R.I.P. Tony Gwynn
Padres legend Tony Gwynn passed away this morning after a four-year battle against cancer in his salivary gland. This is sad news as Gwynn was not only one of the game's all-time best hitters but also one of its nicest guys. SI's Tom Verducci has a great piece on Gwynn's contributions on and off the field while athletes and writers tweeted their memories of the Padres maestro. Since I love my sports history, here's an excerpt from SI's first feature on Gwynn in May 1984.
San Diego rightfielder Tony Gwynn, who at week's end led the National League with a .396 average, doesn't look like the average major-leaguer. At 5'11", 195 pounds, he's not in fighting trim as much as he's fighting to stay trim. Until recently, Gwynn's idea of baseball strategy was to take two Big Macs and hit to left. "Tony and McDonald's have always been good friends," says his father, Charles. "I guess it was right for him to be drafted by the Padres."
San Diego owner Mrs. Ray Kroc, whose late husband founded the golden arches, is rapidly developing a franchise of her own, for it has become apparent that Gwynn, who turns 24 this week, doesn't hit like the average major-leaguer, either. Through Sunday he led the league in on-base percentage (.479) and hits (40) and was second in runs scored (21) and ninth in slugging percentage (.515). He was also seventh in steals (eight). "It looks like an easy game when he has the bat in his hands," Padre manager Dick Williams says. Adds batting coach Deacon Jones, "At his age, the only other guy I can think of who had that kind of bat control was Rod Carew."
World Cup Kit News
Print Detective came up with this cool graphic tracing the evolution of the U.S. World Cup jersey since 1990 and how the team performed while wearing it. One jersey the team will definitely not be wearing is this custom one that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had designed for the World Cup, complete with his Twitter handle.
One Way To Sell Tickets
The owner and GM of the Central Hockey League’s Arizona Sundogs will be buried alive until the team sells 300 season tickets
Lovely Lady Of The Day
Sarah Brandner, girlfriend of Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, is one of the soccer WAGs who posed in bodypaint for the 2010 SI Swimsuit Issue ... Anna Faith is quickly becoming a fan favorite ... The 25 sexiest Emilia Clarke photos ... Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton and Irina Shayk once had a SI Swimsuit photo shoot together ... Mariah Carey was caught posting a 1997 photo on Twitter and pretending like it's new.
Hot Clicks Giveaway
Our friends at Fanatics.com (which, by the way, has an enormous soccer selection with gear from all 32 World Cup teams) have given me one USA t-shirt and one USA scarf to give away. I will send the t-shirt to the 25th person who emails me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the player featured in the Vault photo of this morning's Hot Clicks. I'll send the scarf to the 50th person. Please make the subject line "Fanatics."
Update 4:49 p.m.: Contest is closed. Winners will be notified. Thanks for playing!
The Fabulous Life of Leonardo DiCaprio
Not only is Leonardo DiCaprio enjoying the World Cup with 20 of his buddies on a mega-yacht, but also he flew in 30 women to join him for the festivities. And since the 1.5:1 women to men ratio isn't weighted enough, he also recruited 20 local babes to help tip the scales.
Dumb Baseball Injury of the Day
Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison needed five stitches to close the cut he suffered above his eye while smashing his bat against a wall.
Greg Maddux on Tony Gwynn
Sad about Tony Gwynn's passing. Greg Maddux had my favorite quote on TG pic.twitter.com/6rezQ4fUN4— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) June 16, 2014
Odds and Ends
St. Louis resident Dan Wade got some interesting comments on Twitter last night, which is what happens when your Twitter handle is @DWade ... Former Colts Marvin Harrison was shot at Saturday morning while assisting a man who had been robbed ... The Guardian is not impressed with ESPN's coverage of the World Cup ... The 2014 Heat squad were worse in this year's Finals than LeBron's 2007 Cavs team ... The Phillies have MLB's biggest bandwagon fans ... Landon Donovan is having fun with his World Cup snub ... Reggie Bush's new girlfriend looks a lot like his ex, Kim Kardashian ... Skip Bayless had a rough night on Twitter ... A look inside Amazon's gigantic warehouse ... Aaron Paul pranked Breaking Bad fans by convincing them the show was coming back ... I think we have our Mother of the Year winner.
Are You Ready For U.S.-Ghana?
If not, this hype video should do the trick.
This is School Spirit
A 94-year-old Nebraska fan plays the school's fight song on the accordion. (H/T Dr. Saturday)
Best Moments In U.S. World Cup History
Athlon Sports looks at the best moments for the U.S. team, including Landon Donovan's memorable goal to beat Algeria in 2010.
Flipbook of the Day
A flipbook re-creation of the goal scored by Holland's Robin van Persie against Spain.