The baseball world has lost one of the best players in history. Tony Gwynn passed away at the age of just 54. What an incredible loss this is to the baseball community. Not only was Gwynn one of the finest hitters baseball has ever seen, but he was one of the few gentlemen in the game in an era that saw so many cheating, spitting, and disgracing the game. Gwynn was a steady force on the playing field, who was also quick with a big, friendly smile.
Gwynn hit safely in an amazing 75% of the games in which he played, leading to a career .338 average (18th in baseball history). He won 8 batting titles – the second most in the history of the game. He also led the league in hits 7 times. He appeared in an impressive 15 All-Star games, won 5 Gold Gloves, and finished in the top-10 in MVP voting 7 times. When the baseball strike prematurely ended the ’94 season in mid-August, Gwynn was batting .394 – the highest average by any NL player since 1930. He was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 by the 7th highest percentage in history (97.6%), just 13 votes shy of unanimous selection.
In recent years, Gwynn had been a television commentator, and had taken on a coaching position with his alma mater, San Diego State University. Gwynn was a guy that had a genuine passion for the game. He absolutely loved baseball. And, I could listen to him talk about hitting for hours. One of the most respected, well-loved, and fantastic players in baseball history. Tony Gwynn will most certainly be missed.