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FILE In this March 6, 1985 file photo, San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn does a twist to make a back hand catch at the teams' spring training camp in Yuma, Ariz. Gwynn, the Hall of Famer with a sweet left handed swing who spent his entire 20 year career with the Padres and was one of San Diego's most beloved athletes, died of cancer Monday, June 16, 2014. He was 54. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File) (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
"Every day you went to the ballpark in San Diego and we used to go 2:30 or 3 o'clock, Tony would be out there hitting, religiously, every day," Rose said.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gwynn played point guard for the SDSU basketball team he still holds the game, season and career record for assists and in the outfield on the baseball team.
He Nike Cap Black Price was drafted by both the Padres (third round) and San Diego Clippers (10th round) on the same day in 1981. As much as he loved basketball, baseball was his future.
It didn't take much for Gwynn to cackle or break into a horse laugh.
the Philadelphia Phillies.
"All I keep thinking of when I think of Tony Gwynn is that line drive base hit to left field, or the one hopper in the hole at shortstop to left field," Los Angeles Adidas Hat Blue
FILE In this Jan. 9, 2007 file photo, former San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn talks about his election to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame, in San Diego. The Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday, June 16, 2014 said Gwynn has died of cancer. He was 54. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)Any knowledgeable fan can recite Gwynn's key stats. He had 3,141 hits 18th on the all time list a career .338 average and won eight batting titles to tie Honus Wagner's NL record.
THE 5.5 HOLE: Gwynn loved to hit the other way, through the hole between third base and shortstop.
5 things to remember about Gwynn
"Fifty four years old is way too young."
On Monday, Rose recalled Gwynn's work ethic and his pioneering use of video to study his at bats after every game.
Texas' Augie Garrido, the winningest college baseball coach, said at the College World Series on Monday that he tried to recruit Gwynn when he was coaching at Cal State Fullerton, but told him he wouldn't be able to play baseball and basketball.
Gwynn loved San Diego. San Diego loved "Mr. Padre" right back.
"He had a work ethic unlike anybody else, and had a childlike demeanor of playing the game just because he loved it so much," said Flannery, third base coach for the San Francisco Giants.
HIS CRAFT: After spending parts of just two seasons in the minors, he made his big league debut on July 19, 1982. Gwynn had two hits that night. After Gwynn doubled, career hits leader Pete Rose, who been trailing the play, said to him: "Hey, kid, what are you trying to do, catch me in one night?"
"Our city is a little darker today without him, but immeasurably better because of him," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement.
His death left even casual fans grieving.
In a rarity in pro sports, Gwynn played his whole career with the Padres, choosing to stay in the city where he was a two sport college star rather than leaving for bigger paychecks elsewhere.
There was far more to the man.
Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said. "He hit the ball wherever it was pitched, and he was just a genius with the bat, without a doubt."
San Diego Chargers football coach Mike McCoy pauses in front of the Tony Gwynn "Mr. Padre" statue, as he talks about his memories of Gwynn who died, Monday June 16, 2014, in San Diego. Gwynn, an eight time National League batting champion with Boston Celtics Cap
SAN DIEGO STATE: Gwynn had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma mater. He called it his dream job, one he began right after retiring from the Padres following the 2001 season. He coached his son, Tony Jr., who's with New Era New York Rangers
THE LAUGH: Former Padres teammate Tim Flannery recalls Gwynn as "always laughing, always talking, always happy."
the San Diego Padres and a member of Baseball Hall of Fame, was 54. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
A Tony Gwynn fan shoots a photo of the big screen outside Petco Park that displays images of Gwynn who passed away Monday, June 16, 2014, in San Diego. Gwynn, an eight time National League batting champion with the San Diego Padres and a member of Baseball Hall of Fame, died Monday from cancer. He was 54. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
He was loyal, generous and approachable. He smiled a lot. It didn't take much to get him to laugh his hearty laugh.
Five things to remember about Gwynn:
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