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Tony Gwynn

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There is probably no one who has won over the public in San Diego as much as Tony Gwynn has. While Tony Gwynn the baseball player is worthy of Hall of Fame status, it is Tony Gwynn the human being that endeared himself to many San Diegans. Born in Los Angeles in 1960, Gwynn grew up in Long Beach where he attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Not only was he a skilled baseball player, he was also good at basketball. Interestingly enough, Gwynn actually chose to play basketball and not baseball during his freshman year at San Diego State University. He twice earned All Western Athletic Conference honors and was eventually drafted by the San Diego Clippers of the National Basketball Association. In his sophomore year, Gwynn joined the baseball team at SDSU while continuing to play basketball there. It turned out to be a wise decision as Gwynn's baseball credentials were better than those he earned in basketball. He received both All Western Athletic Conference and NCAA All-American honors for his performance as a baseball player. After college, Gwynn was drafted by the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball club, and played in their minor league system for a couple of years. In the middle of the 1983 season Gwynn joined the Padres for good and had a hall of fame career before retiring from the Padres after the 2001 season. Among his many accomplishments were his eight batting titles, five gold gloves, 3,154 career hits and a career batting average of .336. One of the attributes that distinguished Gwynn from other players was his relentless work ethic and attention to detail. He routinely studied videos of himself batting, looking for anything that could hamper his performance. His ability to analyze pitchers and determine what pitch they were throwing based on subtleties in their pitching motion was well known. This skill was so good that Padres pitchers often consulted Gwynn to determine if there was anything in their pitching motion that hitters could identify. Teammates wishing to improve their hitting also consulted Gwynn. Gwynn's character as a human being is another attribute that stands out from other players. While he could have easily pursued more lucrative contracts with other teams, he chose to stay in San Diego throughout his major league career, emphasizing the importance of his family and his connection to the community. He supports the Padres Scholars program and his foundation supports many causes helping needy children in the area. In an era of inflated contracts, steroids scandals and boorish behavior on the part of several major league ballplayers, Tony Gwynn is a great example of how a baseball player should be both on and off the field. On June 16, 2014, Gwynn lost his battle with salivary gland cancer. He was 54 years old.  See full bio on IMDb »

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