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Hit Master


R.I.P. Tony Gwynn, gone too soon. He was 54.


[Photo Via: 90 feet of perfection]

Categories:  1: Featured  Arts and Culture  Obituaries

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1 Hank Waddles   ~  Jun 16, 2014 11:10 am

Amongst non-Yankees, he was always one of my all-time favorites. Tragic loss.

2 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 16, 2014 11:16 am

Oh my God.

What happened?

That's very sad.

3 Simone   ~  Jun 16, 2014 11:34 am

Shocking. Tony was so young. Damn that tobacco. A close family member got oral cancer from smoking a pipe. Thank goodness, he recovered to live many more years.

Rest in peace, Tony.

4 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 16, 2014 1:03 pm

Can't believe he is gone. I didn't know he was sick. What a shame.


5 salvomania   ~  Jun 16, 2014 1:23 pm

Went to a game in St. Louis hoping to see Gwynn reach 3000 hits---he was at 2,998. He finished the night at 2,999, while Mark McGwire hit his 500th home run during the game.

Other than the McGwire homers (he hit No. 501 as well) my lasting memory of the game is of running into a few Padres fans who were following Gwynn around on his quest for 3000. Not only were they rooting for him, but they knew him, and made it a point to let me know what an incredibly nice man he was.

6 Matt Blankman   ~  Jun 16, 2014 1:50 pm

At the start of the '82 season, Gwynn's first, I was 9. When he finished his final season, in 2001, I was 29. No wonder this one is really upsetting to me.

Helluva ballplayer.

7 thelarmis   ~  Jun 16, 2014 1:57 pm

tony gwynn is, was, and will always be one of my all-time favorite baseball players. he's been sick for awhile. this is a terrible shame. waaaay too young. damn tobacco...

8 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 16, 2014 2:10 pm

Addiction is a mother. Gwynn's tobacco addiction shortened his life. Very sad. He was supposed to be a really good guy, too.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 16, 2014 4:17 pm
11 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 16, 2014 5:42 pm

Oh man..a lot of us around the same age here on the Banter so Tony Gwynn was just a legend. I remember watching him during some Mets games, a complete wizard with the bat. Had no idea he was ill..that's just too damn young!

12 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 16, 2014 7:21 pm

Terrific hitter. Maybe I wasn't paying attention at the time, or maybe tobacco was so prevalent in the game I didn't notice, but I have no memory of him as a chewer.
Some guys you can picture with the big wad in their mouth, spitting. I just remember admiring him as guy who hit everything, and who was cool about it. Talented and businesslike. Sad to hear he's gone.

13 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 17, 2014 3:03 am

His effortless style of hitting, to me, was similar to the styles of Wade Boggs and Rod Carew. Apparently he was a great guy, too.

It would be good to hear more about his tobacco habit, especially for kids, such as what he chewed and for how long.

I used to dip snuff and chew loose leaf. Did it randomly for a few years in high school and college, but never got hooked. When I got a gum infection, I quit.

About seven years after my last chaw, a dentist noticed a growth on my gum (you know it was on my chaw side), and I had to get a biopsy. Fortunately, it was benign.

14 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Jun 17, 2014 9:40 am

[9], [10] This also shapes up as a pretty good time for one of my periodic re-readings of Men at Work. If you've never cracked it, it's worth a look. Though somehow it's turned into a period piece right before my eyes...

15 BobbyB   ~  Jun 17, 2014 11:05 am

I knew that he had been dealing with cancer over the last 4-5 years. Still, you think that the type of cancer he had would be treatable. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. I just finished reading Siddhartha Mukerjee's Pulitzer Prize winning "The Emperor of All Maladies" a history of Cancer. I was surprised what a truly great book this was since I felt kind of weird choosing it. As far as Gwynn, I remember him in the 1998 WS. He was the only hitter on that team that scared me. I figured he could easily go 16 for 16 the way he was hitting in those days. A friend of mine in San Diego knew him peripherally and whose son played for him told me that calling him a great guy is an understatement. From what I have been reading, that's probably a true assessment. Hall of fame guy on and off the field. RIP.

16 Simone   ~  Jun 17, 2014 1:50 pm

[13] You are lucky. My family member had to have a malignant growth removed from his jaw followed by chemo. He had problems swallowing for a while after and a facial deformity that required several reconstructive surgeries. However, it could have been worse.

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