The baseball world reacts to Tony Gwynn's death
With the death of legendary hitter Tony Gwynn, the baseball community offers up its thoughts and feelings.
The baseball world lost a legend Monday, as Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died at the young age of 54. Here are some of the reactions about his great player and even better person.
Commissioner Bud Selig's statement:
"Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life. Tony was synonymous with San Diego Padres baseball, and with his .338 career batting average and eight batting titles, he led his beloved ballclub to its greatest heights, including two National League pennants.
"Tony loved our game, the city of San Diego and his alma mater where he starred and coached, San Diego State University, and he was a part of a wonderful baseball family. His commitment to the children of San Diego made him a deserving recipient of our game's highest off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, in 1999.
"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. 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 Padres' statement:
“The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Tony Gwynn. There are no words to express what Tony means to this organization and this community. More than just Mr. Padre, Tony was Mr. San Diego. He cared deeply about our city and had a profound impact on our community. He forever will be remembered not only for his tremendous on-field accomplishments, but also for his infectious laugh, warm, outgoing personality and huge heart. On behalf of Padres fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a friend, a teammate and a legend. We send our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the entire Gwynn family, including his wife, Alicia, his children, Tony Jr. and Anisha, and his grandchildren.”
Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler added, “Today, we mourn the loss of a man who shared our great pride in this city and who made us all proud to be San Diegans. For more than a generation, the only thing more dependable in San Diego than sunshine was Tony Gwynn. No player ever has or ever will put on a Padres jersey without feeling the spirit and passion of #19.”
Padres Lead Investor Peter Seidler said, “Tony was not only one of the greatest hitters the sport has ever seen, but also one of the greatest men to ever play the game. As a player who committed his entire career to one team and led the Padres to two National League pennants, Tony was admired and respected by all fans of the game. His smile will be forever etched in our hearts.”
The Padres announce that the Tony Gwynn statue at the Park at the Park will remain open until 11:30 p.m. tonight and Tuesday for fans who would like to pay their respects. Fans may enter through the East Village Gate at Petco Park.
Today I lost my Dad, my best friend and my mentor. I'm gonna miss u so much pops. I'm gonna do everything in my power to continue to...— Tony Gwynn Jr. (@tonygwynnjr) June 16, 2014
Make u proud!— Tony Gwynn Jr. (@tonygwynnjr) June 16, 2014
Stephen Strasburg, who Gwynn coached at San Diego State, called Gwynn a "father figure," via washingtonpost.com.
And let's hear from some of his Gwynn's peers, media who covered him and more:
Michael Young just sent me this text: "Ted Williams gets to talk hitting again."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 16, 2014
Tony Gwynn was the best pure hitter I ever faced! Condolences to his family.— greg maddux (@gregmaddux) June 16, 2014
So sad to hear of Tony Gwynns passing, great player, great man... Prayers to his family— Tom Glavine (@Tom_Glavine) June 16, 2014
You will hear a ton of amazing stories today about what a #HOF person Tony Gwynn was. Every single one of them will be true. Every one.— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) June 16, 2014
We talked hitting every time I saw him.Questions after questions.A true friend. So sad to hear the passing of Tony Gwynn. May he RIP.— Yonder Alonso (@YonderalonsoU) June 16, 2014
“@MLBNetwork: What is your favorite Tony Gwynn moment or memory?” Mine was Every time he walked to the plate.— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) June 16, 2014
RIP Tony Gwynn.. One of the games greatest will surely be missed.. Prayers for the Gwynn family.— Matt Carpenter (@MattCarp13) June 16, 2014
I'm so happy I called Tony Gwynn 2 weeks ago to see how he was doing! Farewell my friend! #RIPTonyGwynn— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 16, 2014
RIP Tony Gwynn. Not only was he one of the greatest hitters of all time. He was also a great competitor and a great person.— Barry Larkin (@BLarkin_ESPN) June 16, 2014
#tonygwynn Toughest hitter I ever had to play defense against. Great player who never got credit for his defensive skills that he was— Ozzie Smith (@STLWizard) June 16, 2014
..#tonygwynn, was equally proud of. An even better human being with an infectious laugh. Will crack up heaven's starting lineup.RIP friend— Ozzie Smith (@STLWizard) June 16, 2014
Sad news. Hitting MLB pitching is incredibly difficult, and Tony Gwynn made it look easy. Best wishes to all who loved him #class— Jim Abbott (@jabbottum31) June 16, 2014
wow, R.I.P Tony Gwynn..lost a great person today..gonna miss you coach!!— Addison reed (@Areed43) June 16, 2014
Sad hearing news on Tony Gwynn. To me he was the greatest hitter that ever lived. Can't believe both my idols are gone, RIP Puckett & Gwynn— Pat Neshek (@PatNeshek) June 16, 2014
Even more than Tony Gwynn's swing, I'll remember his laugh..the greatest, most welcoming laugh in sports..helped me survive tough clubhouses— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) June 16, 2014
Tony Gwynn made the swing of a bat seem both scientific and poetic. My favorite word he used for hitting was "carve."— J.A. Adande (@jadande) June 16, 2014
Sad times. Tony Gwynn was a super hero in a lot of people's eyes, including mine. Prayers go out to his family and friends.— Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20) June 16, 2014
Wow. Sad to hear of the passing of Tony Gwynn. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of the baseball family.— Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) June 16, 2014
#RIP Tony Gwynn. One of the nicest MLB players I ever had the pleasure of covering. Gone way, way too soon.— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) June 16, 2014
Another sad day for our HOF family on the passing of Tony Gwynn. One of the greatest hitters of all time. You'll be dearly missed my friend!— Wade Boggs (@ChickenMan3010) June 16, 2014