Mourning Tony Gwynn: 1960-2014
The baseball world lost one of its titans on Monday as Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died at the age of 54 from cancer.
Gwynn was a rare and special player, and because he spent his whole career on the West Coast, most people don’t even realize just how good he was.
Not only did he spend his entire 20-year career in just one city (San Diego), Gwynn was a 15-time all-star and eight-time NL batting champion.
He batted .300 every year of his career except his rookie year, when he hit .289. He was a lifetime .338 hitter and hit .394 in the 1994 strike-shortened season. He amassed his 3000th hit in 1999. He was enshrined in Cooperstown in 2007.
Furthermore, in an era that was defined by power and power hitters, Gwynn exhibited supreme bat control. He had only 34 multi-strikeout games in his entire career and struck one three times in a game just once.
He hit over .400 against soon-to-be Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and never struck out against one of the best pitchers of his era.
It’s been said by many just what a great guy Gwynn was, and it does not go unnoticed that he has never been connected to the performance-enhancing drugs that have tainted the era he played in.
Following his retirement after the 2001 season, Gwynn began coaching at his alma mater, San Diego State.
He had been the head coach of the Aztec program since 2002.
RIP Tony Gwynn. Baseball will miss you.