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Today in Padres history: Tony Gwynn's 2,000th and 3,000th hits

Jonathan Daniel

There are a lot of words one can use to describe Tony Gwynn's career. The one that comes to mind on this day is "magical." Google that word and the second definition that comes up is the following:

beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life.

Yeah. That works. Especially when you consider the extraordinary things that happened on this day in Tony Gwynn history. First, our beloved Mr. Padre collected his 2,000th major league hit on August 6, 1993. He joined a pretty exclusive club that day. Today, only 278 players in MLB history are part of that club, which is pretty incredible enough in itself.

That's not all, though. Even more magic occurred exactly six years later, to the day. On August 6th, 1999, Gwynn collected his career 3,000th hit, becoming the 22nd major league player in history to do so. I wouldn't even know how to calculate the odds of that happening on the exact same date as his 2,000th hit, but if I had to guess I'd say it's about a billion to one.

Jerry Coleman made the call and appropriately hung a star on it. After the hit, not only did the rest of the team come out to congratulate him, but he got a handshake from first base umpire Kerwin Danley, who was his teammate at SDSU. The hit came just a day after Mark McGwire collected his 500th career homer, against the Padres. Gwynn went 1-for-4 against the Cardinals that day, so he was just one hit shy of sharing the historic day with McGwire. I think the way it turned out was much more special, though.

BUT WAIT! There's more! August 6th just happens to be Tony's mother's birthday. I don't think Vandella Gwynn could've ever imagined a better birthday present than for her son to experience such historic career milestones two separate times on her special day. She was in attendance in Montreal in '96 and was able to come out onto the field after the hit to congratulate and hug her son.

Unequivocally magical.