By: Ryan Neiman
On Monday, the baseball world lost one of the greatest players to have ever to grace the playing diamond. Hall of Famer and legendary San Diego Padres player Tony Gwynn was taken too soon from us as he passed away at the young age of 54. His playing accolades included but were not limited to a career .338 batting average, 8-Time National League Batting Champion, 15-Time All-Star, 5-Time Gold Glove Winner, amassing 3,141 hits, and 7-Silver Slugger Award Winner.
Yet, despite of all of his remarkable achievements throughout his career, it was the way Gwynn carried himself not only on the field, but when he was away from the game as well.
He became a role model for those who were inspiring to reach the final plateau for their dreams. And with this alone, Tony Gwynn was a Hall of Famer in many ways than just his ability to propel a line drive to the opposite field.
Everyone has their own role models whom we use as a motivational tool to better ourselves in various aspects of our lives.
Tony Gwynn was the rare exception where no matter how hard you try to imitate the type of person he was, it was impossible to achieve because he was considered a diamond in the rough.
Thus, the Joliet Admirals will strive and attempt to reach the same stature of Tony Gwynn managed to do during his twenty year career every time when we step onto the field. However, if we are not able to reach the same level as Gwynn, that is acceptable by us . For us to simply look up to a man like Gwynn and fall short of being the identical version of him is not problematic with us because of this simple notion:
There was only one Tony Gwynn.
“We make a big deal about work ethic about trying to make good decisions and doing things right. And you know what? That’s what we’re supposed to do. When you sign your name on the dotted line, there’s more than just playing the game of baseball. I think if you look out here today, you see all these people out here today, they love the game too. … Those people who pay to watch you go out and play, you’ve got to be responsible and make decisions and show people how things are supposed to be done.”
– Tony Gwynn