As a life-long baseball fan, it is with a heavy heart that I report that former San Diego Padre Outfielder and San Diego State Aztec baseball coach Tony Gwynn passed from cancer this morning at the age of 54.Gwynn, who many consider one of the purist hitters to have ever stepped to the plate in the major leagues, was a career .338 hitter, flirting with the mythical .400 mark in 1994, finishing his career-high season with a .394 season mark. Mostly known as a singles hitter, he did manage a career-high of 17 home runs in 1997, following it with 16 the following season.

The 15 time All-Star, had been on medical leave from SDSU since late March, but had recently signed a 1-year contract extension with the school, his Alma Mater. Gwynn had been the Head Coach of the program since 2002, one year after retiring after a 20 year major league career, all with the San Diego Padres. Gwynn, whose number 19 was retired by the Padres, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. His brother Chris also played outfield in the Major Leagues, with the Royals, Dodgers and Padres from 1987-1996 and is currently the Director of Player Development for the Seattle Mariners. Tony Gwynn's son, Tony Jr., is currently an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies.