We’ll never forget you, Mr. Padre

The San Diego Padres and baseball fans everywhere mourn the passing on Monday of Tony Gwynn at age 54. We invite you to share your memories and condolences below in the comments of this guestbook.

Tony was a friend to so many and simply one of the greatest hitters who ever lived. He spent all 20 of his Major League seasons with the Padres and went into the Hall of Fame with 3,141 hits, a .338 career average and eight National League batting titles. In recent years, he served as a part-time analyst on Padres telecasts.

Tony Gwynn“The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Tony Gwynn,” the club said in a statement. “There are no words to express what Tony means to this organization and this community. More than just Mr. Padre, Tony was Mr. San Diego. He cared deeply about our city and had a profound impact on our community. He forever will be remembered not only for his tremendous on-field accomplishments, but also for his infectious laugh, warm, outgoing personality and huge heart. On behalf of Padres fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a friend, a teammate and a legend. We send our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the entire Gwynn family, including his wife, Alicia, his children, Tony Jr. and Anisha, and his grandchildren.”

“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Tony was synonymous with San Diego Padres baseball, and with his .338 career batting average and eight batting titles, he led his beloved ballclub to its greatest heights, including two National League pennants.”


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It’s great to hear all the great stories about Tony. You can tell from these memories that not only was he a great player but a great human being. I had the privilege of meeting this great ball player in person in 1987. I was 21 and working at my first full time job in a record store. As soon as Tony walked in I recognized him. I waited a few minutes while he browsed to approach him. I asked if he needed any help and he asked me if we had an album by ‘Nu Shooz’. Don’t remember what I said other than ‘Hey, you’re Tony Gwynn’. From that point on all we talked about for almost 30 minutes was baseball. It was obvious he loved to talk about hitting. I then asked him if he could sign something for me and he said of course. Unfortunately, all I could produce for him was a picture of me which he signed on the back. I told him I wish I had something better. Tony then told me to wait and he walked outside to his car, open the trunk and came back in with a bat which he handed to me. He told me he wanted me to have it. I was speechless but at least manage to thank him. I learned the other great thing about him, The great human being that he was. To this day I have that bat, a bat, I later learned, that he had specially made for him by Louisville Slugger. Many years have pass since then. I never got another chance to meet him in person but I’ll never forgot that day. I am very honored to have met him and seen how even to the end of his days he was the same Tony I met in 1987. RIP Tony.

I could not have asked for a better role model growing up. Your even keel approach in the pursuit of excellence in the art of hitting will never be forgotten. Being present for your Hall of Fame Induction in Cooperstown has and always will be one of the biggest highlights of my life. Thank you Mr. Padre.

Remembering Tony… Here are some carefully transcribed quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial:


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Tony. I wish I could of had the opportunity to meet you, although I feel I’ve known you
personally since you first came south from Long Beach to play at SDSU and then with
the Padres. You were not only a Great and Gifted Athlete , you were an Inspiration to so many fans young and old alike because you were a rarity , a Super Star and a Great human being…..
I Love You Tony,
Terry Markham

I so miss Tony so much, I can remember when we first moved to San Diego, Ca. I took my younger brother to his first professional game, I remember it as if it was yesterday, Padres was playing Dodgers and b4 the game we decided we go early and try to get autographs, we had heard that you could wait by the back entrance ramp where the players entered and they( the Players )would sometimes come over and sign autographs, well, the day we went there wasn’t a whole lot of fans there so getting autographs was pretty easy, we got so many and was getting ready to go in so that we could possibly see Tony Gwynn and get his autograph, everyone would tell us that he was almost impossible to get to come over to the rail let alone sign autographs, sure enough we went straight over by the right field lower rail and Tony was talking to one of the other players there, he looked @ my younger brother and asked him if he had a pen? of course, my brother politely said yes and gave him his sharpe Tony pulled out a ball from his back pocket and signed it, but that wasn’t all my brother was able to get, Tony gave him a batting glove which we have (now) framed along side of the ball he signed. My brother is now 38 yrs old and when people comment on these two things you would swear they were talking about his children…lol…
Tony, we miss you and know you have moved onto way better things than what this world could ever offer you and someday I hope to be standing @ the rail and have the chance to talk to you about the awesome night…RIP Tony Gywnn

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I live in the UK and first discovered The Padres and Tony Gwynn in 1984 whilst listening to Armed Forces radio on an old radiogram . I decided to root for the Friars from that day onwards and on my 1st trip to the States I made a beeline to the Murph to see the great man himself .On subsequent trips you could guarantee 2 things : the Padres would lose and TG would get at least 1 hit . What other guy in sport would stay with 1 team mostly through thin times and not run for the money or the chance of a ring . A remarkable player and a wonderful guy God bless you Tony Gwynn you made my life happier even though you never knew it

I met Tony in 1999 at the san diego school of baseball. My son Nathan was in the cages and he was a mini Tony. he hit the 5.5 like a 10 year old tony gwynn. Tony comes walking up and was watching my son and started laughing and said, “Hey who is the mini me?” I wouldn’t have bothered Tony except that he asked about my son and I said that’s my son. Tony says where did he learn to hit like that I said Tony you taught him. He says me how did I do that. I said Tony I have your book “the Art of Hitting and Ted Williams Book the Science of Hitting. I have read them studied them and I apply everything I have ever heard you say about hitting. The next thing you know we were sitting down talking hitting for almost an hour. It was the greatest experience of my life and will never forget that one hour. For Tony to spend that time with me, A person he never knew before that day. That was so meaningful to me. Later that season we were at the ball game hanging out on the right field line and Tony calls out to me….. Hey Mr. Bill, Nathan still swingin the stick? Wearin out the 5.5 and I said heck yes. Then Tony says hey take the kid out and get him a dog and coke. We come back and my son is wearin the mustard all over his face and Tony runs over and says Bill that’s whats baseball is all about. Kids having fun, enjoying baseball. He say, “Nathan keep swingin the stick, you gotta a future in this game and he signs a ball and flips it to my son….. I miss him, he meant so much to san diego as a baseball player and a role model
Bill Maeda

Your so right about everything you said regarding Tony meaning so much to San Diego, with his kindness and smile there will never be another one like him. He’s sorely missed not only in San Diego but all over the world, we live in Hawaii and there is a few sports places that even have pictures of him, I even lived in American Samoa and sports is a huge subject there and not one person didn’t know who we was. So yes you said it spot on about Tony and being missed.

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Aloha and ty Bill Maeda, I too live in Hawaii on the island of Oahu and yes I’ve seen several places with a photo of Tony or a ball autographed, it touches me and brings back such great memories of his playing days. Again, I lived in American Samoa too for about 3 yrs and Tony’s name was well known amongst the Baseball neighbors and I donated a signed baseball by Tony Gwynn to the Hallecks which was a major business owner there, I think he had business stakes in just about everything there, but when I gave him the ball he smiled really super big and said “Thank you so much.” Mr. Halleck took the Ball and cleared a place on his huge desk and sat it there. I got to thinking ” Tony your now in all parts of this great Country of ours sharing stories of baseball”. RIP Tony Gwynn.

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#19, the Padres’ first TRUE Hall of Famer!!!

Though I was a Padre fan before Tony Gwynn, I actually became a Tony Gwynn fan moreso. I still have my neice Susan’s baseball card from when she asked me who my favorite player was (she knew nothing about professional baseball players yet she did play softball), without hesitation I said Tony Gwynn, so that is what she told the photographer when he asked and it’s forever imprinted on the back of her card. There are so many reasons to admire Tony and all he did and he is one reason I am proud to say I am a Padres fan…afterall if he can stick with the team thru thick and thin, then why shouldn’t I as only a fan? If we had men on base and Tony came up to bat, you knew our chances for a W were greatly enhanced. As I like to say “A smile can melt even the coldest of hearts” and Tony proved that time and time again.
On a sad note, my wife and I were at a Padres game the Monday before he passed, and that Tuesday while coming back from the Zoo, I nonchalantly asked my wife if she wanted to swing past SDSU and see Tony. She knew immediately who I was talking about, although she hates baseball. I added that he’d probably welcome us in with open arms (not knowing that he was back in the hospital). I’ll forever have that last memory of Tony and attached to it will be his smiling face smiling down at me from above. Because in my heart of hearts, I know that’s how he is/was and would be.

I was lucky enough to get to meet Tony at a card show in Harrisburg, PA in July of 1994. I spent a few minutes talking to him and getting his autograph. He was so easy to talk to as a fan. I wish more pro sports stars could follow the example that he set. He was so much more than a baseball player, he was a great person. I have had very few “heros” that I admire, but he is one and one that was truly worthy of the status. Living in Pennsylvania I didn’t get to see a lot of his games, but I always checked the stats in the newspaper or caught Sportscenter the next day. The world will be a sadder place without you Tony. We will miss you and never forget you.

Thank you Tony Gwynn or being a part of my life. I wouldn’t be the man or fan I am today without ever knowing who you were. I became a Padres fan in 1984 at the ripe old age of 7. I got Padre fever watching the 84 NLCS against the cubs as the team came back from 2 games down. I fell in love with baseball. In a family of Dodger fans, I was ridiculed about my love for the Padres, but what ended up being the best part was growing up in the prime of Tony Gwynn’s career. I was the only one of my friends to be a padres fan. we all had different heroes and idols. Mine, was Tony Gwynn. I played baseball from age 5 all the way into college ball. I always tried to be like Tony, he was my example. I wanted to hit for average and get on base, just like him. I had power, but didn’t swing for the fences. I chose that rout because Tony Gwynn did it. I was built like Tony as well, another reason I looked up to him. I had all of his baseball cards, even going out of my parents way to get more. He was my everything as a kid. I had t shirts, helmets autographs, even the ugly brown and orange jacket! I loved that team and the mainstay…Tony Gwynn. It hurt a lot the day I heard of his passing. I was at work when it came across, I got straight up and walked out to my truck and went home. I wept the whole way home and the stories i viewed online made my emotions worse. I understand what happened to him and all my condolences go out to the Gwynn family. It has been difficult for me since that day to look at stories, ceremonies, or hell, even the Padres website I’ve avoided to not think about it, because it hurt. I can’t imagine how you feel. To Anthony and Anisha, I hope you’re spouses and children realize how special Tony was not only to you, but those who’s lives he’s touched. I would like to be remembered as person like him someday…. Thank you for being you Tony!

I will never forget you, thank you for all you’ve done for SD. You were my hero at age 6 when I first met you at the Mail in Parkway Plaza and your still my hero now at the age of 30. My eyes fill with tears when I see your smile on old baseball cards. The world lost a great man, and MLB lost a legend. RIP TG.

We will miss you Tony. I am a big fan of him, in fact I will always remember him with infamous laugh. He is an all time great that known throughout MLB whether you were a fan or not. I followed him throughout his career and witnessed his all eight of batting record. He is a legend, Hall of Famer and will always be remembered as MR PADRE. My condolences to his family and friends. May God Bless you and may he rest in peace.
Semper Fi,

Marvin Haines.

What I loved about Tony was his positive attitude & contagious smile. He was a joy to watch play & later commentating. He was a guy that I never got tired of watching. I’m glad I quit dipping 10 years ago & I hope I don’t suffer the bad consequences like he did. God bless Tony Gwynn…

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