Hispanic Heritage Month: Tony Aguirre
Anthony J. “Tony” Aguirre was born on Feb. 8, 1929, in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood. While in high school at Redemptorist, he played almost every sport, though baseball was his passion. In fact, he was almost drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals when he was still in high school. However, Tony’s real passion was coaching. He started coaching at the Guadalupe Center when he was just 17, and the nuns offered him a job as soon as he graduated.
Tony coached generations of Westside residents in baseball, basketball and football. He believed that children could learn life lessons through sport. His motto was “Friendship, Intelligence, Sportsmanship, Honor,” and he came to be known as “Fish.” He was recognized with many awards during his lifetime, and his name is in the Mexican-American Softball Hall of Fame.
Prior to Tony’s death in 2006, the city honored him by dedicating the Tony Aguirre Community Center at 2050 W. Pennway in his honor.