The loss of Tony Gwynn already is being felt around baseball, with condolences and memories pouring out over social media and other outlets. Mr. Padre definitely made an impact on many of the contemporary players in the majors.
Noting that Bob Welch (who also recently died) had the only three-strikeout game against Gwynn, former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden said:
I have no doubt Mr. Gwynn has looked up Mr. Welch (on a cloud) found a backfield behind the pearly gates & is looking to settle that 3k game— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) June 16, 2014
Braden's former teammate Josh Reddick echoed a common sentiment:
Can't believe the news I am hearing. The absolute best hitter I grew up watching has left us. Very sad day in baseball. RIP Mr. Padre— Josh Reddick (@joshreddick16) June 16, 2014
A sad day for baseball and everyone that had the opportunity to meet Tony Gwynn! He was always willing to help out. All you had to do was...— Jimmy Rollins (@JimmyRollins11) June 16, 2014
Ask and show up! I want to thank the Gwynn family for sharing him with us for so many years. My prayers are with you all! #appreciation— Jimmy Rollins (@JimmyRollins11) June 16, 2014
A cancer survivor himself, Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester's tweet was poignant simply because he cared enough to send it:
Saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn. Another legends life cut short by the hands of cancer. Rest in peace 19. #NVRQT— Jon Lester (@JLester31) June 16, 2014
Along those lines, Brandon Snyder mentioned smokeless tobacco, which might have contributed to Gwynn's death. Gwynn suspected that it did.
Huston Street, a current member of the Padres, gave the San Diego point of view on Gwynn's passing:
Athletes are supposed to be heroes and inspire greatness. Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, will live beyond today in our hearts. Prayers to his family— Huston Street (@HustonStreet) June 16, 2014
Bill Hall put into context part of what is lost with Gwynn's death:
Hitting is a science and Tony Gwynn was like Einstein. Thoughts and Prayers with his family. #5.5Hole— Bill Hall (@BillHall_III) June 16, 2014
Juan Pierre feels like many who grew up appreciating Gwynn do right now:
Mr Gwynn was a guy I would imitate in my backyard as a kid blessed to have known him one of my favorite jerseys ever! pic.twitter.com/uNZij4xd7e— Juan Pierre (@JPBeastMode) June 16, 2014
Yonder Alonso of the Padres feels the loss in a personal way:
We talked hitting every time I saw him.Questions after questions.A true friend. So sad to hear the passing of Tony Gwynn. May he RIP.— Yonder Alonso (@YonderalonsoU) June 16, 2014
As with Pierre and others of a certain age, Pat Neshek of the St. Louis Cardinals feels the loss of an idol, like he did after Kirby Puckett — another great player from the 1980s and early '90s — died.
Sad hearing news on Tony Gwynn. To me he was the greatest hitter that ever lived. Can't believe both my idols are gone, RIP Puckett & Gwynn— Pat Neshek (@PatNeshek) June 16, 2014
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