Skip to content

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at 54

Jun 16, 2014, 11:26 AM EST

This is terrible news: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at 54.

Gwynn had been fighting cancer, which had first manifested itself as a malignant growth inside his right cheek, for four years. Gwynn attributed the cancer to years of smokeless tobacco use. Just yesterday, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com wrote this story about Gwynn, his son Tony Gwynn, Jr. and their relationship as Gwynn battled cancer. Gwynn Jr. said it had gotten tougher of late, and that his father’s condition had deteriorated.

Gwynn was one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He posted a .338 career batting average over 20 seasons, collecting batting titles in eight of those years. In 1994 he was flirting with .400 when the season was halted due to the strike, leaving him at .394. He finished with 3,141 hits, which ranks 19th on the all-time list. He was an All-Star 15 times and won five gold gloves. His Padres teams made the playoffs three times in his career. He was part of NL Pennant winning teams in 1984 and 1998.

[MORE: What they’re saying about Tony Gwynn]

After he retired, Gwynn coached his alma mater, San Diego State University. Many future major leaguers went through that program during Gwynn’s tenure which lasted from 2003 until his death.

Gwynn was elected to the Hall of Fame with over 97% of the vote in 2007, his first year of eligibility. His number 19 jersey was retired by the Padres, the only team for which he played.

[MORE: Gwynn’s Hall of Fame career, by the numbers]

Latest Posts
  1. Craig Kimbrel is messing with a changeup

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.24.38 AM AP

    Because he wasn’t dominant enough as it was.

  2. Report: Josh Hamilton could get a suspension of “at least 25 games”

    Feb 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    But Major League Baseball is also trying to be “compassionate,” and is thus still not close to a decision.

  3. Wanna hear Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig attempt a comedy routine?

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:41 AM EST

    Ruth Gehrig

    Gehrig on going to Columbia: “I was seven years in the Freshman class!”

  4. Mets don’t intend to talk extension with Daniel Murphy

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

    Daniel Murphy AP AP

    While Daniel Murphy would like to discuss a contract extension with the Mets, it looks like a foregone conclusion that he will test free agency after the 2015 season.

  5. Nick Markakis apologizes for his comments regarding contract talks with the Orioles

    Feb 26, 2015, 9:49 PM EST

    Nick Markakis AP AP

    Braves outfielder Nick Markakis recently expressed frustration about how contract talks with the Orioles broke down over the winter.

  6. Shane Victorino is ready to go back to switch-hitting

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:40 PM EST

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Victorino gave up hitting from the left side late in 2013, but he’s ready to give it another shot.

  7. Matt Harvey tentatively scheduled to make spring debut on March 6

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Matt Harvey AP AP

    It will be Harvey’s first game action since he underwent Tommy John surgery 16 months ago.

  8. Blue Jays sign Johan Santana

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:06 PM EST

    Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

    Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to injury.

  9. Barry Zito on his one-year retirement: “You want to be back in that game so bad”

    Feb 26, 2015, 5:17 PM EST

    Barry Zito Getty Images

    “I think hanging it up is going to be harder for guys than they realize, after being out of it for a year.”

  10. What’s driving the A-Rod media circus? The media, of course.

    Feb 26, 2015, 2:06 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    Shame on A-Rod for making the reporters obsess about him.

  11. Ike Davis is still mad at the Mets for saying that he partied too hard

    Feb 26, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    ike davis getty Getty Images

    It’s been two and a half years, but it still leaves a “dirty taste” in his mouth.

  12. Wily Mo Pena is staying in Japan

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

    wily mo pena headshot ap AP

    Pena once looked like a potential star for the Reds and Red Sox, but then washed out by age 26.

  13. Max Scherzer has added a cutter to his arsenal

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:32 AM EST

    Max Scherzer AP

    He also (a) wants to emulate Greg Maddux; and (b) asked Sandy Koufax about his curveball.

  14. The Phillies slowly enter the era of analytics

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

    phillies logo

    Welcome to 2002, Ruben Amaro!

  15. Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:23 AM EST

    Francisco Rodriguez AP

    Two weeks ago Francisco Rodriguez was said to be holding out for a two-year contract.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4301)
  2. Y. Moncada (4134)
  3. Z. Greinke (3701)
  4. F. Rodriguez (3629)
  5. M. Harvey (3617)
  1. E. Cabrera (2871)
  2. B. Beachy (2583)
  3. A. Gordon (2487)
  4. B. Moss (2436)
  5. A. Beltre (2378)