I got this sweet baseball signed by Tony Gwynn off of Ebay and it arrived at my doorstep yesterday afternoon. I had been checking on prices to Gwynn baseballs ever since I learned that he had battled mouth cancer after years of smokeless tobacco use. I have always been a big fan of Gwynn. I was real ashamed when I heard from my good friend P.A. that Gwynn was less than personable at a recent signing last summer in Durham. I'm hoping it can be chalked up to maybe it being because Gwynn had learned of his diagnosis with the cancer instead of it being because he was a jerk. From everything else I have heard, he is one of the nicest guys in baseball. I take P.A.'s word on it though, because you seriously can't find a nicer guy than him.
Anyway, Gwynn had an amazing career. He played his entire career with the Padres from 1982 to 2001. He hit over .300 in each season he played with the exception of his 1982 campaign (he played in 54 games that season). Although he won eight batting crowns, he never finished higher than 3rd in the NL MVP voting (1984). His 3,141 hits rank 18th all-time and his career .338 batting average ranks 19th all-time. His .394 batting average in 1994 is the closest any player has come to batting above .400 since Ted Williams did it in 1941.
Gwynn is my 29th Hall of Famer.