Hall of Fame Statement on Passing of Tony Gwynn
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn passed away early Monday morning, following a courageous battle with cancer, at age 54 at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, Calif., surrounded by his family.
Gwynn, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, totaled 3,141 hits in 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres from 1982-2001, compiling a career .338 batting average – 18th best of all-time – in 2,440 games. The 15-time All-Star won eight batting titles and five Gold Glove Awards. He was a key member of the 1984 and 1998 San Diego Padres National League Championship teams.
“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of Tony Gwynn,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “He was beloved by so many, especially the Hall of Fame family, for his kindness, graciousness and passion for the game. Tony was one of baseball history’s most consistent hitters and most affable personalities. He was an icon for San Diego Padres fans, never more evident than on Induction Day of 2007, when tens of thousands of Tony’s most appreciative fans filled Cooperstown for his Hall of Fame speech. We extend our deepest sympathies to Alicia and the entire Gwynn family.”
Gwynn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot in January 2007, named on 532 of 545 votes cast (97.6%), joining Cal Ripken Jr as the 2007 Hall of Fame electees. Gwynn was also honored with the 1995 Branch Rickey Award, the 1998 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the 1999 Roberto Clemente Award.
“Tony will be remembered in baseball circles for his hitting acumen, as evidenced by a lofty .338 lifetime batting average and an astonishing eight National League batting titles,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “But it was his infectious laugh, ever-present smile and humble disposition that made Mr. Padre a favorite in San Diego and an endearing figure to a nation of baseball fans who marveled at his career accolades and celebrated his 2007 induction into the Hall of Fame in record numbers.”
Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame plaque (elected, 2007)
Anthony Keith Gwynn
San Diego, N.L. 1982-2001
An artisan with the bat whose daily pursuit of excellence produced a .338 lifetime batting average, 3,141 hits and a National League record-tying eight batting titles. Consistency was his hallmark, hitting above .300 in 19 of his 20 major league seasons, including .394 in 1994. Renown for ability to hit to all fields frequently collecting opposite-field base hits between third base and shortstop. Struck out just once every 21 at-bats. A 15-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner. Hit .371 in two World Series – 1984 and 1998.
On the web: Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech, a video tribute and his Hall of Fame plaque appear online at www.baseballhall.org/hof/gwynn-tony.