On Monday morning, Major League Baseball lost not only one its greatest players, but they also lost one of their greatest ambassadors and people as San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn passed away.
Gwynn played 20 seasons, all of them with the Padres and despite spending his career in a relatively ‘small market’, few presences were bigger in the game than Gwynn during the peak of his career. That showed on Monday night as despite a relatively soft schedule, most teams playing honored the icon with a pre-game ceremony.
Some, like the Detroit Tigers went a touch further and placed Gwynn’s famed ’5.5′ logo between third base and shortstop.
Gwynn of course named the place between the two infielders the ’5.5′ hole as it’s an area of the field he trained himself to hit the ball.
The Phillies placed Gwynn’s uniform in their dugout, likely a tribute from bench coach Larry Bowa who coached the right fielder along with the fact that Gwynn’s son is a member of the Philadelphia organization.
In addition to the Tigers and Phillies, the rival Los Angeles Dodgers – a team in which Gwynn had so many big hits against – payed homage to their former NL West player by honoring Gwynn on the Dodger Stadium scoreboard before the game.
Lastly, the Seattle Mariners, who were hosting the Padres honored Gwynn by placing his famed #19 on the infield in the ’5.5′ hole.
The Padres themselves placed Gwynn’s jersey in their dugout (in addition to wearing black armbands), though given the light Monday schedule I’d expect we’ll see a handful of teams honor the San Diego great on Tuesday as well.
The Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks also held a moment of silence prior to their games.