MEMORIES OF MR. PADRE – MI PADRE: Q/A with San Diego Broadcaster Tony Gwynn Jr. • Latino Sports

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MEMORIES OF MR. PADRE – MI PADRE: Q/A with San Diego Broadcaster Tony Gwynn Jr.

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SAN DIEGO – It’s fascinating listening to Padres broadcaster Tony Gwynn Jr., who played eight years in the big leagues, as he describes the perceptions, or, using his distinct word – the “optics,” of having one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history coach his beloved son.

For Tony Jr., he simply wanted to make his father proud. But he was also quite aware those big steps can be challenging and yet an unbelievable honor.

Affectionately known to millions as “Tony,” Anthony Keith Gwynn Sr. played his entire career for only one team and literally won every imaginable award in Major League Baseball history.

A lifetime .338 hitter, 3141 hits, 15 All-Star appearances, eight batting titles, seven Silver Slugger Awards and the recipient of the 1989 Roberto Clemente Award, doesn’t do any justice to who this extraordinary man really was.

Although he was awarded the ultimate honor of being elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, he shared a similar passion with Roberto Clemente in that he most enjoyed working with kids. As head coach at his alma mater, San Diego State, he knew the impact his actions and words had on the next generation of ballplayers.

And he was perfectly content with his personal decision to never have coached in the big leagues. Although he left this planet way too soon on June 16, 2014, his extraordinary legacy will forever live in the game he loved dearly.

His son knows millions remember his beloved father as “Mr. Padre,” his heartfelt story wasn’t only about the unbelievable player but for Tony Gwynn Jr. it was simply two words: My Father…Mi Padre.

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About Danny Torres

Bronx native, Danny Torres is a high school teacher, an avid baseball fan and freelance sports journalist. Besides his work with Latinosports.com, he has written for MLB.com, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, the N.Y. Mets, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun and Manhattan Times. He was a frequent guest on 'Solamente Pelota', a now-defunct sports program on XM/Sirius satellite radio. In 2010, he contributed to an updated prologue for the re-released book, 'Clemente, the Enduring Legacy' by Kal Wagenheim. In 2011, as part of a series commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month on MLB.com, he contributed to a five-part series saluting the greatest Latino pitchers in baseball. Finally, in December, 2011, he participated in a panel discussion connected with the Smithsonian exhibition, 'Beyond Baseball, The Life of Roberto Clemente' in Baltimore, Maryland. In December, 2012, he appeared on the front page of 'El Diario/La Prensa', a NY Spanish daily newspaper and was featured in a five-part series dedicated to the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente who tragically died 40 years ago.

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