SAN DIEGO — Tony Gwynn has long been synonymous with baseball in San Diego. For 20 seasons, Tony played right field for the San Diego Padres reaching many milestones and winning several awards while he was with the team.
Nearly five years ago, Tony passed away from salivary gland cancer and left a hole in the hearts of baseball fans in San Diego and beyond. In honor of what would have been Mr. Padre’s 59th birthday, we found some of our favorite Tony clips in the News 8 archives to share.
Happy birthday, Mr. Padre! We miss you!
In the fall on 1995, News 8's Rick Powers interviewed baseball legend and longtime San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn and his then 12-year-old son who was a bat boy for the team. The clip shows father and son's passion for the game and bond with one another. Although in 1995 he wanted to play shortstop, Gwynn Jr. went on to play as an outfielder for several MLB teams including the Padres. As of 2019, Jr. works as a broadcaster for the team on TV and radio. There's no doubt he made his late father very proud.
Tony reached one of his many career milestones on August 6, 1999 - which also happened to be his mom's birthday. After much anticipation, fans went wild to see Tony make his monumental 3,000th hit. News 8 found one die-hard fan who went above and beyond with his celebration of Tony's achievement.
After Tony passed away in 2014, many people shared their favorite memories of him. News 8's own Larry Himmel had known Tony for many years and shared some of his favorites moments with the baseball icon. Sadly, we lost Larry later that same year, but both of these San Diego stars live on in our hearts.
On June 16, 2014, San Diego and the world lost baseball great Tony Gwynn. After Tony's untimely death from salivary gland cancer, many mourned the player and the man we had grown to know and love during his 20-season career with the San Diego Padres. In 2014, News 8's Kyle Kraska took a look back at Tony's life on and off the field in this heart-touching piece.