Jun 2014 16

I wish there was a better reason for me to come out of blogging retirement than to lament the loss of a baseball legend.  Tony Gwynn lost his battle with cancer at just 54 years old.  While I never met him in person, I’ve only heard about how humble and personable he was.  Not just was Gwynn one of baseball’s greatest players, he played for the love of the game.  He stayed with the Padres even when larger paychecks came his way.  A neighbor of his once said Tony was the guy out mowing his own lawn, teaching the local kids how to throw balls, and was the kind of person everyone wants living next door.  My parents were in San Fran once and saw Larry Lucchino (former CEO for the Padres) at a bar.  For whatever reason (likely wine or martini related), they confused him with Paul Simon.  Approaching for an autograph, Larry corrected them and said “I’m not as famous as someone else in this room” nodding his head in Gwynn’s direction.  As Padres fans (yes, they do exist), my parents approached Gwynn and he signed one of my dad’s business cards, giving me probably the only piece of celebrity fandom I’ll ever care about.  Mr. Padre was inducted into the Hall of Fame his first year eligible and his jersey no. 19 retired back in 2004.  RIP Tony Gwynn- you’ll be missed.