One of the greatest hitters to ever grace the game of baseball, former San Diego Padre, Tony Gwynn, has passed away at the age of 54 on Monday, this according to Barry Bloom of MLB,com who unfortunately received the phone call confirming the news.
Tony Gwynn has died, his agent John Boggs just told me. It was the phone call I’ve been dreading. God bless, Mr. Padre. I love you. @Padres
— Barry M. Bloom (@Boomskie) June 16, 2014
Back in April, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gwynn was taking a leave of absence as the head coach of the San Diego State Aztecs baseball team while he dealt with cancer treatments. When questioned about it, just two months ago, Gwynn simply stated that “he was good.”
“I have no comment, other than to say I’m doing good,” said Gwynn. “That’s all I can say. But nobody believes me because there hasn’t been any information out there. But, trust me, I’m doing good.”
Unfortunately, as we’re finding out today, he was ultimately not and now the game of baseball has lost not only one of the best men to walk to a home plate, but one of the best men it has ever seen–period.
While he was never able to attain a World Series ring during his illustrious career with the Padres, his personal accomplishments are something to marvel at.
He finished his Major League career batting an astounding .338 with 3,141 hits and 1,138 RBI. He was named the NL Batting Champion on eight separate occasions.
Whenever the Hall of Famer walked to the plate, striking him out was very rarely an option.
Tony Gwynn struck out 434 times over 9,288 career at-bats. That is not a misprint.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 16, 2014
The game of baseball lost one of the great ones today, and our condolences go out to the entire Gwynn family and the Padres organization.