third with a .340 batting average.
“I just try to do my thing and whatever comes out, comes out,” Osvaldo said.
When asked about what it’s like to carry on the Tovalin name, he said, “It feels awesome. I feel like there is a lot expected of me because of what [Adrian] did around here, so I try to fill his name up and do my best.”
Although Osvaldo recognizes and admires his brother’s greatness, he doesn’t let it stop him from becoming his own version of a Tovalin.
If you refer back to the Griffey’s and the Bonds,’ it was the younger of the two ended their careers as the more impressive ball player.
So, Adrian, you might want to watch out for the one they’re calling “Little Tova.”
Some healthy sibling competition never hurt anybody, right?