Monday, June 16, 2014

Tony Gwynn (1960-2014), Rest In Peace, Mr. Padre, Mr. Aztec, Mr. San Diego

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog program to bring you the sad news that Mr. Padres, Mr. Aztec, and Mr. San Diego has passed away today at age 54.

My heart is broken.  Tony was my favorite player of all time.  A man who devoted his life to working hard, achieving success, and teaching young people the fine arts of life and baseball.

Tony could flat out hit.  For average, with some power, at critical times.  Over 3,141 hits in a 20 year career.  A lifetime average of .338.

 Tony was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 on the first ballot:

Tony hit over .300 for 19 years in a row.  Only Ty Cobb (23 years) hit .300 for more consecutive years.

He struck out less than 5% of the time - averaging 21.7 strikeouts per year.  He never struck out against Greg Maddux in 107 at bats.  He had one game with 3 strikeouts.

Tony achieved 8 batting titles, 15 time all-star, hit in over 75% of his games.

One Petco Park:

On the statue are the words of Tony's father, Charles Gwynn:

"If you work hard, good things will happen."

After his baseball career, he became the head baseball coach of his alma mater, San Diego State, and worked on local Padres game broadcasts and on ESPN for several years during the playoffs.

When Tony was in his second year with the Padres, he came with several other players to a local shopping center.  We took our girls (age 10 and 7 at the time) to meet him, shake his hand, and get an autograph.  The girls, Linda and I idolized Tony, not only for his baseball prowess, but mainly because of how he lived his life.

Tony Gwynn worked hard, got an education, excelled in his life's work, treated everyone he met with friendship and kindness, and great things came to him.

Thank you, Tony Gwynn, for sharing your skills, your passions, your humor, and your example with us over 30 in peace.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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