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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ken Levine: My Tribute to Tony Gwynn

M*A*S*H/Cheers/Frasier writer remembers Captain Video.

He and I shared a cab to Shea Stadium in New York one afternoon. Somewhere in the streets of Queens the cabbie lost control and the cab did a full 360 spin before coming safely to a stop. Once we caught our breath I said to Tony, “You realize that if anything had happened the headline in all the papers and on all the news shows would be ‘Tony Gwynn and passenger killed in car accident.’ My life would be reduced to ‘passenger.’ “ Tony called me ‘passenger’ for the next two weeks.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rip, tony gwynn

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tom Friend: Tony Gwynn used fear as motivation

In late April, I surprised him at the hospital. He was in a wheelchair. His hair was fully gray. He couldn’t open his right eye. He could only halfway open his mouth. He was on oxygen. The purest hitter of our generation was dying.

You can’t prepare yourself for that. Not when you knew him like I did. I was a rookie Padres beat writer in 1985; he’d won his first batting title in 1984. I knew him when his vision was 20-10, when he considered 1-for-4 a bad day at the office, when he used to write “5.5 hole” on his cleats. That day in the hospital, I would have done anything to see a young Tony Gwynn again. And then I looked down at his feet. He was wearing his old baseball shower shoes. On them was his scribbled number: 19. He was 19 to the end.

Ex-Padres beat writer visits dying Gwynn… my eyes must be smelling the smoke from the wood of a bat burning.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rip, tony gwynn

 

 

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