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There can’t be an all-time great Padres list without including Mr. Padre. Tony Gwynn embodies the Padres, playing 20 years for the Friars. In college, baseball played second fiddle to Gwynn’s basketball career but eventually, the point guard would become one of the greatest left handed hitters of all-time. Gwynn would end his career with the Padres holding 15 franchise records including batting average, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, walks, total bases, runs and stolen bases.
His incredible career is full of amazing stats, but my all-time favorite Tony Gwynn stat is career strikeouts. In 20 seasons Tony Gwynn only struck out 434 times. That is incredible, considering he came to the plate 10,232 times.
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There is so much that can be written about Gwynn’s incredible career, you could start with the 8 batting titles, or the 15 all-star games, or the five Gold Gloves, or the seven Silver Sluggers or the .338 career batting average, but the place where I would start though is the 20 seasons he played all for the Padres.
That is a rare feat for a player, as only 17 players have played 20 seasons with the same team. It’s tempting to scrape the Mount Rushmore idea and just carve Gwynn into the Mountain alone. There is no person more important or synonymous with San Diego than Gwynn. That’s why he has to be on my Padres Mount Rushmore.
Well, that’s it folks my Mount Rushmore is complete. To review making my list is Jake Peavy, Trevor Hoffman, Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn. While I didn’t know this would happen, these four are also the Padres leaders in career war. Gwynn leading the way with 68, followed by Winfield at 31 and lastly Peavy and Hoffman are tied with a 26 career war with the Padres. Tell me how I did, what would you change? Anyone else you would throw into the conversation? Let me know what you think.