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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Gwynn men: A son’s love, a father’s fight | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Reports all over Twitter that HOF Tony Gwynn has passed away.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM | 216 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: obituaries, padres, tony gwynn

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   1. Batman Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4727235)
I just heard it on the radio too.
   2. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4727241)
####.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4727242)
Just reposted from another thread:

Some amazing stats about Tony Gwynn from Twitter:

Gwynn hit over .350 five times after the age of 33. Hit .372 at the age of 37 in 1997, and only struck out 28 times in 592 at-bats. Machine.

Gwynn played 20 seasons in the majors and never had an OPS+ below 100. Just incredible.

Nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts in his career. 127 OPS+ as a 41 year old.

His .338 career BA is the best by any player in the Expansion Era (since 1961).

543 career doubles, 434 career strikeouts

1165 players had 500 PA between 1982 and 2001. No one has a lower K% than Gwynn.

Tony Gwynn never struck out more than 40 times in a season. Ever.

It is such a fun B-R page to go through. Don't know you'll ever see the likes of him again.
   4. Batman Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4727245)
Mlb.com has a story now.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4727246)
In 323 AB vs. Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux, Tony Gwynn struck out a total of 3 (!!!!) times. Two vs. Glavine. Maddux faced him over 100 times and NEVER struck him out.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4727247)
Terrible. The man was as pure a hitter as we'll ever see. More than that, he just so easy to like. Who didn't want to see Tony Gwynn do well?
   7. Moeball Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4727249)
As a long time Padres fan I consider myself lucky to have seen Tony play his whole career here.

Probably the most fun of all was hearing him talk hitting with Ted Williams.

Condolences to Alicia, Anthony, Jr. and the rest of the Gwynn family.
   8. SG Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4727250)
I only got to see Gwynn play live once, and he got two of his team's three hits that day. RIP Tony.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4727251)
Wow...this is a shock, I know he didn't keep himself in the best of condition, but still it's a shock to the system.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4727252)
Dammit. RIP Tony.
   11. Davo Dozier Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4727253)
My all-time favorite leaderboard:

Highest Batting Average With Two Strikes, career, min. 1000 PAs:

1. Tony Gwynn, .302
2. Wade Boggs, .262
3. Todd Helton, .262
4. Juan Pierre, .262
5. Luis Polonia, .261
6. Ichiro Suzuki, .260
7. Joe Mauer, .257
8. Albert Pujols, .257
   12. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4727254)
Goddamnit.
   13. BDC Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4727257)
Very sad news. Condolences to Gwynn's family. He was a big part of why baseball is fun to watch.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4727258)
Stupid ####### chewing tobacco.
   15. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4727264)
Ugh. Damnation.
   16. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4727265)
Damn. Way way too young.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4727268)

is No. 11 just since 1980 or something?
   18. TerpNats Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4727269)
Tom Boswell just announced it during his chat, and this is part of what he had to say:

BTW, Stephen Strasburg was lucky to be under Gwynn's influence in college. That was a perfect place for Tony, teaching the game he adored -- and was a huge FAN or, not just a player -- and teaching young people by word and, in his case, by deed. Not some deeds, but just the way he was everyday every time you ever saw him or talked to him. Just a joy. So sorry.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4727270)
He was facing a very tough fight. Everything I read about the situation over the years reinforced that. Sorry to see him go.
   20. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4727273)
I was ready to pounce on his weight problems, totally forgetting he had battled cancer. I really enjoyed his brief time in the ESPN booth years ago. Always seemed like such a nice, insightful guy.
   21. dr. scott Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4727274)
Was pretty shocked to read this... and a bit surprised that he was in his mid 50's... always thought he was younger, but this is still way too young. Apparently was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and dealing with it since. Gywnn Jr. said this was the hardest year his dad has dealt with... RIP.
   22. zonk Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4727275)
Sad. A great guy -- really, the ebullient, effervescent personality that everyone thought Kirby Puckett was.

The only member of the 1984 Padres I ever managed to forgive and actually root for afterwards.

A buddy of mine has a great Gwynn story -- in college, he was doing his journalism internship for a thing we used to have called 'newspapers'. After a summer spent covering high school sports and basically laying out the boxscores and TV listings page -- he got a reward by being tasked with a Sunday write-up on the in-town Tony Gwynn, who was nearing the end of his career.

Even though he'd been covering div 1 college sports - he was nervous as hell to spend an hour interviewing a guy that was already a first ballot hall of famer. Gwynn put him totally at ease -- even though by this point, Tony had probably done a thousand of these sorts of interviews and my buddy was just an intern, Gwynn greeted him with a big smile, asked him about his career plans, and was just generally the sort of guy you'd hope he was. As my buddy struggled through his questions - Gwynn filled all the gaps.... and then even wrote him a very nice note the week after the thing ran (in an out of town paper!) and wishing him luck.

Not just one of the great ballplayers, but one of the great guys period...
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4727277)
Genuine guy, not a lot of guile or self-promotion -- and utterly lacking in "swag."

Pretty much everything a great athlete should be.

RIP.
   24. Sweatpants Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4727278)
Horrible news. I have literally never heard a bad word about Tony Gwynn as a person. Rest in peace.

That leaderboard posted by Davo is incredible.
   25. Davo Dozier Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4727281)
17--Yeah, however far long ago BB-Ref has pitch-by-pitch data for. So, ya know, a cheat. But still. 40 points ahead of second place!!!
   26. Moeball Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4727282)
Is there a 5.5 hole in heaven? If there is, that's where Tony's going...
   27. dejarouehg Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4727283)
Seemed like such a decent guy. Enjoyed the relationship he had with Ted Williams. Still wonder what would have happened in 94 if no strike.

Stood up to union by not going for the last dollar and being happy to stay in San Diego.
   28. Moeball Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4727285)
I have literally never heard a bad word about Tony Gwynn as a person.


Except from Jack Clark but, you know, consider the source.
   29. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4727286)
This is completely awful. Gwynn was such a unique player, so much fun to watch, and so likable. I loved that goofy voice he had. Just terrible news.
   30. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4727288)
I have literally never heard a bad word about Tony Gwynn as a person.

Bill James had some not-too-kind words about Gwynn in the 1990 (?) Baseball Book over some locker room incidents Gwynn assumed were orchestrated by Jack Clark.... a Gwynn Starting Lineup figurine hung by a noose in Gwynn's locker or some such.

Although if Gwynn were having personality conflicts with Clark, that would tend to speak pretty well of Gwynn's character.

EDIT: Or what [28] said.
   31. asinwreck Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4727296)
Always enjoyed watching him, and am sad to see him die way too young. The leave he took in March from his SDSU coaching job worried me.
   32. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4727297)
Aside from the obvious pain and sadness for his family and personal friends, and the obvious loss of a baseball legend way too damned early (if you add him and Bob Welch up, you get one reasonable life span), it bears mentioning that Gwynn was exactly the type of hitter the game desperately needs an influx of today. He's the Platonic form of how to get modern offenses out of the doldrums of homer-or-K.
   33. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4727298)
I'm in shock. He was one of my favorites growing up. Too soon; way too damn soon.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4727299)
It also gets overlooked that Gwynn was a pretty good fielder with a terrific arm, and swiped over 300 bases in his career too.
   35. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4727301)
and a bit surprised that he was in his mid 50's... always thought he was younger


Would it surprise you to hear he's been retired for 13 years?

I was also pretty shocked, though. He'd been announcing pretty recently and was enjoyable to listen to. RIP.
   36. Ron J2 Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4727306)
#28/30 wasn't just Clark. Mike Pagliarulo was involved somehow.

But when a team comes up short of expectations the search for scapegoats can get nasty. I sure wouldn't attach any significance, and yeah when it comes to Clark, "consider the source" is a good rule.
   37. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4727307)
Since 1901 there have been 40 players who have gotten 1000+ hits with at least a 7:1 hit:K ratio. This is a count by the decade in which they debuted:

to 1909  7
1910s   10
1920s   10
1930s    6
1940s    6
1950s    0
1960s    0
1970s    0
1980s    1
1990s    0 


The second-to-last guy to do it was Nellie Fox, who retired when Gwynn was 5.

And yeah, like Rickey says above, someone cut from Gwynn's cloth is exactly what the league needs right now.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4727308)
before everyone writing about baseball thought ichiro was 'THE FIRST OF HIS KIND OH MY GOD!!' there was this guy named tony gwynn who could hit a little and run a little and throw a little.

sad news about gwynn.

   39. dr. scott Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4727317)
Would it surprise you to hear he's been retired for 13 years?


Almost.. I thought it had been a around 10... and then I just kept forgetting he was 41 when he retired.
   40. Ziggy Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4727321)
Yeah, he was, by all accounts, an extraordinary guy - baseball and otherwise.

His career high in strike outs was 40, in 1988. From 1991 to 1996 (inclusive) he never struck out as many as 20 times in a season. After a little hiccup in 1997, he tacked on two more. Most of these were short seasons, but it's still pretty wild.

If he hit six points higher in 1994, do you think he would have stolen Bagwell's MVP award?
   41. RatSalade Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4727328)
I had the pleasure of interacting with Tony a few times over the past six years as we (UC Riverside) play San Diego State once or twice a year. He was always a class act.

My favorite story about Gwynn is from the 2010 season. We are playing down at San Diego State and Cory Vaughn (son of former big leaguer Greg Vaughn) hits a home run that still may not have landed. He flips his bat in celebration, and the bat rolls all the way to the feet of our head coach, Doug Smith. Coach Smith was none too pleased with Vaughn's theatrics, and made that known as he tossed the bat back towards home plate.

Gwynn comes jogging out of the Aztecs dugout to talk with Doug.

(completely paraphrased)

TG: "What's the matter Doug?"

DS: "I don't appreciate the bat flipping, Tony. I know the kid is excited, but he needs to tone it down a little. You played 20 years in the big leagues. Did you ever react to hitting a home run that way?"

TG: "No I didn't Doug, but I never hit one that freaking far."



   42. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4727334)
F*ck cancer.
   43. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4727337)
On the radio they said he suffered from cancer of the salivary gland -- did he chew tobacco?
   44. Batman Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4727344)
Bob Welch was pretty successful against Gwynn, holding him to .292/.320/.333 in 50 PA.
   45. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4727347)
It was a joy to watch him hit, and he played the game as if he genuinely loved it.
   46. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4727350)
#37 is astounding.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4727351)
did he chew tobacco?


He did, yes.

It doesn't seem right for Gwynn to be dead. I always thought he'd be one of those guys who shows up for the Old Timers game and immediately starts dropping line drives into the gaps. He had that kind of swing - I bet he'd still be playing, if his knees hadn't given out.
   48. Steve Treder Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4727352)
Tony Gwynn was only one of two players (the other was Manny Mota) whom I watched play a lot who had the ability to actually slow down the pitched ball as it approached home plate.
   49. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4727355)
On the radio they said he suffered from cancer of the salivary gland -- did he chew tobacco?


Yes, for many years; Tony had said that he thought that's what caused the cancer. It's time to ban it from MLB and MiLB clubhouses for good.

And what 42 said.
   50. base ball chick Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4727357)
am sad but not reall too surprised, kind of knew he was near the end when he took a leave from coaching this spring
am only surprised that the cancer got him before complications from serious major obesity did
i hate tobacco

i was just thinkin that i had a Dog named tony gwynn Dog AKA phat stuff Dog who we got in aug of 04 and who led the astros on their miracle run to the WC by woofing at the tv set every game once i brought him home - he died young of cancer, but not the smoking kind.
   51. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4727359)
Really sad to hear this. He was one of my favorite players growing up and he always seemed like a great guy.
   52. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4727364)
so what if he chewed tobacco? unless folks really going to work that hard to pin a man's death on his personal habits. and then turn this thread into a commentary on how he could have lived his life better.

which if so please take it somewhere else.

so if sdeB if yours was an innocent question apologies if my response comes across as harsh.

this is a pre-emptive strike to the known jerks on bbtf who relish at the chance to get on their high horses, cast stones and pretty much make everyone else here regret getting up in the morning.
   53. JJ1986 Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4727368)
Very sad. Not only was he one of my favorite players, but I always thought that his coaching at SD State was one of the coolest things a retired superstar/Hall of Famer could do for baseball. Really showed a love and passion for baseball at all levels.
   54. Publius Publicola Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4727370)
Cancer of the mouth and salivary gland.

Another notch on the Big Tobacco belt. Too bad Big Leage Chew hadn't come earlier to save the day.

   55. BDC Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4727375)
Thanks for that story in #41, RatSalade. That's a nice memory to picture.
   56. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4727383)

so if sdeB if yours was an innocent question apologies if my response comes across as harsh.


It was an innocent question, but I don't think it amiss to consider what lessons we might learn from the lives of those who have passed. Tobacco killed both of my parents.
   57. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4727385)
After graduating college in 1998, my friend and I took a road trip and saw baseball games at every major league park. On that trip, we both noted that there were two guys that were always obvious better than the pitcher, no matter who was pitching - you might get them out, but they were better than you anyway. Those two guys were Barry Bonds and Tony Gwynn. Gwynn - he was going to get good wood on the bat, period.

After that trip I moved to San Diego for grad school and got to watch lots of Tony. So much fun to watch a guy that was so gifted at what he did. Plus being the awesome guy he was.


Fun facts I remember about Tony Gwynn:

Favorite band: Cameo

Hated to face: Omar Olivares (He always said this, and the stats back him up.)

Still holds various assist records for SDSU basketball. He's like Babe Ruth - you see the later pictures of him and miss what the young version was like. Dude was an athlete.
   58. Flynn Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4727391)
so what if he chewed tobacco? unless folks really going to work that hard to pin a man's death on his personal habits. and then turn this thread into a commentary on how he could have lived his life better.

which if so please take it somewhere else.


If people were bringing up his weight I'd be there with you, since a lot of people with worse weight issues than Tony Gwynn make it past 54. But cancer of the salivary gland and mouth is pretty clearly due to chaw, and I think having a great player and character in the game taken from us so soon just adds more impetus to the call to get chewing tobacco out of the game.
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4727400)
Heck of a player - career .338 batting average. We all know batting average isn't the only or best measure of a hitter, but that doesn't mean it is easy to hit .300 even once. Still could hit even at the end of his career when the knee limited him to part-time duty and he started putting on considerable weight, but the younger Gwynn was something - hit, run, field & throw, everything except the power, and he worked at his craft. R.I.P.

Oh, and RTFA.
   60. DL from MN Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4727405)
My favorites growing up were Puckett and Gwynn. Both gone way too soon.
   61. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4727410)
God damn it
   62. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4727415)
sde/flynn

i think folks should celebrate gwynn and what he brought to baseball.

that other stuff can be discussed some other time
   63. Davo Dozier Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4727416)
Still holds various assist records for SDSU basketball. He's like Babe Ruth - you see the later pictures of him and miss what the young version was like. Dude was an athlete.
I didn't really start watching a lot of baseball until 1996 (I was born in 1985). I remember being astounded when I looked up Gwynn in my Baseball Encyclopedia and saw that he'd stolen 56 bases in a season. "That fat guy?!?!?!"
   64. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4727417)
so what if he chewed tobacco? unless folks really going to work that hard to pin a man's death on his personal habits. and then turn this thread into a commentary on how he could have lived his life better.

which if so please take it somewhere else.


Make me. Big Tobacco spent a heap of money intentionally lying about the known risks involved with their product.
   65. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4727421)
Make me. Big Tobacco spent a heap of money intentionally lying about the known risks involved with their product.


The free market, my friend. The free market.
   66. Swedish Chef Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4727423)
Make me.

This thread isn't about you.
   67. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4727426)
davo

he was some player. very diverse skill set
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4727429)
i think folks should celebrate gwynn and what he brought to baseball.

that other stuff can be discussed some other time


Concur
   69. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4727433)
Make me. Big Tobacco spent a heap of money intentionally lying about the known risks involved with their product.


This was a relevant argument in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It's hard to believe folks of Tony Gwynn's generation were ignorant of the risks involved in tobacco.
   70. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4727434)
Agreed,#68 & above, but let's face it, if (god forbid) he'd been taken out by a drunk driver, that would be part of the discussion, I suspect. Not that the cause of death here is anywhere near as direct, but to certain people, sometimes for understandable reasons (see #56), it's somewhat comparable.
   71. depletion Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4727437)
"cancer of the salivary gland and mouth is pretty clearly due to chaw,"

This is not true in general. My sister died of salivary gland cancer and was always a non-smoker, non-chewer. My understanding is that Tony used "dip" - a pinch between the check and gums - which is a bit different from "chaw". No matter, I still think nicotine = poison.
My condolences to the Gwynn family. Baseball has lost one of its treasures. An all-time great guy and all-time great player.
   72. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4727439)
This was a relevant argument in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It's hard to believe folks of Tony Gwynn's generation were ignorant of the risks involved in tobacco.


If I told you that Big Tobacco is still *to this very day* spending heaps of money propagandizing on "smokeless tobacco" as a safe alternative to smoking, would you believe me?

Would you?
   73. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4727441)
I saw his 3000th hit. My parents took us in a vacation to Montreal, and we got walk up tickets for the game. He didn't make us wait, I think it was a single in his first at bat.

What a great player.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4727444)
No matter, I still think nicotine = poison.

Nicotine actually is not the problem. It's all the other crap in tobacco that kills you.
   75. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4727446)
Never saw Gwynn play... in person until the final week or so of his career, one of his only games played in Milwaukee, and he hit a double late in a lopsided game and was removed to a very long ovation. It was also the same game where Brewers skip Davey Lopes got hot and bothered by a late inning SB by Rickey Henderson. That game seemed befitting of each of those 3 individuals.
   76. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4727447)
I think that Tony Gwynn still could get a single off of big league pitching, right now.
   77. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4727448)
If I told you that Big Tobacco is still *to this very day* spending heaps of money propagandizing on "smokeless tobacco" as a safe alternative to smoking, would you believe me?


I'm actually with Harvey on this point; I don't think this is the appropriate thread to debate the question, any more than we should use Bob Welch's death to question steroids in Oakland. So this will be my final post on the matter.

Yes, of course they're still promoting their product. No one in the modern west can be reasonably said to not have access to counter arguments and other information.
   78. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4727449)
I found out about this on Marketwatch of all sites. (I didn't check the video out, but it is probably good if Gwynn and Williams are involved.)

It's sad. Growing up during the 80's, Gwynn's early career was right in my baseball fandom wheelhouse. I know there are differences between the two, but he and Wade Boggs were similar hitters who played on opposite ends of the country.

WRT dip, I was a Skoal Brother for many years. I'd guess I dipped 22 years from circa 1984 to September 11, 2006; when I had a heartburn scare and tried to eliminate any possible causes including chew, coffee, and spicy foods. I liked chewing, but knew it wasn't good for me. Tried to quit a few times before that, but always went back. In '06, after I made it through a day, I was able make it through the next and the next and so on. Hopefully, I stopped soon enough.

My dad died at Gwynn's age from lung cancer. He hadn't smoked in 20 years. I suspect he was exposed to asbestos as a young man working in some defense pant, I never found out, but it didn't matter to me how he died; just that he was gone and I really could have used him over the years since then.
   79. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4727450)

i think folks should celebrate gwynn and what he brought to baseball.

that other stuff can be discussed some other time


Got it. Won't mention the cause of death again.
   80. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4727452)
Fun facts I remember about Tony Gwynn:

Favorite band: Cameo


Word up?
   81. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4727454)
This was a relevant argument in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It's hard to believe folks of Tony Gwynn's generation were ignorant of the risks involved in tobacco.


When do you think Gwynn first started using tobacco? I'm betting it wasn't as an adult.
   82. depletion Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4727456)
"Gwynn hit over .350 five times after the age of 33. Hit .372 at the age of 37 in 1997, and only struck out 28 times in 592 at-bats. Machine."

That is just sick. Consider how we deem a 32-year old player on the downside. I don't have access to the records here at work, but I imagine his sac fly and runners advanced totals must be otherworldly as well.

snapper - I concur about the other crap, but nicotine is literally a poison: it's used as an insecticide.
   83. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4727460)
Yes, of course they're still promoting their product. No one in the modern west can be reasonably said to not have access to counter arguments and other information.


As I already stated, "Big Tobacco spent a heap of money intentionally lying about the known risks involved with their product." The fact that other people were free to tell the truth really doesn't change that.
   84. Batman Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4727461)
The first two hitters and the first pitcher in Padres postseason history are dead now. They got off to a rough start in that game. Wiggins and Gwynn (and then Garvey) made outs and then Show gave up home runs to two of the first three hitters he faced. Things didn't get much better for another two days.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4727462)
snapper - I concur about the other crap, but nicotine is literally a poison: it's used as an insecticide.

Yes, but so is caffeine. They both exist to protect the plants from bugs. Bu, they're not really harmful to humans.

Everyone who is addicted to smoking should try chewing the nicotine gum. Even if you chew the gum for the rest of your life, you've cut the risk by 95%+.
   86. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4727466)
Nicotine actually is not the problem.


Except for that pesky thing called "addiction"...I agree, it's not nicotine, it's the other poisons. Sheesh.
   87. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4727469)
Playing baseball -- more specifically keeping himself in "playing condition" (I use the phrase loosely for the late-career Gwynn) -- was the only way he knew to keep his weight at a reasonable level.

He got heavier as his career went on, and once he left the game his weight exploded.

Similar to Puckett.
   88. depletion Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4727471)
OK, snapper, good point. Sorry to get the point off the great career of Tony Gwynn.
   89. GuyMcGuffin Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4727475)
Unlike most head and neck cancers, tobacco use is not believed to be a major contributor to the development of salivary gland cancer. Just saying.
   90. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4727476)
Posnanski (from his top 100 players list) writing on Gwynn spends a good amount of time discussing how Tony was one of the first guys to get really obsessive about watching video. As we're at the beginning of a vast expansion of the available video data it's worth remembering how unusual Gwynn's obsessive video-watching was seen at the time.
   91. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4727486)
Unlike most head and neck cancers, tobacco use is not believed to be a major contributor to the development of salivary gland cancer. Just saying.


Apropos of just about nothing, when I was 25 I went into the hospital for removal for what IIRC was a salivary gland & half a lymph node (might've been the other way around) because of the ENT guy's concern when what first appeared to be a common swollen lymph node (not unusual with bad colds & such, I guess) never did subside & in fact got rather hard. Not sure why they couldn't just do a biopsy, but then I couldn't know less about the subject, really. In any event, he wanted to make sure the abscess wasn't cancerous; turned out to be the TB bacillus. I guess I basically had scrofula, which seems very 17th-century to me.

Infinitely better that than cancer, obviously. (Also, by pure dumb luck, for the first time in my life I'd availed myself of health insurance when I started my newspaper job straight out of grad school 9 months earlier.)
   92. EddieA Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4727487)
Too young, this hurts me.
Remember buying his baseball card in 1983 out of the bargain bin at a flea market for a penny, I knew he could hit.
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4727489)
My understanding is that Tony used "dip" - a pinch between the check and gums - which is a bit different from "chaw".


I don't know what he used but second photo in looks like chaw to me:

http://nypost.com/2014/06/16/baseball-great-tony-gwynn-dead-at-54/

   94. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4727490)
This segment from Outside the Lines in 2011 does an excellent job of presenting how the cancer impacted Gwynn, his family, and his SDSU players.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6251067
   95. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4727493)
Every single one of us has a vice. By all accounts Tony Gwynn was a good person who treated people decently. It sucks that the latter can't keep you alive because man wouldn't the world be a better place if it could.
   96. gwynn1984 Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4727495)
This is obviously a tough one for me. This is only the second or third time I've ever posted on here (been a loyal lurker for 6 or 7 years, I think), but I registered my username a while ago - and use it for all social media. I have been a Padres fan, living on the East Coast, for more than 30 years. There is one man responsible for all of these years of joy and (mostly) pain. My wife periodically asks me how I'm going to feel when Tony Gwynn dies (not too crazy a question, given his health the last few years), and I've always said that it won't be too sad, because it's not as if he's still an active player or someone whose name is regularly in the news. Now that it's real, I can say that I underestimated my reaction. This is truly a sad day.

Thank you for allowing me a place to express my feelings.
   97. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4727497)
I tried chaw. That's the stuff that comes in a pouch like Red Man or Beech-nut. It didn't do much for me, except make me look like one of locals from Deliverance. Snuff like Skoal or Copenhagen was more my thing. When I was young, it gave my a buzz. Afterwards, I was hooked and needed it every couple of hours or so to keep calm. It was a messy habit. I also became a Snapple drinker because their wide mout bottles made good mini-spitoons I could use in my car or hide in my desk.
   98. AndrewJ Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4727498)
Highest Batting Average With Two Strikes, career, min. 1000 PAs

Not just that -- I think it was from 1994-1998 he had something like a .345 BA with two strikes... The highest non-Gwynn BA in the National League OVERALL during that same timeframe was Mike Piazza with a .340 BA.
   99. AndrewJ Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4727499)
Highest Batting Average With Two Strikes, career, min. 1000 PAs

Not just that -- I think it was from 1994-1998 he had something like a .345 BA with two strikes... The highest non-Gwynn BA in the National League OVERALL during that same timeframe was Mike Piazza with a .340 BA.
   100. DKDC Posted: June 16, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4727501)
Hated to face: Omar Olivares (He always said this, and the stats back him up.)


Looking at the pitchers that Gwynn faced at least 25 times (there are 122 of them), Olivares is the only one he hit worse than .200 against.

Against the 17 pitchers he faced at least 60 times, Gwynn hit over .300 against all of them except for Doc Gooden.
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