I am a huge San Diego Padres fan. I have been for my entire life. My grandparents started taking me to baseball games when I was six months old. My favorite player to watch was Tony Gwynn. I had the privilege of being able to go into the clubhouse a few times when I was younger, thanks to another Padre at that time Carmelo Martinez. It was such an amazing experience for a young boy who loved Baseball. Every time I was in the clubhouse Tony would give me a Baseball, I have one signed by him and a couple of baseball cards that I will never get rid of, even if they are going for a pretty penny right now. Tony was so much fun to watch on the field, when he was younger he was super fast and could cover so much territory in the outfield. He was a master with the bat; he could hit the ball anywhere. He had a great arm and was able to nail many runners. More than all that he accomplished as a player, he was an even better person. So kind and friendly, we only had a few interactions, but he was always kind, generous and giving. I will always remember him as being a great role model for me, it was my dream when I was young to be a major leaguer, and he was my inspiration.
Tony, you will be missed. The world has lost a truly great role model. San Diego will never be the same. He impacted that whole city in a way that others can only dream about. If I am half the man that Tony Gwynn was I will be happy with my life.
See you on the ball field in Sky number 19! R.I.P Mr. Padre, may they win a World Series in your honor soon.