Tomorrow marks exactly one month since the world lost Tony Gwynn. A month since the city of San Diego lost its soul. A month since the collective heart of baseball fans across the world broke as we heard of the passing of one of the greatest to ever play the game. But you wouldn't know it from watching the so-called MLB All-Star Game.
Tonight some of this season's greatest players came together to celebrate their greatness. The All-Star Game took place in Minnesota, and representatives from each team joined forces to put on a show for baseball fans. Many fans and professionals alike have spent time in recent weeks arguing over who deserved or didn't deserve to be there. But among all the snubs in the 2014 MLB All Star Game, there was one whose light was most noticeably absent from tonight's festivities.
On June 16th, baseball lost a true legend and pioneer in Tony Gwynn. In the weeks since then we've celebrated the life of Mr. Padre not only in San Diego; where he spent his entire playing career, coached college ball, and became the heart of the entire city; but all over the country. Tributes poured in and teams throughout all levels of baseball honored our fallen Friar. No one could understate Tony's importance or the tragedy of his death.
But as MLB and Fox joined forces tonight to bring us the All Star Game, not a single mention of Gwynn was uttered during the broadcast.
Fox mentions tonight: Jeter: 446. Gotham: 12. Pepsi with real sugar: 7. Tony Gwynn: Zero.— Eric Wilbur (@GlobeEricWilbur) July 16, 2014
Still no tribute for the greatest hitter in the last 50+ years? Tony Gwynn deserves better. pic.twitter.com/WKWhu9EDrT— Stirrups Now! (@uniformcritic) July 16, 2014
It's unbelievable they went through the entire All-Star Game without mentioning Tony Gwynn.— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) July 16, 2014
So it's okay to have 10 hours of Jeter, but not a mention of Tony Gwynn? That's pretty disappointing.— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) July 16, 2014
I wholeheartedly agree with those bemoaning lack of mention of Tony Gwynn. Also, Don Zimmer. Brief tributes would have been fitting.— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) July 16, 2014
All of you angry about no Tony Gwynn tribute? You are damn right.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 16, 2014
I knew the Jeter love was coming. It was not that offensive or bothersome. But to not even mention Tony Gwynn is a deeply lame oversight.— Matt Spiegel (@MattSpiegel670) July 16, 2014
Tony Gwynn was a 15-time All Star. But as we've all known forever, and as we've all been reminded of repeatedly over the past month, Gwynn was even more than that. He was truly an outstanding ambassador for baseball and a hero to everyone who knew him, or knew of him. It wouldn't have taken much effort to put together a small tribute to a man who gave so much of himself to baseball over the years, and to whom the sport owes so much gratitude. For MLB and Fox not to even acknowledge him during an event in which he spent three-fourths of his playing career participating is shameful and disrespectful.
Tony is probably looking down right now wondering what all the fuss is about, because he wouldn't have felt slighted in the least. But as fans we know that the apparent lack of foresight and caring shown tonight by both MLB and Fox is inexcusable, and they're sure hearing about it on social media right now. The bright side of all of this is knowing for certain that, among those who truly matter (fans), #19 will never be forgotten.