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Tony Gwynn - Winning Through The Pain

padres batting season hit

Gwynn kept up his award-winning playing after the 1984 season—his batting average never dropped below.300 between 1984 and 1994, and he continued to win batting titles—along with the love of the San Diego fans. He also won his first Gold Glove Award for defense in 1986. He had an exceptional .370 batting average in 1987, with a Padres record of 218 hits.

Gwynn enjoyed eating and developed a bit of a rotund physique, but the weight gain did not slow him up on the diamond. What did continue to plague him, however, were injuries. In 1988 he had surgery on his left hand and was injured in a fall. After getting off to a slow start, however, he finished the season batting .313 and won another National League batting title. In the 1989 season he injured his Achilles tendon and had another wrist injury but still managed to take home the Gold Glove and be named All-Star. That year was difficult in another way as well: in spite of his high salary, he had to file for bankruptcy because of what he called improper practices by his accountant. In 1990 he fractured an index finger, and in 1991 he had a conflict with some team members, who hung a figure of him in the dugout with arms and legs removed. He also had the first of four knee surgeries that would cause him to miss games through 1994. In spite of the lost time, he continued to play brilliantly and achieved his 2,000th career hit in 1993.

The year 1994 was perhaps the most painful of all for Gwynn, however. He had lost his father in the winter of 1993, and it was difficult for him to go on without the man on whom he had so depended for advice and support. Another knee surgery and the loss of a former teammate, Eric Show, to a drug overdose, brought Gwynn down even further. He stopped training and canceled public appearances. He soon pulled himself together, though, and concentrated on his game. In August, as Gwynn was hitting .475, the Players Association went on strike and called a halt to the games.

Career Statistics

Yr Team Avg GP AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB
SD: San Diego Padres.
1982 SD .289 54 190 33 55 1 17 14 16 8
1983 SD .309 86 304 34 94 1 37 23 21 7
1984 SD .351 158 606 88 213 5 71 59 23 33
1985 SD .317 154 622 90 197 6 46 45 33 14
1986 SD .329 160 642 107 211 14 59 52 35 37
1987 SD .370 157 589 119 218 7 54 82 35 56
1988 SD .313 133 521 64 163 7 70 51 40 26
1989 SD .336 158 604 82 203 4 62 56 30 40
1990 SD .309 141 573 79 177 4 72 44 23 17
1991 SD .317 134 530 69 168 4 62 34 19 8
1992 SD .317 128 520 77 165 6 41 46 16 3
1993 SD .358 122 489 70 175 7 59 36 19 14
1994 SD .394 110 419 79 165 12 64 48 19 5
1995 SD .368 135 535 82 197 9 90 35 15 17
1996 SD .353 116 451 67 159 3 50 39 17 11
1997 SD .372 149 592 97 220 17 119 43 28 12
1998 SD .321 127 461 65 148 16 69 35 18 3
1999 SD .338 111 411 59 139 10 62 29 14 7
2000 SD .323 36 127 17 41 1 17 9 4 0
2001 SD .324 71 102 5 33 1 17 10 9 1
TOTAL .338 2440 9288 1383 3141 135 1138 790 434 319

Back on the playing field in 1995, Gwynn had another great year, winning the league batting title and his eleventh All-Star Game designation, as well as being named Padres MVP for the sixth time. He played most of the 1996 season with a torn Achilles tendon but still batted .353, logged his 2,500th hit, and made the play that put the Padres into the playoffs. After the season ended, he had surgery to repair the torn tendon.

Fully recovered in 1997, at age 37, with a little gray in his beard, Gwynn had probably his best season with the Padres. He hit his personal best in home runs, seventeen, had 119 RBIs, batted .372, and won his eighth league batting title. The Padres renewed his contract through 2000.

In 1998 the Padres went to the World Series for the second time in Gwynn's career. They lost to the New York Yankees even though Gwynn had eight hits and a home run in sixteen times at bat. On August 6, 1999, he collected his 3,000th hit. Only Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie achieved the milestone in fewer games than Gwynn had.

Tony Gwynn - Career Statistics [next] [back] Tony Gwynn - Tony On Tape

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