Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn Dies at 54

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has passed away at the age of 54 from cancer. The eight-time National League batting champ and 15-time All-Star spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007. Gwynn finished his career with a .338 average, 3,141 hits, five Gold Gloves and 319 stolen bases.

He made headlines in 1994 when he toyed with a .400 batting average, something not achieved in decades. He finished the strike-shortened season with a .394 average.

Gwynn had two operations for cancer in his right cheek between August 2010 and February 2012. The second surgery was complicated, with surgeons removing a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek.

Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux says on Twitter that Gwynn was "the best pure hitter I ever faced." Gwynn owned a .415 lifetime average against Maddux, who never struck him out in 107 at-bats.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says "our city is a little darker today without him but immeasurably better because of him."

Gwynn had said he believed the cancer was from chewing tobacco.

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