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Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn Dies at Age 54

Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Today is a truly sad day for the world of baseball.

San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn, one of the best pure hitters of the 1990s, died today (June 16) at the age of 54. Affectionately known as “Mr. Padre” and famous for his infectious smile, Gwynn died from complications due to cancer.

The left-handed hitter had a career .338 batting average over 20 seasons, all of which he spent with the Padres. He led the league in batting eight times and posted a .394 batting average in the strike-shortened 1994 season, possibly ruining his chance to become the first .400 hitter since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941.

Here is a statement from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:

“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn. The greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life. For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”

Gwynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with Cal Ripken Jr. in 2007. He played in two World Series, but was on the losing end both times.

RIP, Mr. Padre. The baseball world lost one of its true greats.

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