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Tony Gwynn was a baseball Hall of Famer, life long player for the San Diego Padres and one of the best hitters of past 50 years. We lost him on Monday.  He apparently died from cancer-symptoms related to the use of chewing tobacco during his playing days.     

Tony was 54 years old and had been battling salivary gland cancer since 2009.  He took leave from his job as the San Diego State baseball coach in March after treatments left him too weak to be with the team.

Tony's .338 career batting average over 20 seasons was the highest since Ted Willims in 1960. He was a 15-time All-Star.  His playing career ended in 2001.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, in his first year of eligibility.

His No. 19 was retired by the Padres in 2004, and a statue was erected in his honor at Petco Park. His son, Tony Gwynn Jr is a player for the Philadelphia Phillies.