Baseball fans have lost another legend, and the world in general has lost another amazing man far too soon.
Jbox posted this morning about the worsening of Tony Gwynn's condition. Soon after came the announcement that Mr. Padre had lost his battle with cancer.
We are terribly sad to say goodbye to our teammate, our friend and a legend, Tony Gwynn. Rest in peace, Mr. Padre.— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 16, 2014
Eight weeks of radiation, chemotherapy, stress and back pains understandably have taken their toll on him. Gwynn sat in a folding chair as fans recognized and approached him. Most wanted their picture made in the company with the Gwynn. He obliged each of them, struggling to his feet, wincing with what I interpreted as discomfort. With their pictures now saved to their memory card, some embraced him or shared kind words while others just left. Again Gwynn slowly sunk into his chair accepting quick respite before he was once again asked to stand and pose. In his chair his gaze fell upon the ground, perhaps hoping that if he avoided eye contact he might be able to rest a few moments longer. He seemed tired and his infectious laugh was noticeably absent. I pitied him, but noted his determination and steadfastness.
Multiple surgery attempts and treatments over the years to fight the cancer ultimately only postponed Gwynn's decline. We would hear news every now and again of Gwynn's health status, and we'd see and hear him sometimes on Channel 4 / Fox Sports SD broadcasting Padres games, and the toll the cancer took on him was evident. Yet he always remained a pleasant sight in the the Padres booth, as well as in the dugout at his namesake baseball stadium at San Diego State, where he coached the Aztecs baseball team.
Early this year we learned that his health had once again begun to deteriorate and he had another surgery attempt to remove the cancer. He seemed positive despite his most recent setback, but eventually, the cancer would take him out of coaching.
An Aztec For Life, Hall of Famer, and greatest man (both on and off the field) to ever put on a Padres uniform is now gone, but will never be forgotten. RIP Tony.