Tony Gwynn is my first and only Sports Hero. He passed away a month ago. Only 54 years old. Cancer isn't fair, I get that. Maybe better than some. But Tony deserved to live to 104.
The last time I got out my Tony Gwynn stuff was for his Hall of Fame induction back in 2007. Hard to believe that was seven years ago - a lot has changed for me. This stuff = growing up watching/listening to a ridiculous amount of bad Padres teams, but always having Tony. He was my Bright Light. The day that Tony passed, nothing gave me more comfort than to hear Keith Olbermann say about Tony: “What you hoped Tony Gwynn was like, he was like.”
Now that Tony is gone, what am I going to do with this stuff? New tradition. I'm displaying it every Baseball Opening Day starting next year. On one of my very favorite days of the year, I'm going to remember my first and only Sports Hero. #19. Mr. Padre. Tony Gwynn.