Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is dead at 54

Tony Gwynn was one of the most prolific hitters in baseball for nearly two decades. (AP)

Tony Gwynn was one of the most prolific hitters in baseball for nearly two decades. (AP)

Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died early Monday, following a long battle with cancer. He was 54,

Left handed Gwynn had 3,141 hits during a career that spanned 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres. He compiled a career .338 batting average – 18th best of all-time – in 2,440 games. The 15-time All-Star won eight batting titles and five Gold Glove Awards. He was a key member of the 1984 and 1998 San Diego Padres National League Championship teams.

Photos: Gwynn’s 20-year career in baseball | Sign the condolences guestbook

Commissioner Bob Selig called Gwynn one of the best hitters “our game has ever known.”

“For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched,” Selig said. “On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”

The death was first reported by longtime baseball writer Barry Bloom and confirmed by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of Tony Gwynn,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “He was beloved by so many, especially the Hall of Fame family, for his kindness, graciousness and passion for the game. Tony was one of baseball history’s most consistent hitters and most affable personalities. He was an icon for San Diego Padres fans, never more evident than on Induction Day of 2007, when tens of thousands of Tony’s most appreciative fans filled Cooperstown for his Hall of Fame speech. We extend our deepest sympathies to Alicia and the entire Gwynn family.”

Just last week, Gwynn agreed to a one-year contract extension as the baseball coach at his alma mater, San Diego State, where he had coached since 2002.

51 comments Add your comment

Emontiel

June 16th, 2014
10:47 am

so sad he will be truly missed by all of san diego a real icon……

gtcaryd

June 16th, 2014
10:49 am

He was always one of my favorites.RIP.

Danno

June 16th, 2014
10:51 am

Sad day in baseball, Tony was and always will be a Top 10 hitter of all time in MLB. With all the named hitters in the MLB history, he goes down in that high category. His hitting was never a fluke or he just had a up year, 8 batting titles and 15 all star appearances.

Ronna Fillhart

June 16th, 2014
10:51 am

RIP! Mr. San Diego. Thanks for the memories.

Dwayne

June 16th, 2014
10:55 am

What a great hitter…

Dwayne

June 16th, 2014
10:55 am

Find and read the article about him and Greg Maddux. Great stuff.

R.I.P. — Tony Gwynn | threedonia.com

June 16th, 2014
10:57 am

[...] regard, and easily the best hitter of the 80s and 90s (sorry, Boggs fans, but he’s #2), passed away after a long battle with salivary gland cancer. Few people played the game with such unadulterated joy, and beyond privileged to have seen a few [...]

Tmitchell

June 16th, 2014
10:57 am

RIP Mr Gwynn, you may very well be the greatest hitter of my generation. Always looked forward to seeing you play, you did it the right way.

Don

June 16th, 2014
10:57 am

From a lifelong Braves fan….one of my favorites of all times, a class act who got it and knew how to play. Sad to lose him so early.

iamlistening

June 16th, 2014
10:57 am

One of the great hitters in baseball history. He was a very good ambassador for the game and the Padres organization.

Uncle Tom

June 16th, 2014
11:05 am

As far as I know, Tony was a model citizen and role model. But I’m always telling young guys to model themselves as a hitter after guys like Tony. Great hitter for average, some power, and very few strike outs. Even though part of me hated seeing him coming to bat against the Braves, another part just loved watching him hit. He didn’t just close his eyes, swing as hard as possible and fall all over himself trying to hit it into the upper deck. He was an artist with a bat like Da Vinci, not a blind “thrower of paint” like Jackson Pollack.

Koufaxfan

June 16th, 2014
11:07 am

Always a class act. So sad. A role model for baseball and baseball fans. Hoping he had a wonderful and joy filled life.

Pounceman

June 16th, 2014
11:14 am

RIP Tony. Greatest hitter of my generation. No Doubt!

crackbaby

June 16th, 2014
11:18 am

One of the Greatest Ambassadors of baseball as player and former player. Flat out the most intelligent hitter in my lifetime.

So many great players come through the Padres organization in the 70s and 80s. Tony was one of the few who stayed their throughout his career. Nothing but positive memories of Tony Gwynn – on and off the field. A true Hall of Famer.

crackbaby

June 16th, 2014
11:18 am

sorry for grammatical errors above. RIP Tony.

Billy

June 16th, 2014
11:20 am

A good natured gamer with talent; there’s too few like you, TG!. RIP…

Csonka

June 16th, 2014
11:20 am

I’m 50, and he’s the greatest hitter I ever saw. I’ve showed my son dozens of his YouTube videos hoping he would learn that hitting is not swinging out of your shoes on every cut. He was a poetry in motion at the plate, and a total class act. Rest in Peace, Mr. Padre.

Susan

June 16th, 2014
11:22 am

I pray he was saved. R.I.P.

Perry Neheum

June 16th, 2014
11:25 am

Among baseball’s all-time great hitters. And from all descriptions, a real nice guy. Plus, unlike many of his contemporaries and today’s allegedly best batsmen, he carries no taint of steroids usage.

Tammy

June 16th, 2014
11:29 am

Tony Gwynn was truly a role model for so many young and older men alike. He is one of my favorite all-time baseball players and will be missed by all. My prayers for his family and friends at this time.

Delbert_D

June 16th, 2014
11:30 am

Enter your comments here

Delbert_D

June 16th, 2014
11:31 am

One of the greatest of all time. What a player, what a man.

dewhit

June 16th, 2014
11:35 am

Tony Gwynn was a class act and a good guy.
He was one of those hitters that you watched playing and knew he would hit the ball.
It did not matter who was pitching or what stuff the pitcher had, Tony G. knew how to swing a bat.
All respect and best wishes to his family.

Bill Anderson

June 16th, 2014
11:41 am

One of the best players and gentlemen in the game. RIP Tony

Jimmy Benson

June 16th, 2014
11:50 am

Such a nice guy. This sucks. RIP Tony Gwynn.

tom

June 16th, 2014
12:01 pm

Always hated to see him come up to bat against the Braves. Solid player. RIP Tony.

David

June 16th, 2014
12:01 pm

RIP Tony you were such a nice person and one of the greatest hitters of all times. You will be greatly missed, such a sad day for baseball, I will miss you, thanks for the memories.

Sandra

June 16th, 2014
12:11 pm

I loved watching him play. Such a class act. RIP Mr. Gwynn.

Dan C

June 16th, 2014
12:14 pm

Had the privilege to have a two minute conversation with him. Was a class guy. you never would have known he was a Hall of Famer. God Bless Him,

RAY

June 16th, 2014
12:23 pm

A true sportsman….you can tell by no one in the AJC commenting on his race….yet!!!!

BaseballTopFan(c)

June 16th, 2014
12:23 pm

We would like to offer our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, friends and fans of Tony Gwynn !!!

Tony was a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT baseball player culminating with induction into Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Rest In Peace (RIP) !!!

Dave

June 16th, 2014
12:26 pm

So sad a truly class act!

ssidawg

June 16th, 2014
12:27 pm

One of the best. RIP Tony Gwynn.

ByronGrinnage

June 16th, 2014
12:43 pm

Baseball, as well as the world, has lost a true legend. R.I.P. Mr. Tony Gywnn. You will be missed. I am truly blessed to see you play the game the right way. Those battles with Greg Maddux were always enjoyable to watch.

dean

June 16th, 2014
12:43 pm

Ditto:

Susan
June 16th, 2014
11:22 am

I pray he was saved. R.I.P.

Casual Obsersver

June 16th, 2014
12:48 pm

Great ballplayer.

Great guy.

He will be missed.

Rest in peace Tony Gwynn.

Bearhand

June 16th, 2014
12:49 pm

Chewing Tobacco killed a great one today. I am so grateful that I was able to kick that habit before cancer developed in my mouth and jaw. Tony is on record as saying that he wished he had never used it. Young men, it is addictive and it’s a habit that is difficult to break. Many don’t and end up dead like Tony Gwynn. If you are using, work to stop it. If you’re not using, don’t start.

Gene

June 16th, 2014
1:13 pm

A great baseball player and a great person. A sad day for baseball fans everywhere.

Kim

June 16th, 2014
1:34 pm

What if he wasn’t saved. In you opinion what happens to his soul now?

UGAX

June 16th, 2014
1:38 pm

Not one strike out against Greg Maddux in 107 at bats. The best hitter I’ve ever seen and a class act to boot!!

Prestor James

June 16th, 2014
4:50 pm

Dang, what a lifetime batting average!

RangeRover

June 16th, 2014
8:38 pm

Total class act…on and off the field.

POAD2013

June 16th, 2014
8:43 pm

Well that will allow the Players Union/ Health Care to have a bunch more money to pay the other older players. He made a lot and payed in a lot that is now available for other players to live on….Just like Social Security.

corndawg

June 16th, 2014
9:11 pm

What a man, father and Great Player… Now playing for the Greatest of Great in Heaven. Prayers for family… no more pain brother.

corndawg

June 16th, 2014
9:19 pm

poad2o13…man have a heart. Its not like Social Security, the Gov’t spends money from SS and don’t pay it back. Player Union don’t do that and gov’t don’t take it. The PU will take care of family. Have some respect.

POAD2013

June 16th, 2014
10:25 pm

cornDOG…I am calling out UNIONS and to call out RICH people Unions is even easier.
Tony was Great to watch do his job but I hate UNIONS.

UGADawg16

June 16th, 2014
10:58 pm

Best hitter I ever saw and I was fortunate enough to have seen Tony several times. Amazingly, the only year he hit below .300 was his rookie season. Averaged only 21.7 strikeouts a year – or once about every week and a half – incredible.

Baseball lost a great ambassador today and the world lost a good man. He was one of a kind.

Thank you for the memories Tony G. You will be missed.

Gatorzip74

June 17th, 2014
4:11 am

POAD2013–Perhaps you should read about Tony Gwynn’s history with the Player’s Union. He royally pissed them off when he signed for lower contracts to play in San Diego (his hometown). That man was not only the best pure hitter since Ted Williams, but also loved the fans and was a great ambassador for the game. 8 seasons with 20 or less K’s, holy crap!

yougotthatright

June 17th, 2014
7:06 am

I remember a Tony W. interview. He had just met Ted Williams. Ted Williams asked him “can you smell the wood(of the bat) when you make contact. Tony said “yes”. Ted Williams later said only the great hitters understood when he asked that question.

yougotthatright

June 17th, 2014
7:08 am

hey Bearhand

your comment inappropriate.

POAD2013

June 17th, 2014
9:16 am

Gatorzip…i understand that and that is part of what is crazy. He died so young and he paid into something he disliked but they still have his money. he left us too soon.