Reflecting The Career Of Tony Gwynn

A look at what Tony Gwynn meant to baseball & his family

TonyJust a day after Father’s Day, Mr. Padre (Spanish for father) & Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, passed away this morning at age 54 after battling salivary gland cancer.

The former San Diego Padre was never the home run king nor was he consistently leading the league in RBI’s, but what he did do to help his team win was hit the ball & get on base.

Looking back at a successful career, Gwynn played 20 seasons in the Major Leagues (1982-2001), with a .338 lifetime batting average, became a member of the 3,000 hit club, was an eight-time batting champion & won two pennants while playing in San Diego all 20 seasons.

Gwynn collected 200+ hits five times, was elected to 15 All-Star Games, never had less than 400 at-bats from 1984-1999 & hit over .300 from 1983-2001.

But it is not just his numbers that made him such a likeable player, but his personality as well. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly recognizes the greatness that Gwynn provided to both baseball & the entire city of San Diego:

“He was one of those rare players, like Banks, Ripken and Musial, whose talent, longevity and personality allowed him to become synonymous with his ball club. He is so identifiable with San Diego’s major league baseball team that they call him Mr. Padre. It says it right on the statue outside the stadium,” Salisbury said.

In addition, Gwynn was always clean, he never tried to find a way to cheat in order to improve his performance and you never heard about him getting into fights with other players.

Now on this Monday after Father’s Day, his son Tony Gwynn Jr. who plays for the Philadelphia Phillies will never forget who his father was to him: “My best friend & just a good dude. Imagine what it’s like for a son who’s been with him his whole life and known that same guy off and on the field,” Tony Jr. said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

A great ball player, religious man and loving father has been taken from the world and is in a better place. Mr. Padre will long live in San Diego baseball.