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Tony Gwynn's friends and teammates react to his passing

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Otto Greule Jr

It's hard to put into words what Tony Gwynn means to San Diego.  I'm still trying to come to grips with it.  Every time I'd hear about his deteriorating health, I would momentarily think about what it would be like to lose him, then force the thought out of my head in favor of optimism.  Now we're all forced with the reality of his passing.

He's one of those few people that is universally loved, whether you're a baseball fan or not.  For those of us that grew up in the 80's and 90's in San Diego, he left an indelible mark on our childhoods.  Watching him play spoiled us on every other player.  No one else could ever measure up to what he did on and off the field for this city.  When he came to the plate, he was automatic.  It was as simple as that.

We were young, how were we to know that we'd never see his kind again?  It wasn't until he left the game that we truly realized how much of a difference he made.  Now as he leaves this life, we'll again experience that same loss, but on a larger scale.

Many friends and teammates reacted to the loss on Twitter, among them was his son Tony Gwynn Jr.: