Showing posts with label Tony Gwynn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tony Gwynn. Show all posts

June 20, 2014

The greatest hitter of all time



In Baseball’s All-Time Best Hitters, biostatistics professor Michael J. Schell makes adjustments for eras, leagues, ballparks and everything else to determine the greatest hitter of all time. The answer was Tony Gwynn. Not Ty Cobb. Not Rogers Hornsby. Not Ted Williams.

The greatest hitter of all time died Monday. He was 54.

Gwynn singled against the Phillies for his first hit on July 19, 1982. When he reached first base, Pete Rose shook Gwynn’s hand and said: “Don’t try and catch me all in one night, kid.”

The greatest hitter of all time had 3,141 hits, 19th all time. He hit .338 for his career, 20th all time. He hit .300 for 19 straight seasons. Only Ty Cobb was better. He won eight batting titles. Only Cobb had more. He won his first batting title when he was 24 years old. He won his last when he was 37. He hit .394 in 1994, when a players strike ended the season on Aug. 12. He hit .368 over a five-year period. Ted Williams never had a stretch that good.



Gwynn isn’t just the best player in Padres history. He is San Diego. He played left field and point guard at San Diego State. He was drafted by the Padres and the San Diego Clippers on the same day. After he retired, Gwynn coached San Diego State’s baseball team, which plays at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The greatest hitter of all time played all 20 seasons, all 2,440 games for the Padres. Only 10 other players who played their entire career since free agency played at least 2,000 games for only one team — Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Chipper Jones, Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez.

Gwynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, winning election with 97.6 percent of the vote. Only six other players received a higher percentage — Ripken, Cobb, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Hank Aaron.



The greatest hitter of all time faced Greg Maddux 107 times, more than any other pitcher. He hit .415 with no strikeouts. Against John Smoltz, he hit .444 with one strikeout. He hit .321 against Orel Hershiser, .321 against Fernando Valenzuela, .318 against Mike Scott, .303 against Tom Glavine and .302 against Nolan Ryan.

Gwynn struck out just 434 times in 20 seasons. Mark Reynolds equaled that in two seasons. He had more doubles than strikeouts in 11 seasons.

The greatest hitter of all time could run and field, too. He had 56 stolen bases in 1987, second in the league. He averaged 40 stolen bases over one four-year stretch in 1980s. He won five Gold Glove awards in right field.

Gwynn had 13 operations in 20 seasons, eight of them on his knees. He played with a sprained thumb in 1988 and was hitting .246 on July 1. But he hit .406 in July, .370 in August and .291 in September. He hit .313 to win his third batting title.

He was the greatest hitter of all time.
— Kevin Brewer

This story originally appeared on Raleigh & Company.

October 9, 2009

All-Time team: Tony, Ozzie and Trevor



The pennant-winning 1998 Padres lead the All-Time team with three selections: Kevin Brown, Greg Vaughn and Trevor Hoffman. The 1996 division winners and the 1978 team — the first with a winning record — had two each. The 1984 Padres, who lost to the Tigers in the World Series, were shut out.
— Kevin Brewer

Catcher | Terry Kennedy, 1982. 21 HRs, 97 RBIs, .295/.328/.486, 42 doubles

2. Gene Tenace, 1979

First base | Adrian Gonzalez, 2009. 40 HRs, 99 RBIs, .277/.407/.551, 119 walks

2. Adrian Gonzalez, 2010
3. Nate Colbert, 1972
4. Ryan Klesko, 2001
5. Fred McGriff, 1992

Second base | Mark Loretta, 2004. 16 HRs, 76 RBIs, .335 batting, .391 on-base, .495 slugging, 108 runs, 208 hits, 47 doubles

Third base | Ken Caminiti, 1996. 40 HRs, 130 RBIs, .326 batting, .408 on-base, .621 slugging, 109 runs

2. Gary Sheffield, 1992
3. Chase Headley, 2012
4. Phil Nevin, 2001



Shortstop | Ozzie Smith, 1978. 1 HR, 56 RBIs, .258 batting, .311 on-base, .312 slugging, 40 SBs, 28 sacrifice hits. Smith should have won Rookie of the Year instead of Bob Horner and the Gold Glove instead of Larry Bowa. The Padres traded Ozzie for Garry Templeton in 1981, and they still haven’t replaced him.

2. Khalil Greene, 2004
3. Khalil Greene, 2007

Left field | Greg Vaughn, 1998. 50 HRs, 119 RBIs, .272 batting, .363 on-base, .597 slugging, 112 runs

Center field | Steve Finley, 1996. 30 HRs, 95 RBIs, .298 batting, .354 on-base, .531 slugging, 126 runs, 45 doubles, 22 SBs

2. George Hendrick, 1977
3. Kevin McReynolds, 1984

Right field | Tony Gwynn, 1987. 7 HRs, 54 RBIs, .370 batting, .447 on-base, .511 slugging, 119 runs, 218 hits, 36 doubles, 13 triples, 56 SBs

2. Dave Winfield, 1979
3. Tony Gwynn, 1984
4. Tony Gwynn, 1997
5. Tony Gwynn, 1986

Pitchers | Kevin Brown and four Cy Young Award winners



1. Kevin Brown, 1998. 18-7, 2.38 ERA, 257 Ks and 49 walks in 257 innings. Should have won the Cy Young Award.

2. Randy Jones, 1975. 20-12, 2.24 ERA, 103 Ks and 56 walks in 285 innings. Should have won the Cy Young Award for this season, not 1976.

3. Jake Peavy, 2007. 19-6, 2.54 ERA, 240 Ks and 68 walks in 223.1 innings. He won Cy Young Award (unanimously) and the Triple Crown of Pitching.

4. Gaylord Perry, 1978. 21-6, 2.73 ERA, 154 Ks and 66 walks in 260.2 innings. He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues.

5. Dave Roberts, 1971. 14-17, 2.10 ERA, 135 Ks and 61 walks in 269.2 innings.

6. Randy Jones, 1976
7. Ed Whitson, 1990
8. Bruce Hurst, 1989
9. Ed Whitson, 1989
10. Jake Peavy, 2004

Right-handed reliever | Trevor Hoffman, 1998. 4-2, 1.48 ERA, 53 saves in 54 opportunities, 86 Ks and 21 walks in 73 innings. He converted 33 consecutive save opportunities and made AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” his entrance music.

Left-handed reliever | Mark Davis, 1989. 4-3, 1.85 ERA, 44 saves in 48 opportunities, 92 Ks and 31 walks in 92.2 innings. One of nine relievers to win the Cy Young Award.

July 19, 1982

Tony Gwynn



Career statistics | Baseball-Reference.com
Team | Padres (1982-2001)
School | San Diego State

How he was acquired | The Padres drafted Gwynn in the third round of the amateur draft on June 8, 1981. The following day, the San Diego Clippers selected him in the NBA draft.
How he left | Gwynn retired at the end of the 2001 season.

Player most similar to | Rod Carew

1. Career year (1987) 7 home runs, 54 RBIs, .370 batting average, .447 on-base percentage, .511 slugging percentage, 119 runs, 218 hits, 13 triples, 56 stolen bases.

2. Career year (1997) 17 home runs, 119 RBIs, .372 batting average, .409 on-base percentage, .547 slugging percentage, 220 hits, 49 doubles.

3. Career year (1984) 5 home runs, 71 RBIs, .351 batting average, .410 on-base percentage, .444 slugging percentage, 213 hits, 10 triples, 33 stolen bases.



RESUME
• Baseball Hall of Fame (2007)
• 15-time All-Star (1984-87, 89-99)
• Five Gold Glove awards (1986-87, 89-91)
• Top 10 in MVP voting seven times (1984, 86-87, 89, 94-95, 97)

LEAGUE LEADER
• Eight batting titles (1984, 87-89, 94-97)
• Hits (1984, 86-87, 89, 94-95, 97)
• Runs (1986)
• On-base percentage (1994)

The Tony Gwynn Library
Tony Gwynn, through the shortstop hole ... | Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated (June 23, 2002)
How Tony Gwynn Cracked Baseball’s Code And Became A Legend | Tim Marchman, Deadspin (June 16, 2002)
Tony Gwynn was a joy to watch | Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated (June 3, 2002)
Bat Man | Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated (July 28, 1997)