Tony Gwynn, 1960-2014

"RIP

Far, far too young. For a typical person, he is just another person who has died, but to the world of baseball and their fans, the news of Tony Gwynn‘s death was a punch to the gut. He had been battling cancer for some time, but Gwynn succumbed to the disease at the tender age of 54. San Diego and all of baseball mourns in the loss of a man who was just as loved for who he was as he was for the gifts that he displayed on the diamond over his 20-year career.

Tony Gwynn was a gift. His desire to achieve greatness was evident by the extreme methods and hours of video that he watched to refine his magnificent, sweet swing. He earned every one, and deserved more, of his 97.6 percent vote into Cooperstown in 2007, and the fact that he could sit and talk to Ted Williams about hitting and be just as qualified goes a long way in labeling how special Gwynn was as a player.

There are so many accolades that you could go over when remembering Gwynn – the eight batting titles, the five Gold Gloves, and even the 15 All-Star games; however, to get the real Gwynn, the well-respected and beloved Gwynn, you can focus on these:

1995 Branch Rickey Award: Recognizes professionals in Major League Baseball for exceptional community service.

1998 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award: Given annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig, both on and off the field.

1999 Roberto Clemente Award: Given annually to the Major League Baseball player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.

Gwynn1Baseball will continue to admire the insanity of the greatness that Gwynn showed on the diamond, but part of the reason that so many mourn the loss of Tony Gwynn is for what he has given to the game and for what he could have given to the game going forward. At 54, the lessons that he could have given so many more players about hitting, particularly at San Diego State (where he had managed for 12 seasons), could have continued to change the game that he changed forever during his playing days.

Baseball will remember “5.5” (for all of the times he went the opposite way between the third baseman and shortstop, which was written on his cleats), they will remember him holding Ted Williams as he threw out the first pitch at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston, they will remember the laugh, the sweet swing, and the voice and the amazing stories that it told and the amazing way that he could describe the craft of hitting a baseball.

 

Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB
1982 22 54 209 190 33 55 12 2 1 17 8 14 16 .289 .337 .389 .726 107 74
1983 23 86 334 304 34 94 12 2 1 37 7 23 21 .309 .355 .372 .726 105 113
1984 ★ 24 158 675 606 88 213 21 10 5 71 33 59 23 .351 .410 .444 .853 141 269
1985 ★ 25 154 671 622 90 197 29 5 6 46 14 45 33 .317 .364 .408 .773 117 254
1986 ★ 26 160 701 642 107 211 33 7 14 59 37 52 35 .329 .381 .467 .848 135 300
1987 ★ 27 157 680 589 119 218 36 13 7 54 56 82 35 .370 .447 .511 .958 158 301
1988 28 133 578 521 64 163 22 5 7 70 26 51 40 .313 .373 .415 .787 128 216
1989 ★ 29 158 679 604 82 203 27 7 4 62 40 56 30 .336 .389 .424 .813 132 256
1990 ★ 30 141 629 573 79 177 29 10 4 72 17 44 23 .309 .357 .415 .772 112 238
1991 ★ 31 134 569 530 69 168 27 11 4 62 8 34 19 .317 .355 .432 .787 118 229
1992 ★ 32 128 569 520 77 165 27 3 6 41 3 46 16 .317 .371 .415 .786 121 216
1993 ★ 33 122 534 489 70 175 41 3 7 59 14 36 19 .358 .398 .497 .895 138 243
1994 ★ 34 110 475 419 79 165 35 1 12 64 5 48 19 .394 .454 .568 1.022 169 238
1995 ★ 35 135 577 535 82 197 33 1 9 90 17 35 15 .368 .404 .484 .888 137 259
1996 ★ 36 116 498 451 67 159 27 2 3 50 11 39 17 .353 .400 .441 .842 128 199
1997 ★ 37 149 651 592 97 220 49 2 17 119 12 43 28 .372 .409 .547 .957 156 324
1998 ★ 38 127 505 461 65 148 35 0 16 69 3 35 18 .321 .364 .501 .865 133 231
1999 ★ 39 111 446 411 59 139 27 0 10 62 7 29 14 .338 .381 .477 .858 124 196
2000 40 36 140 127 17 41 12 0 1 17 0 9 4 .323 .364 .441 .805 110 56
2001 41 71 112 102 5 33 9 1 1 17 1 10 9 .324 .384 .461 .845 127 47
20 Yrs 2440 10232 9288 1383 3141 543 85 135 1138 319 790 434 .338 .388 .459 .847 132 4259
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/16/2014.

 

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