Phillies outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. shared special bond with father

Tony Gwynn Jr. has the same warm smile as his father, a hall-of-famer and one of the best hitters of all time. Credit: Getty Images
Tony Gwynn Jr. has the same warm smile as his father, a hall-of-famer and one of the best hitters of all time. Credit: Getty Images

Tony Gwynn Jr. is a vocal doppelganger for his father, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

“Whenever anyone calls the house and I pick up and they ask for Tony, I say, ‘which one,” Gwynn Jr. said.

Gwynn, a legendary San Diego Padre passed away at 54 today, according to major league baseball.

Gwynn was one of the greatest hitters of all-time, who retired after the 2001 season with a .338 batting average and a NL record 8 batting titles.

The lionized figure, who was known as ‘Mr. Padre,’ had undergone surgery for cancer of the mouth and salivary glands. The Los Angeles native believed the cancer was due to dipping tobacco for many years.

Tony Gwynn Jr. waxed about his father during the Phillies last homestand.

“My dad’s my best friend,” Gwynn Jr. said. “It was incredible growing up with someone like him. I have so many great memories from my childhood. I was at the ballpark with him as much as possible in San Diego. But I have some special memories going to the All Star game with him. I remember going to the 1998 All-Star game (in Denver). I remember walking into the National League clubhouse and it was like looking at the knights of the round table. You had Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, my dad, Trevor Hoffman and they were all talking trash and having fun. It was a blast. Nobody talked more trash than Barry Bonds and perhaps deservedly so. Experiencing something like that is something every kid should experience. A big reason I was so crazy about baseball was having a dad like mine and experiencing the clubhouse.”

Padres hall of famer Tony Gwynn hit for a career average of .338, the 17th best mark in the history of Major League Baseball. Credit: Getty Images
Padres hall of famer Tony Gwynn hit for a career average of .338, the 17th best mark in the history of Major League Baseball. Credit: Getty Images

Gwynn Jr.’s brother Chris also played major league baseball. However, neither son could match what their father accomplished. Few ballplayers were ever on the level of Gwynn, who possessed a sweet left-handed swing.

“Nobody ever hit like my dad,” Gwynn Jr. said.

While living in the age of Sportscenter and the ubiquity of PEDS, Gwynn avoided the juice and he eschewed the big home run swing in favor line drives. He was also never tempted to leave the small-market Padres, who with the exception of pennant winning squads in 1984 and 1998, were mostly lackluster.

Gwynn passed on free agency and opted instead to sign team-friendly deals.

“It was about quality of life,”Gwynn Jr. said. “It was always about San Diego for my dad. For a few more million, it didn’t make sense for him to move someplace else. He was happy there. That makes my dad so different than most guys in his position.”

The Phillies announced Monday afternoon that Gwynn Jr. had been placed on the bereavement list. He was replaced by Double-A outfielder Aaron Altherr who makes his first appearance in the big leagues.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…