Although the action from the World Cup has been intense and the USA game was huge, today has been a sad day in the world of sports. The reason for that is because baseball legend Tony Gwynn passed away on Monday from cancer at the age of 54.
Anyone who watched baseball in the 80’s and 90’s knows all about Gwynn and his ability at the plate. Although that was always very impressive to me, the reason why I enjoyed watch him play was because of the love he clearly showed for the game. He always seemed to have the biggest smile on his face and you could just tell he was having the best time.
Even though it was that smile that drew people to him, it was the sweet swing that kept you coming back. Gwynn was poetry in motion in the batters box. His discipline was astounding and his swing was so fluid that you couldn’t help but be amazed. In a generation when countless batters struck out trying to hit the long ball, Gwynn was more worried about getting on base to start a rally. He was the ultimate team player in my eyes. He had plenty of chances to leave the San Diego Padres for more money, but he never did. That was something that always stuck with me. He wasn’t a greedy ball player jumping from team to team to make more cash than he knew what to do with.
I’m still a little shocked that it has been so many years that Gwynn has been off the field, but even more so that he is no longer with us. After all, other than my Toronto Blue Jays, Gwynn was one of the players I enjoyed to watch play the most. And even though he is gone, I will never forget that swing or that smile.