Tony Gwynn, the longtime San Diego Padre who racked up 3,141 hits, five All-Star Games, eight batting titles, and five Gold Glove Awards during his 20-year career, has died at the age of 54.
He died early Monday morning at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, California, while surrounded by his family, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced.
“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement Monday. “The greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life.
“… For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched.”
Survivors include his wife, Alicia, daughter, Anisha, and son, Tony Jr., who plays with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The younger Gwynn eulogized his father to the world saying, “Today I lost my Dad, my best friend and my mentor. I’m gonna miss u so much pops. I’m gonna do everything in my power to continue to…Make u proud!”
Gwynn had long battled cancer, reported caused from years of chewing tobacco during his historic career.
Immediately, fellow and current MLB players, rappers, entertainers and sports pundits paid their respects to Gwynn.
Check out several of those heartfelt reactions in the gallery.
Photos: Matthew Hynes/WENN, Twitter