Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died of cancer Monday at the age of 54. Gwynn, who spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres from 1982-2001, had been battling salivary-gland cancer for the last four years.
A 15-time All-Star, Gwynn is regarded as one of the greatest pure hitters of all time, a reputation earned by batting over .300 in 19 consecutive seasons from 1983-2001, including .394 in 1994. Gwynn’s .338 career batting average is tied for the 18th highest in major league history, and his 3,141 hits are 19th on the all-time list.
One of his generation’s brightest stars and an ambassador for the game, Gwynn — nicknamed “Mr. Padre” — played through the height of the steroid era without ever being tainted by suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use despite winning eight batting titles.
After retiring in 2001 due to knee and hamstring injuries, Gwynn coached the San Diego State University baseball team and worked part-time as an analyst for ESPN, TBS and Yahoo Sports.