Tony Gwynn spent 20 seasons with the Padres
and finished his career with 3,141 hits. (V.J. Lovero/SI)
Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Fame outfielder and the greatest player in San Diego Padres history, died at age 54 on Monday, the Padres confirmed.
Gwynn, a native of Long Beach, Calif., played baseball and basketball at San Diego State University before being drafted by the Padres in the third round of the 1981 draft. He reached the majors the next season and spent 20 years in the majors, all with the Padres, finishing with 3,141 hits and helping the club to its only two pennants in franchise history. Gwynn won eight National League batting titles and hit .394 in the strike shortened 1994 season, the highest single-season average since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941. He made 15 All-Star teams and won five Gold Glove awards and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Gwynn became the head coach at his alma mater -- where he coached Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg -- but was on a leave of absence this season while he recovered from cancer treatments.
His son, Tony Gwynn Jr.
, is an outfielder for the Phillies
in his eighth major league season.