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Tony Gwynn – The Consummate Hitter Dies At The Tender Age of 54

June 17th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

If you happen to be the casual baseball fan and didn’t know who Tony Gwynn was (it is possible inasmuch as he played for the lowly tonygwynnSan Diego Padres for 20 years) you would probably think, simply by his appearance (stout & portly) that this was a guy who tried to yank the ball out of the park every time he stepped up to the plate. Indeed, many of the hall – of – famers, including Mickey Mantle, have always maintained that if it wasn’t a home – run, even a base – hit, then it was less than a perfect at – bat. This was not the philosophy of arguably the greatest “pure” hitter to ever play the game of baseball.

Tony Gwynn was not a very tall man (5’11”) but he was a husky fellow 230 lbs. but Tony was not there to knock the ball out of the park. Mr. Gwynn was a craftsman, artist, and master at seeing the ball with hawk – eye vision and going with the pitch (fast ball or breaking ball) and literally using the whole field, very often in the gap between third and short which is prodigiously difficult. It’s a known fact that Tony Gwynn saw baseball and hitting a pitched ball as an esoteric science. He took his profession very seriously and would always study the video tape of every one of his at – bats in order to improve his game.

Here are some statistics from him which are nothing less than staggering:

·        His career batting average was .338.

·        He hit .350+ five years in a row (wow !!!)

·        Tony was a selfless team player who would with unparalleled consistency hit a grounder to the right side to move a runner on second to third when there were 0 outs.

·        Gwynn made the all – star team 15 times.

·        Won 8 NL batting titles

·        He hit over .300 basically his whole career – 19 years.

Tony Gwynn was beloved by everyone in baseball and especially obviously by the San Diego Padres whom they called “Mr. Padre. Sadly Mr. Gwynn died of salivary gland cancer caused by the horrible habit of chewing tobacco (I chewed myself for more than a decade) which all baseball players used to do back in the day.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Incidentally, Tony Gwynn was not only one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball, but he was also, as told by countless friends, teammates, family, etc., an unbelievably nice and soft – spoken man. R.I.P. Tony Gwynn  – you were truly a class act and made the game of baseball a better and more interesting sport.

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One Response to “Tony Gwynn – The Consummate Hitter Dies At The Tender Age of 54”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    Just a little sidebar … In my earnest opinion, with respect to all professional athletic endeavors, I don’t think there is anything more difficult than hitting a baseball from a professional pitcher. What I find absolutely astonishing, is that that pro hitters can easily hit a 90 + mph straight fastball, but it’s the funky – jazzy curve, slider, split – finger stuff that’s a killer. Now just think of not just making contact with the pitched ball but actually controlling where in play the ball is hit, like Tony Gwynn did.

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