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19 for 19 – Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn was one of the greatest all around players of all time. You, as a baseball fan know that he holds many baseball accolades. With this article I tried to highlight some of the lesser known, but maybe greater accomplishments of his storied career. Here is my tribute to one of the most consistent players in all of major league baseball, Tony Gwynn.

1) Tony Gwynn had a flair for the dramatic. On April 22nd 1997 he reached his 1,000 career hit, with a single off none other than Nolan Ryan. Later in his career he amassed his 3,000 hit on August 6th 1999, his mothers birthday. Then Tony Gwynn Jr. got his 1st hit on July 19th 2006, 24 years to the day of Tony Gwynn’s first hit. And, just for good measure, both hits were doubles.

2) Tony Gwynn had 8 career 5 hit games and 1 career 6 hit game.

3) In the 1994 and 1995 seasons he never went more than two games without a hit. Plus, he never batted under .309 in any one season.

4) In 1987 Gwynn stole 56 bases, he stole 30 or more bases in 4 different seasons and stole 318 bases in his long illustrious career, and on Sept. 20th 1996 he became only the fifth major leaguer to steal 5 bases in 1 game.

5) Tony Gwynn is the only major leaguer in history to win 4 batting titles in two separate decades.

6) When he retired in 2001 he led the Padres in 10 different offensive categories.

7) In 1984, his 1st full season in the majors, he received 606 at bats. In those at bats he stole 33 bases and struck out 23 times.

8) Also in 1984 San Diego won the National League West division crown, then the National League Championship, but lost the World Series. In that off-season after all of those accomplishments, he signed a 6 year contract with San Diego for $4.6 million taking less money to stay with the Padres.

9) On the Padres home opener in 1997 their first 3 hitters in the 1st inning Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, and John Kruk hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to become the first 3 players to ever begin a game hitting three home runs in MLB history.

10) In 1987 Gwynn became the first player in MLB history to hit .370 and steal at least 50 bases in the same season. Gwynn actually stole 56 bases that year.

11) In his 16th season, Gwynn became the oldest player ever to have a 100 RBI season.

12) Tony Gwynn was 5’11” tall and weighed about 200 lbs. He once jokingly described himself as, “Body by Betty Crocker.”

13) Only 4 players in MLB history had a career batting average of at least .338. Only one of them played the game after 1928, Tony Gwynn.

14) Tony Gwynn is 1 of 22 players to amass 3,000 or more hits. He accomplished this feat in 2,284 games. Only 2 players did it quicker; Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie.

15) Tony Gwynn won 8 National League batting titles, 7 Silver Slugger Awards, and 5 Gold Gloves in his career.

16) Gwynn had 19 consecutive .300 hitting seasons, he batted .350 from 1993-1997 and owns a career .338 batting average.

17) Gwynn was quoted early in his career as saying home runs were, “boring.”  After talking with Ted Williams about driving the ball and hitting with more power, 43 of his 135 home runs were hit in his final three full seasons (1997-99).

18) Tony had 20-10 vision, but it slowly faded to 20-15. So, in 1994 Gwynn tried wearing glasses but stopped because he said he, “looked like a dork.”

19) What pitcher did Tony Gwynn get the most hits off of in his career? He hit .429 against him and got 39 hits off him and never struck out against Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

Lastly, a short Tony Gwynn story. Gwynn made his major league debut on July 19th 1982 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He got his first hit in his fourth at bat that same night. The 1st baseman for the Phillies that night was none other than Pete Rose who told Gwynn that night, “Congratulations. Don’t catch me in one night.”

Everyone here at thanks Tony Gwynn for the memories, and passes on our most sincere condolences to the Gwynn family.


One Comment

  1. Robert Romine Robert Romine June 29, 2014

    I have to disagree with point number 13 above. Tony Gwynn was undoubtedly one of the greatest all around players of all time, but by my count, 20 players achieved a career batting average of .338 or higher. Aside from Tony, indicates that Ted Williams (.344) was the most recent. Williams began his MLB career in 1939 and finished it in 1960.

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