How does one honor a hometown hero?
Tony Gwynn made his home in Poway for over 30 years. Along with Ted Williams, he was one of the best baseball players the city of San Diego has ever seen. But his career in baseball was only a part of the man. At heart, Gwynn was a genuine, caring member of the Poway community.
He quietly gave back to the community in many ways, buying sports equipment for the high school, participating in all kinds of fundraising activities, and donating his time and his effort in myriad ways. He and his wife Alicia gave back on a larger scale through the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation, a community-oriented non-profit organization that focuses on providing opportunities for youth to become healthy, educated, and productive citizens. And now that Tony has passed, the city of Poway wants to give something back to the man and the family who gave so much of themselves.
After taking a poll on the city website, the Poway City Council has decided to honor Tony by naming a ballpark after him at Lake Poway, a location close to his Poway home. They’d also like to add some sort of permanent plaque or monument, but they’re still open to suggestion about what exactly that should entail.
The council told the staff of the city to consider what would make an appropriate monument, and analyze the costs. They will reconvene later in the year to present their ideas at a public hearing and make a decision.
Although the majority of respondents to the web poll recommend renaming the ballpark at Community Park, the councilmembers decided that the Lake Poway park, less than a half-mile from Gwynn’s home, was a better choice.
It is important to the decision-makers that the monument be done correctly, and with class. They want the monument to the man to be worthy of the man that Tony Gwynn was.
“To do something amazing is to do it right,” said Poway Mayor Don Higginson.
In addition to the ballpark, a plan to change the name of a part of the Ted Williams Parkway is already underway. Pending approval by the state legislature, the section of the parkway that runs from I-15 to the east would be named Tony Gwynn Parkway.
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Tony Gwynn was a remarkable man. It is wonderful to see people taking such care to make sure that this tremendous member of our community will be remembered for years to come.