3,000 hit club member, career San Diego Padre and the last player to make a bonafide attempt at batting .400 (though the '94 strike put an end to that historic run) all these prestigious accolades can be bestowed upon MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Today, at the age of 54, we learned that the all-time great passed away.
Tony Gwynn has died, his agent John Boggs just told me. It was the phone call I've been dreading. God bless, Mr. Padre. I love you. @Padres— Barry M. Bloom (@Boomskie) June 16, 2014
Gwynn had struggled with salivary gland cancer for the past several years. He was the head baseball coach at San Diego State University (where he played both basketball and baseball) after becoming an unpaid volunteer following retirement from pro ball.
In 2007, upon his first year of eligibility, Tony was inducted into Cooperstown alongside Cal Ripken Jr. with 97.6% of the voting (ridiculously high considering how notoriously self-righteous baseball writers are). The fact that only 2.4% stubbornly dissented is evidence of how great he was.
RIP to Gwynn, easily (and that's still somehow a freakin' understatement) the greatest Padre in the franchise's 45 year history.