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Gwynn by the numbers

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The Baseball Tonight crew weighs in on the report of Tony Gwynn's decision to retire.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
ESPN Classic Tribute to Tony Gwynn

After 20 years with the San Diego Padres, Tony Gwynn is ready to call it quits. Gwynn, winner of eight batting titles, announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the season. A member of the 3,000 hit club, Gwynn presently has a .338 lifetime batting average.

ESPN Classic will honor Tony Gwynn on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with a presentation of Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS between the Cubs and Padres. Gwynn went 2-for-4 with a two-run double that eventually gave San Diego the win and World Series berth to play the Detroit Tigers.

Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn was the ultimate craftsman when it came to the art of hitting.
Gwynn's best year was 1994, when he was batting .394 when the players' strike began. It was the highest in the majors since Williams batted .406 in 1941. He and the Padres reached the World Series twice, losing to Detroit in 1984 and the Yankees in 1998. One of Gwynn's biggest home runs was an upper deck shot at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of the '98 Series.

His lifetime .338 batting average is second only to Hall of Famer Ted Williams, a San Diego native himself, who hit a career .344, the only player in baseball with a higher batting average than Gwynn since World War II.

Last season, Gwynn hit above .300 for the 18th straight season, breaking Honus Wagner's NL record. He ranks 16th in baseball history with 3,124 hits. But his accolades go far beyond the numbers.

"He's certainly one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he's just as great a person," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been a real pleasure. I hope to get him back at some point this year. He means a lot to this ballclub."

Gwynn, who has been slowed by a strained right hamstring that's sidelined him for all but 16 games this season, has said he would like to be a coach at his alma mater, San Diego State.

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