It’s a sad day for baseball fans and for all of sports fans in general. Hall of Fame baseball player, Tony Gwynn, has passed away. He was 54 years old.
Tony Gwynn had over 3,000 hits (3,141 to be exact) during his 20 season career, where he spent all of his time playing for the San Diego Padres, becoming such a well-liked and admired figure that he received the name “Mr. Padre.” Gwynn was a career .338 hitter and won eight National League batting titles, along with seven Silver Slugger awards and five Golden Gloves. He was also a 15-time All-Star and played in both World Series that the Padres were in.
Gwynn had been signed to a one-year contract extension as the baseball coach at San Diego State on June 11 but had been on medical leave since late March. He was recovering from cancer treatment. Gwynn had been the coach at San Diego State, his alma mater, since 2002.
Gwynn had been battling cancer of a salivary gland since 2010 and had both of his lymph notes removed. He had stated that the disease was most likely caused by his dipping tobacco habit, which started back during his rookie season in 1981.
Gwynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 and is believed to be “the best hitter of his generation” by many baseball followers. He leaves behind his wife Alicia and his son Tony Gwynn Jr., who is a major league outfielder currently playing for the Philadelphia Phillies.
A pure class act, Gwynn will be remembered not just for his achievements on the field but for the warm and friendly personality that he always displayed, whether in the game or not. He was a universally beloved player that possessed both the talent to play the game of baseball well and the respect to play it the right way. Gwynn will be greatly missed.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Pepsi MLB Refresh Project