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San Diego Padres Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died today (June 16) of cancer.

Tony Gwynn

Since the end of March, Gwynn had been on medical leave as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma mater. Agent John Boggs said he died today at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, according to a report by CBSnews.

Gwynn had two operations for cancer in his right cheek between 2010 and 2012. Gwynn believed the cancer arose from his long habit of chewing tobacco.

Some of Gwynn's most notable statistics: 20-year career, all with the Padres; 3142 career hits; won eight career battling titles, averaged .338 batting average throughout career. Batted at least .307 in every year except his rookie year. Entered his 12th year as SDSU Aztecs head baseball coach.

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Comments

bbq June 16, 2014 @ 11:02 a.m.

A sad day,

I saw Tony last in December at SDSU during a Christmas high school skills camp my son was attending. Tony was gracious and accomodating that day much like his whole career...

A loss to our community and society in general.... BBQ

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 11:54 a.m.

bbq: Gwynn was a very congenial person, although I only met him once. I am basing that conclusion on what others have told me. He was a great hitter -- a pure hitter, one of the greatest of the last 75 years. (Ted Williams, originally a San Diegan, was another one.)

It astounds me that ballplayers continue to chew tobacco. Perhaps Gwynn's death will be a wakening in that regard. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark June 16, 2014 @ 11:52 a.m.

He was in pretty bad shape this year--his face was bandaged quite extensively from the cancer treatments, and he was really laboring just walking to the plate before Aztec baseball games this season. Then he went on leave in March. I knew it was a long shot--cancer doesn't give a damn who it affects--but I was hoping he could somehow beat it and get back on the field for the Aztecs. The announcement that he had signed a contract extension gave me some hope that he was doing better and would return. Sadly, that will not be the case. What is really scary to me is that he died at the age of 54; he is 6 years younger than me. Cancer truly sucks. RIP, Tony.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 12:02 p.m.

aardvark: Gwynn was such a gentleman and role model for young people. Yes, cancer is horrible. Apparently in this case, it was caused by a bad habit. See my column on the danger of chewing tobacco on March 14, 2012. Gwynn was featured in it. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 16, 2014 @ 12:56 p.m.

Seemed like a guy to be happy to have as a brother. A local icon we can be proud of.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 1:49 p.m.

shirleyberan: Gwynn could have made a lot more money by signing with richer teams, but he resisted the temptation so he could stay in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark June 16, 2014 @ 3:29 p.m.

Don: I think he had loyalty to the Padres based on the financial help he received from the club in 1987 after he was victimized by a former agent. And I am glad he stayed, as are many baseball fans in San Diego.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 8:06 p.m.

aardvark: He had his share of financial setbacks. They could be more reasons he could have sought big bucks in a bigger market. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 2:03 p.m.

Marcia Weisel Sarnow: Agreed: he was a Hall of Fame man and ballplayer. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan June 16, 2014 @ 5:36 p.m.

Thanks for mentioning upfront the role of chewing tobacco in the too-early demise of beloved Tony Gwynn from debilitating cancer of the mouth and jaw. Chewing tobacco is so deadly it ought to be banned.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 8:07 p.m.

monaghan: Agreed. The U-T didn't even mention chewing tobacco's role in his cancer death. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill June 16, 2014 @ 7:06 p.m.

RIP Tony.

Clearly one of the greatest hitters ever. By all indications he was also a great man off the field - class act through and through.

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Don Bauder June 16, 2014 @ 8:08 p.m.

ImJustABill: Absolutely -- Gwynn was a class act. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 16, 2014 @ 8:16 p.m.

His choosing to work at SDSU was so special.

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 5:52 a.m.

shirleyberan: True: Tony Gwynn was loyal to San Diego in every way. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark June 17, 2014 @ 8:50 a.m.

It is just too much to see the words above this article, "Tony Gwynn dies at 54". At least he gets to talk hitting with Ted Williams again, and he gets to hang with Jerry Coleman again as well.

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:35 p.m.

aardvark: Gwynn and Williams did a lot of talking about hitting when both were alive. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya June 17, 2014 @ 9:57 a.m.

Great tribute by Keith Olbermann. Say what you will about Olbermann, but he absolutely nails this:

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Carolann June 17, 2014 @ 10:40 a.m.

Thank you for posting this! THE BEST tribute I've heard so far!

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Duhbya June 17, 2014 @ 12:36 p.m.

You're most welcome. For those who are not aware, you can enlarge to full screen by holding your mouse over the video, then clicking on the 4-sided icon next to "youtube" on the bottom right. To get out of it, touch the Esc key on your keyboard.

None

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:42 p.m.

Duhbya: I am sure you are right, but you could never get me to figure out those instructions. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya June 17, 2014 @ 7:55 p.m.

Ah, go on with yourself, Mr. Modest. I know that you know a lot more than you admit.

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Don Bauder June 18, 2014 @ 7:31 a.m.

Duhbya: When I have computer trouble, I turn to my wife. Sometimes she turns to our oldest son, who has been a software engineer at Apple for two decades. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya June 18, 2014 @ 11:18 a.m.

That works, then, Suffice to say that the old dog has learned plenty of new tricks, though?

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Don Bauder June 18, 2014 @ 4:36 p.m.

Duhbya: The only tricks this old dog (78) knows is to sit up and beg and chase his tail. Northing new about them. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya June 18, 2014 @ 5:38 p.m.

You're one up on me, then. I can only roll over and play dead.

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Don Bauder June 18, 2014 @ 9:54 p.m.

Duhbya: That's not a dog trick. It's an age trick. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:41 p.m.

Carolann: My oldest son sent me Olbermann's tribute, and I thought it was so good I sent it to the fellow who edits the Reader blog. He informed me that a reader -- Duhbya -- had already posted it on the blog. That shows you how moving Olbermann's comments are. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:36 p.m.

Duhbya: Agreed. That is a great tribute to Tony Gwynn. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:56 p.m.

Fran Hulshoff: So many people have fond memories of Tony Gwynn. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan June 18, 2014 @ 12:05 p.m.

Don - do you think chemo wears you down and kills the whole body sooner - not just the cancer with current treatments - I think food is medicine and there are anti-cancer (cruciferious) foods and lifestyle, life saving (prolonging) choices?

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Don Bauder June 18, 2014 @ 3:06 p.m.

shirleyberan: I have read several interpretations on chemo and don't have the expertise to make a judgment. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya June 18, 2014 @ 5:31 p.m.

Posted in error. "Smart" phones is a misnomer.

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Don Bauder June 18, 2014 @ 9:51 p.m.

Duhbya: We don't have a smart phone. They are too smart...humiliating. Best, Don Bauder

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