The past couple of years were difficult for Mr. Padre after he was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland in 2010. An on and off battle with the disease ended 2 days ago when cancer took his life. Gwynn attributed his cancer and mouth issues to his addiction to dipping tobacco. A lot has been made of the smokeless form of tobacco since Gwynn passed, and many are wondering if the MLB should ban it. But instead of delving into that topic we use this TBT to remember and honor one of the best to ever take the plate.
Some of Tony Gwynn’s statistics are absolutely mind bottling, they’ve got my mind all trapped in a bottle. You can start at his career .338 batting average, eight batting titles, 3,141 career hits and 15 all-star games…whatever. The only season he didn’t hit .300 was his rookie year, followed by 19 straight years of over .300. Father Time gets to everyone, and even legends Jeter, Kobe, Tim Duncan, and Jerry Rice all got to points in their careers where they declined. So perhaps the most ridiculous Tony Gwynn stat is that in seasons from 1995 to 2001 (his last season), Gwynn batted .350 at the plate….he turned 35 in 1995, absolutely bonkers. In that 1995 season Gwynn struck out a total of 15 times. Currently, there are 30 MLB players who have struck out more than 15 times in the month of JUNE. He did it against the best pitchers too, he batted over .350 against Cy Young winners throughout his career.
Absolutely incredible numbers. Video Game stats right there. Truly one of the best hitters in the history of the game. Gwynn was spending the last 12 years of his life coaching his alma-mater San Diego State (where he also was a great basketball player).
Here is a pretty chilling memorial video of Mr. Padre:
— Steve Butabi