One of the all-time great pure-hitters, Tony Gwynn is the San Diego Padres' career leader in batting average, RBI, runs, hits and stolen bases.
A career that was almost derailed from the beginning by Gwynn's talents as a basketball player (he was drafted by the San Diego Clippers after a stellar career at San Diego State) ended with seven Silver Slugger awards and 15 All-Star appearances.
Despite never hitting more than 17 home runs in a season, Gwynn made a name for himself as one of the most consistent contact hitters in baseball history over the course of his 20-year career.
Only Ty Cobb has won more batting titles than Gwynn's eight, while only Paul Waner has less career strikeouts than Gwynn's 434 among players with 3,000 hits. Eight times in his career Gwynn struck out fewer than 20 times in a season.
Though his speed left him late in his career, Gwynn was one of the league's top base stealing threats in the 1980's. On September 20, 1986 he tied the modern-day NL record with a 5-for-5 SB game against the Astros.
Gwynn complemented his offensive skills with stand-out defensive abilities as well, earning an NL Gold Glove award five times in his career.
A .338 lifetime hitter, Gwynn flirted with the .400 mark several times in his career, including a .394 final average in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
The 9 time all-star starter led the Padres to the postseason three times and was the catalyst for the only two World Series appearances in franchise history. It was Gwynn's two-run double in the 7th inning that put the Padres ahead for good in Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS against the Cubs, sending San Diego to its first World Series appearance.
Since retiring in 2001, Gwynn has worked as an announcer and currently serves as coach at his alma mater, San Diego State University.