Baseball has lost a legend with the tragic death of beloved Hall of Fame outfielder of the San Diego Padres, WCBS Newsradio 880 sportscaster Jared Max says.
"Why did we love Tony Gwynn so much? Because of his work ethic. Because he showed up every day and he didn't showboat and say 'hey, look at me,''' Max told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It was the work ethic, it was the loyalty. He spent 20 years with the same team. This is a loss for baseball fans, but this is also a great loss for the city of San Diego.''
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Gwynn died at the age of 54 after a long battle with salivary gland cancer, believed to have been caused by his use of chewing tobacco.
Max said Gwynn was known as a "scientist of hitting.''
"People would stop what they were doing to watch this guy in batting practice. Not because he was hitting 400-foot home runs, but because he had a systematic way,'' Max said.
Gwynn, known as "Mr. Padre,'' famously slapped singles between third base and shortstop, had 3,141 hits and a .338 batting average. In addition, he was a 15-time All-Star.
Gwynn retired from the Padres in 2001 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York six years later. He had been head baseball coach for San Diego State University, his alma mater.
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