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June 16, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Tony Gwynn — 1960-2014

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Sad news came out this morning with the announcement that Padres’ hall of fame outfielder Tony Gwynn passed away at the age of 54 with complications from cancer. While this is a “Mariners” blog, it’s also a baseball blog and there are few players more beloved in the game than Gwynn. I was able to interview him once in 2008 – my first full year covering a MLB beat. I talked with him the dugout before a game in Peoria and he talked to me like he’d known me for years.  I had to hide my goosebumps. He was like that with everyone. You won’t find too many people that have something bad to say about Gwynn as player or a person.  It’s an odd feeling to see the players of your youth pass away. He was one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen. And he will be missed.

Look at these numbers ….

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 12.54.01 PM

 

They’re astounding. I still remember the 1994 season. I was in college and baseball that summer was so amazing and then so frustrating when it came to an end prematurely. I don’t know if he would have hit .400, but it would have been fun to watch him try.

The Padres are in town tonight. I would expect a small honoring of Gywnn tonight at Safeco Field and a large ceremony when the Mariners play San Diego at Petco Park on Wednesday.

Here’s the statement from commissioner Bud Selig

 

“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life.  Tony was synonymous with San Diego Padres baseball, and with his .338 career batting average and eight batting titles, he led his beloved ballclub to its greatest heights, including two National League pennants. 

“Tony loved our game, the city of San Diego and his alma mater where he starred and coached, San Diego State University, and he was a part of a wonderful baseball family.  His commitment to the children of San Diego made him a deserving recipient of our game’s highest off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, in 1999. 

“For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched.  On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”

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