Baseball Hall of Famer Gwynn dies at 54
Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died Monday morning after battling cancer. He was 54.
Gwynn was surrounded by his family at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, Calif., when he died.
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of Tony Gwynn," said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement. "He was beloved by so many, especially the Hall of Fame family, for his kindness, graciousness and passion for the game. Tony was one of baseball history's most consistent hitters and most affable personalities. He was an icon for San Diego Padres fans, never more evident than on Induction Day of 2007, when tens of thousands of Tony's most appreciative fans filled Cooperstown for his Hall of Fame speech. We extend our deepest sympathies to (his wife) Alicia and the entire Gwynn family."
Gwynn spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Padres from 1982-2001. He had 3,141 hits and a career .338 batting average (18th best all-time) in 2,440 games. He batted above .300 in 19 of his 20 major league seasons, including .394 in 1994. He was a 15-time All-Star, won eight batting titles and five Gold Glove Awards.
Gwynn was also a key part of the Padres' National League pennants in 1984 and 1998, hitting a combined .371 in the two World Series.
He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He was named on 532 of 545 ballots (97.6 percent), along with Cal Ripken Jr. as the 2007 class of inductees. Gwynn also was given the 1995 Branch Rickey Award, the 1998 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the 1999 Roberto Clemente Award.
"Tony will be remembered in baseball circles for his hitting acumen, as evidenced by a lofty .338 lifetime batting average and an astonishing eight National League batting titles," said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement. "But it was his infectious laugh, ever-present smile and humble disposition that made Mr. Padre a favorite in San Diego and an endearing figure to a nation of baseball fans who marveled at his career accolades and celebrated his 2007 induction into the Hall of Fame in record numbers."
Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement, saying that Gwynn was "the greatest Padre ever" and his "all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life."
"Tony loved our game, the city of San Diego and his alma mater where he starred and coached, San Diego State University, and he was a part of a wonderful baseball family," Selig said. "His commitment to the children of San Diego made him a deserving recipient of our game's highest off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, in 1999.
"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. 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."