Hall of Famer and San DiegoPadres’ legend Tony Gwynn has passed away today at the age 54. Gwynn is arguably one of Major League Baseball’s greatest hitters, but he was the face of the San Diego Padres from 1982-2002. More importantly, he was everything to city of San Diego and its fans.
Despite other opportunities elsewhere, Gwynn chose to remain a San Diego Padre even after the team’s fire sale in 1993. Over the course of Gywnn’s Hall of Fame career, he amassed 3,147 career hits, a lifetime batting average of .338, eight National League Batting titles, and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2007. His career batting average is the second to Ted Williams .344 post World War II.
Gwynn , who has been battling salivary gland cancer since 2009, had multiple surgeries on his right cheek to beat back a malignant tumor that came as a result of his years of chewing tobacco. Earlier this year, Gwynn took a leave of absence from his head coaching duties at San Diego State University for undisclosed medical reasons, but always vowed he’d be back in the dugout.
It is an extremely sad day for Major League Baseball, San Diego Padres’ fans, and an entire generation of baseball fans that remember the sweet swing of one of the greatest hitters of all-time. We lost one of the most respected and greatest players in history. Moreover, the organization and the city of San Diego has lost a piece of itself this morning and will forever be missed.
Friars On Base will have complete coverage of the passing of Tony Gwynn all week long. Rest in Peace Mr. Padre.