Gwynn is one of those rare transcendent players - it didn't matter which team you rooted for, you respected and appreciated the contributions that Gwynn made to the game of baseball over his illustrious 20 year career. His 8 career batting titles ranks second all-time behind Ty Cobb (tied with Honus Wagner)... not bad company. His career batting average of .338 ranks 20th all-time and stands as a truly remarkable feat given the time which he played. In fact, of the names ahead of him on the all-time batting average list, none played after 1960.
Gwynn is also one of the few players that made three of our All-Time Teams. You'll see his name on our 1980's and 1990's All-Decade teams as well as the All-Time Padres roster.
But stats aside, Gwynn will be remembered for so much more than his on-field prowess. I will fondly remember for for his smile and his one-of-a-kind voice; he was a true prince and an ambassador for the game that I love so much.
Of course, my thoughts and prayers go out to current Phillie Tony Gwynn, Jr. and the rest of the Gwynn family. I pray you're comforted by fond memories and a peace in knowing that the man we refer to as Mr. Padre is in a better place. Although the world lost a great man, heaven gained a pretty good 2-hole hitter.
During times like this, I like to dial into the local markets to see what they're saying. I encourage you to check out a couple of links below:
Click Here for a piece written by Jim Salisbury at CSN.com which talks about the relationship between Gwynn Jr. and his father:
Click Here for a personal account from Jackie Preciado at The Friarhood on the impact of Tony Gwynn (she and her father are 30 year season ticket holders).