When we asked you to reflect on the legacy of Tony Gwynn, the stories poured in. Whether from a Major League bigwig or former teammate, a regular dad or longtime fan, a benefactor or local sportswriter, every memory goes back to his character—how, aside from the hitting, fielding, and base-stealing, he had a huge, happy heart. Tony looked us in the eye, helped us out, encouraged us, taught us lessons, and worked harder than everyone. There is no greater feeling than to be loved, and we all felt like Tony loved us. He cared about our town and our team enough to stay when most would have moved on. He made the team our team. From an entire generation of baseball fans, this is our tribute and thanks to number 19 in our scorecard, number one in our hearts.
Gwynn poses for a publicity photo, circa 1990s.
More than 20,000 fans gathered to pay tribute to Gwynn during his public memorial at Petco Park.
Gwynn watches his two-run home run against the Yankees during the 1998 World Series.
Always generous with fans, Gwynn reaches out to the crowd on the evening of his final game in 2001.
Gwynn with his kids, Anisha and Tony Jr., in the 1990s | Photo By San Diego Padres
Fans created a memorial around Tony Gwynn’s statue at Petco Park.
Gwynn was inducted into the hall of fame in 2007, the first year he was eligible.
One of Gywnn’s bats from the 1998 World Series. He notched a career-high batting average of .394 in 1994.
Base hits: Tony Gwynn waits for a pitch in perfect form against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985.
Gwynn with his wife, Alicia, at their daughter Anisha’s wedding in 2009.
#19: Tony Gwynn’s jersey from the 1998 World Series against the Yankees. The number 19 was retired by Major League Baseball in 2002 in his honor.