SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball has renamed the batting titles and the timing couldn't have been any better. Here in San Diego's Petco Park, immediately before the beginning of the All-Star Game, commissioner Rob Manfred came out to a makeshift podium to make an announcement.
Initially, it was that the American League batting title would be renamed the Rod Carew American League batting title. The Hall of Famer won seven batting titles in the AL, so the shoe fits.
The main course, though, was the NL side. The award will be renamed in honor of Tony Gwynn. The late, great Mr. Padre won eight batting titles here in San Diego. His entire family was on hand, on the field, with Manfred to accept the honor on his behalf. Needless to say, the ovation from the Petco Park crowd was deafening.
Here are the awards:
"Rod is one of the most highly decorated players in American League history, who made 18 straight All-Star appearances in his Hall of Fame career," said commissioner Manfred in a statement. "Tony is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of the National League and there is no better place to honor him than in San Diego. Major League Baseball is pleased to recognize their extraordinary careers by naming our batting crowns in their honor."
It should also be noted that the pre-game festivities concluded with Trevor Hoffman delivering the game ball. He came out from the bullpen to Hell's Bells and the entire place was rocking along with him.
MLB really pulled off an excellent pre-game, with the most touching moment being the Gwynn award announcement.