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Gwynn honored through Padres gear

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The number 19 center in a home plate design is worn on the chest of all San Diego Padres in honor of Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn. The number 19 center in a home plate design is worn on the chest of all San Diego Padres in honor of Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn.
San Diego Padres players stand in right field observing 19 seconds of silence in honor of Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn during ceremonies prior to a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners. San Diego Padres players stand in right field observing 19 seconds of silence in honor of Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn during ceremonies prior to a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diegans were asked Thursday to wear Tony Gwynn gear, Padres attire or Padres colors in honor of the batting champion who died of cancer Monday at age 54.

"Tony Gwynn is a true San Diego icon," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who issued the clothing directive to city employees.

"As San Diegans continue to mourn the loss of a Hall of Famer on and off the field, I encourage all of San Diego to pay tribute to Number 19 on the 19th (of June).''

Gwynn wore No. 19 in his 20 seasons with the Padres.The team honored him Wednesday night before the first game at Petco Park since he died, with video tributes and “19'' patches on the players' jerseys and caps.

“The outpouring of support and love we have seen for Tony and the Gwynn family over the past several days has been overwhelming,'' said Padres President and CEO Mike Dee.

“We'd like to thank the mayor and all those who participate Thursday for this great gesture of support. The way San Diegans have come together to mourn, remember and pay tribute is a testament to the profound impact Tony had on this community.''

A free public memorial for Gwynn will be held June 26 at the stadium. The Home Plate, Park Boulevard, Gaslamp and East Village gates are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 7:19 p.m.

Padres officials said the tribute would celebrate Gwynn's life, accomplishments along with his contributions to the team, the city and to his sport. Special guests from throughout Gwynn's life will also be featured.

Free event parking will be provided at surface lots along Imperial Avenue on the southeast side of Petco Park, and at the Padres Parkade garage at 10th Avenue and J Street.

At San Diego State University, Gwynn played baseball and basketball well enough that he was drafted into the professional ranks in both sports on the same day. He is still the Aztecs men's basketball all-time leader in assists.

He chose baseball and went on to become known as Mr. Padre. Gwynn belted 3,141 hits, had a .338 career batting average and was a 15-time All Star. His playing career ended in 2001, and he was subsequently picked as head baseball coach for SDSU.

During his playing career, Gwynn won seven Silver Slugger Awards and five Gold Glove Awards. His eight batting titles tied for second-most in Major League Baseball history.

Gwynn was inducted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 – the first year he became eligible. The Padres -- the only Major League Baseball team for which he ever played -- retired his number in 2004.


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