Artist rendering of the Tony Gwynn Museum to be housed within the AleSmith brewery's tasting room.
It’s been a year since plans were announced for a museum commemorating the life and career of Padres legend Tony Gwynn, and construction is now underway. The TAG Foundation (named for Gwynn and his wife Alicia) announced plans to open the Tony Gwynn Museum prior to Major League Baseball hosting its 2016 All Star game at Petco Park the weekend of July 12th.
9990 Alesmith Court, San Diego
Miramar brewery AleSmith will house the museum within its 20,000-square-foot tasting room, and entry will be free to the public. The late slugger's family will contribute baseball artifacts spanning his career, including the first ball he hit as a major leaguer, and the last. Also on display will be at least some of the 15-time All Star's seven Silver Slugger awards and five Golden Gloves.
According to a representative of the foundation, rotating exhibits will highlight special achievements from the first-ballot Hall of Famer's 20-year career, including pursuit of his milestone 3000th hit (that ball will be on display as well). Others will focus on other parts of Gwynn's career, which involved stints as a student athlete and coach at SDSU. Even the ballplayer's Little League years will be covered.
In a video shared by AleSmith, Gwynn's children offered their visions for the museum. Tony Gwynn Jr., who played two seasons for the Padres, said, "The message that will be conveyed the best through this museum is how much my dad loved the city of San Diego."
Daughter Anisha Gwynn added, "The ultimate message is to show who my dad was, as a baseball player…and also the man that he was."
The TAG Foundation also announced a fundraising campaign designed to involve fans with construction of the museum. Via donations at fundraising website Generosity.com, fans will may have their names printed on bricks that will be laid on the museum's floor, or tiles used to create a mosaic silhouette of Gwynn. Other incentives include special-edition baseball cards, apparel, and an opportunity to visit the museum before it opens to the public.
AleSmith's connection to Tony Gwynn began before his death in 2014, when he collaborated with brewery owners Peter and Vicky Zien to produce .394 Pale Ale, named for his 1994 season batting average, which stands as the best single-season batting average in the major league over the past 75 years.
In the AleSmith video, Peter Zien said, "We had heard that there were plans to have a Tony Gwynn memorial museum. I at the time was just signing this big lease for our new [105,000-square-foot] place. I thought I would offer up the space here. it seems like just a natural place to have it."
A museum christening is scheduled for February 19th from 4-10 p.m. at the AleSmith tasting room. The free public event will include statements made by Gwynn's family.