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Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn Dead at 54
Baseball has lost one of it’s greatest living players. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, one of the best pure hitters of all time, succumbed to cancer on Monday morning at the age of 54.
Gwynn may have never hit more than 17 home runs in a single-season, but he hit .328 for his career, amassing 3,141 hits. During his 20 seasons in Major League Baseball—every one of them with the San Diego Padres—he never hit below .309, and he finished with an on-base percentage above .400 six different times.
Of course, Tony Gwynn, a.k.a. Mr. Padre, wasn’t just a player. He was a true student of the game who studied the art of hitting with his friend and San Diego native, Ted Williams. And, by all accounts, he was also a tremendous human being who endeared himself to everyone he met.
“For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the national pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched,” said MLB commissioner Bud Selig in a statement released today. “On behalf of all of our clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”
After retiring from MLB in 2001, Gwynn became the baseball coach at his alma mater, San Diego State. In 2010, he was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland—a condition he attributed to his use of chewing tobacco. He held off the disease for some time, but today, finally, it got the better of him.
RIP, Tony Gwynn. You were one of baseball’s true class acts.
Hat Tip – [USA Today]