Monday, May 10, 2010

Gwynn Facts Grand Finale (35-52): Boxing Day

So, I fell asleep last night before I could finish up the Gwynn Facts. Let this be a lesson, everybody. Don't go out and get someone you love something extravagant for Christmas; instead, show them love throughout the year. But if you do decide to build your kid a treehouse, plan in advance so you aren't up a tree with a hammer and nails on December 26th like I am right now...
35. Tony's signature model Nikes were patent leather because he kept it that fly on and off the field. They said "5.5 Hole" on the tongue.
36. He won five Gold Glove awards, every year from 1986 through '91 except for '88.
37. He won seven Silver Slugger awards, in 1984, '86, '87, '89, '94, '95 and '97.
38. A lot of people forget that Gwynn was a legitimate base stealer in his younger days, with a high of 56 in 1987.
39. Tony exceeded 100 RBI once, with 119 in 1997, when he also marked a career high with 17 home runs. He would hit only one less homer the next season but totaled 50 less RBI for that year's National League Champions.
40. Gwynn had one home run and 17 RBI in each of his last two seasons.
41. His 203 intentional walks are the 12th highest total in Major League history (I almost used the word 'annals' there but thought it might sound too pretentious. Don't judge me, people; I'm just trying to mix it up a little!)
42. In addition to former Padres teammate Chris, Tony has another brother, Charles, who played baseball at Cal State LA.
43. Tony's record as head coach (why don't they call the managers in college?) of his SDSU Aztecs is one game over .500 at 242-241.
44. Major Leaguers coached by Gwynn include his son Anthony and current Friar Alex Hinshaw. Others are Stephen Strasburg, Addison Reed, Justin Masterson and Bruce Billings.
45. Tony has missed his Aztecs' last seven games due to blood clots in his leg. He is set to return to duty on Tuesday.
46. His longest hitting streak was 25 games, in 1983.
47. He was given number 19 by the Padres' then-clubhouse manager Whitey Wietelman. Whitey wore 19 as a member of the Pacific Coast League Padres back in the day.
48. Tony was not a fan of the brown. When the Padres switched to blue, Gwynn told Sports Illustrated "I always HATED the brown."
49. He was initially disappointed that the Padres selected him. “That damn brown and gold,” said Gwynn. “I remember the first words out of my mouth were ‘Aw, no. The Padres.'"
50. In the mid-to-late 80s, Tony and his teammate John Kruk would ride bicycles to the park and stop for fish tacos. I swear I'm not making this up. They also enjoyed taking turns hitting BP and eating fried chicken.
51. Tony and his wife founded the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation in 1995 to assist underprivileged children meet their potential.
52. Tony Gwynn says, "Nobody beats El Cajon Ford!"

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