The MLB All-Star Game is without a doubt the best all-star event of any sport. With home-field advantage on the line, baseball’s best have something to play for. It’s not a slam-dunk contest like the NBA game, and it’s not glorified flag football like the NFL Pro Bowl.
However, it was not the on-field play where MLB really slipped up last night, it was in the complete lack of respect shown to a fallen legend, hero, and 15-time All-Star — Mr. Tony Gwynn.
It has only been a month since Mr. Padre passed away due to salivary gland cancer. One month, and somehow baseball did not see a Gwyn tribute as necessary? Ridiculous. MLB thrives on tributes to retiring players. We have witnessed victory laps around the country for New York Yankees greats Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, and deservedly so. We all saw the lengthy celebrations as the All-Stars said farewell to the Captain on Tuesday.
It’s all very touching, but Jeter himself would likely agree that at least a portion of that time should have, and could have been set aside for a fallen legend like Gwynn.
It would not have taken much — just a simple video tribute to honor one of the best this game has ever seen. Perhaps a clip of his memorable laugh and infectious smile, while showing that beautiful swing and his base hits through the infamous “5.5 hole.” After all, they had 3,141 hits to choose from.
No one ever had a bad thing to say about Tony Gwynn, but last night, baseball quite literally said nothing, and it was a terrible mistake.