The Loss of a Legend Tony Gwynn

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by Matt

Tony Gwynn, one of the best hitter of all-time, recently passed away at the age of 54. Gwynn played 20 incredible seasons for the San Diego Padres, and became the face of that franchise – and in many ways, the city as a whole. In addition to starring for the Padres, Gwynn also played basketball for San Diego State University and still holds many school records in that sport, as well. Gwynn was as much respected for his personality and attitude as his baseball ability, and his passing has been hard on the baseball community as a whole.

A Legitimately Great Hitter

Sometimes, baseball fans are too quick to pass around the word ‘great’ when referring to a specific player. In Gwynn’s case, however, it gwynncertainly applies. His hitting ability was part natural born talent, part hard work and dedication. He started hitting as soon as he reached the big leagues, and didn’t stop for two decades. He also was a quality defensive outfield and amassed plenty of stolen bases – but his bat is what will always be remembered, and what took him all the way to the Hall of Fame.

When you look over the statistics that represent Tony Gwynn’s Major League career, it is hard to decide which numbers stand out most. Of course, a .338 career batting average is hard to ignore. He had a .847 career OPS, which is incredible for someone that was known more for contact hitting than power ability. Also, he hit 135 homeruns and stole 319 bases for the Padres. By any measure, Tony Gwynn is among the best to ever pick up a bat.

Strikeout Totals Not to Be Believed

If there is one line on Tony Gwynn’s stat sheet that stands apart from the rest, it has to be his strikeout numbers. To a baseball fan who is familiar with ‘average’ numbers for hitters in terms of walks and strikeouts, they simply don’t seem like they could be correct. Over a 20 year Major League career, Tony Gwynn struck out a total of 434 times. That averages out to just 29 K’s per 162 games! In today’s game, it isn’t uncommon to see a player strike out 29 times in a single month. In 1995, while winning the batting title with a .368 average, Gwynn struck out a grand total of 15 times. He faced Greg Maddox more than 100 times in his career, and never struck out. The list could go on and on.

A Must for Collectors

If you are a baseball memorabilia collector and don’t have Tony Gwynn represented in your collection, now is the time to change that. This isn’t a financially-motivated move – but rather, one that will help your collection better represent modern baseball history. Gwynn is a legendary player, and a collection without him in it just wouldn’t be complete. Take the time to hunt down some great pieces of memorabilia related to ‘Mr. Padre’, and your overall collection will be better for it.


1995 Bowman's Best Refractor Mirror Image Ken Griffey Jr Tony Gwynn #7 picture

1995 Bowman's Best Refractor Mirror Image Ken Griffey Jr Tony Gwynn #7

$18.00



1983 Topps #482 Tony Gwynn Rookie card PSA 8 NM-MT picture

1983 Topps #482 Tony Gwynn Rookie card PSA 8 NM-MT

$51.99



1984 Topps Tony Gwynn #251 San Diego Padres HOF -  picture

1984 Topps Tony Gwynn #251 San Diego Padres HOF -

$3.50



1997 Donruss Preferred #172 Tony Gwynn NT S  picture

1997 Donruss Preferred #172 Tony Gwynn NT S

$3.00



2000 Upper Deck Hitter's Club Accolades #A2 Tony Gwynn  picture

2000 Upper Deck Hitter's Club Accolades #A2 Tony Gwynn

$0.99



1997 Fleer San Diego Padres Baseball Card #743 Tony Gwynn CL picture

1997 Fleer San Diego Padres Baseball Card #743 Tony Gwynn CL

$0.99



1999 Upper Deck Victory #339 Tony Gwynn  picture

1999 Upper Deck Victory #339 Tony Gwynn

$0.99



1997 Upper Deck Predictor #23 Tony Gwynn picture

1997 Upper Deck Predictor #23 Tony Gwynn

$0.99



2022 Topps Archives #376 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres ML Debut SP picture

2022 Topps Archives #376 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres ML Debut SP

$2.25



2020 Topps Veteran Photo Variation TONY GWYNN #248,  SP  (HOF) picture

2020 Topps Veteran Photo Variation TONY GWYNN #248, SP (HOF)

$5.00