The baseball world was rocked early Monday morning when news broke that former San Diego Padres, Tony Gwynn, lost his battle with salivary gland cancer. While all of MLB felt the loss of one of its all-time greats, no player was more affected than his son, Tony Gwynn Jr. of the Philadelphia Phillies.
With the Phillies off to a sluggish start this season, there has not been much good news worth noting for this team thus far. That trend continues, as perhaps the biggest storyline for the Phillies in 2014 is quite possibly the death of one of its players’ fathers.
Gwynn Jr. has bounced around during his major league career, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and now the Phillies. The highlight of Gwynn Jr.’s career most likely came in 2009 when he was trade to the San Diego Padres. He received the news via telephone from Mr. Padre himself, his father, Tony Gwynn. Gwynn Jr. played two seasons in San Diego, wearing number 18 (his father wore number 19).
While he will never reach 3,000 hits, or a .338 career batting average, Gwynn Jr. will carry on a name throughout baseball that should never be forgotten. Tony Gwynn was a ridiculous 18-time All-star with eight batting titles and five gold gloves. He simply did it all. He was honored as a Hall-of Famer in 2007, and not many people are more deserving.
The Phillies are a shell of their former selves, and Tony Gwynn Jr. is no Tony Gwynn. However, for a team that has shown little heart this season, maybe it is time for them to step up for one of their own.