Kevin Michael Ward - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Obituaries

Kevin Michael Ward

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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 4:26 pm

Kevin Michael Ward, born Sept. 28, 1961 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, passed to God’s Kingdom on March 9, 2019 in Coronado after a battle with brain cancer.

Kevin grew up in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. As a child, he was a frequent visitor to Veteran’s Stadium in south Philadelphia to watch his beloved Phillies play. The fourth of four boys born to Robert (deceased ‘95) and Pauline Ward, he developed a tenacity and toughness at a very young age that would stick with him through life.

Attending Central Bucks High School West, where he was later inducted into the Bucks Hall of Fame, Kevin starred at football playing quarterback, leading the team to the Pennsylvania State Championship his senior year. He also excelled as a pitcher on the baseball diamond. College recruiters around the country sought his talents. In 1978, he chose the University of Arizona for a football scholarship over Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, Miami and others so that he could play baseball along with football.

Kevin was one of Arizona’s greatest two sport athletes of the modern era. He led the Wildcats as a First Team All-Pac 10 Conference player under legendary coach Jerry Kindall, where he hit over .400 for the Wildcats in one season. On the football field, he transitioned from quarterback to starting wide receiver. At the end of his college career he met the love of his life, Christina Renee Giansante of Forest Grove, Oregon, a student at Arizona.

Kevin pursued a baseball career after college despite the interest of several professional football teams. In June 1983, his childhood goal of being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies came true; he was selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the organization. He played in the Phillies minor league system working his way up with the AAA Maine Guides. When a shoulder injury derailed Kevin’s ascension to the big league Phillies, he transitioned to the Oakland A’s organization in the off-season.

He married Christy on Dec. 11, 1989 in Coronado. The next season, he joined the Huntsville, Alabama Stars, the A’s double A affiliate. He was quickly promoted to the AAA Tacoma Tigers. On the verge of making it to the Major League, Keven suffered another injury, this time to his wrist. He fought through the setback again, joined the San Diego Padres organization and was sent to the AAA Las Vegas Stars, where he led the Pacific Coast League in hitting and was named to the AAA All-Star team.

May 9, 1991 Kevin was finally called up to the Major Leagues. He joined the San Diego Padres the next day to make his MLB debut. In his first MLB at bat against the Montreal Expos, he hit a bases loaded double in front of a near sellout crowd at Jack Murphy Stadium. While standing on second base and looking around the cheering stadium, he felt at that moment his long, difficult eight year journey had been worth it.

On July 31, 1991, Kevin returned to Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia, this time as a major league player for the Padres taking on the Phillies. His parents, many family and friends watched him play for the first time in a major league game. “Ever since I was a kid growing up here, I dreamed about playing here. Now it happened,”he said.

Kevin played in 125 major league games over two seasons with the Padres.

Kevin was a devout Christian and joined his teammates on Christian outreach missions in the U.S. and abroad. Kevin was a staunch believer in God, family, country, freedom and liberty. His favorite Bible verse was Colossians 3:23, “Do everything heartily unto the Lord, and not unto man.”

After baseball, Kevin and Christy settled into life in Coronado and were blessed with children, Catie and Ryan. Kevin became involved in finance and the restaurant business, becoming a partner in Greystone Steakhouse in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. He and Christy were also partners in a horse racing venture, winning multiple graded-stakes races with his horse “Skip to the Stone.” It was an endeavor that Kevin truly loved.

Kevin spent much of his time with his children, preaching the word of God to them, mentoring them in life, school and athletics. He continually offered his time and expertise to the kids’ teams to not only teach the fundamentals of athletics, but also the core lessons of leadership, hard work, determination, overcoming failure and setbacks and being great teammates. He absolutely cherished moments with his wife and children, of whom he was exceedingly proud. He was a dedicated father and husband.

Kevin is survived by his wife Christy; children Catherine Ward, 15, and Ryan Ward, 17; his mother, Pauline Ward, 92; and brothers Robert Ward, Dennis Ward and David Ward.

A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 655 C Avenue, on Monday, March 18 at noon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests all remembrances be made in Kevin’s name to the Pro Athletes Outreach Foundation, https://pao.org/, or to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, https://www.mlb.com/baseball-tomorrow-fund.