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SAN DIEGO -- Tony Gwynn could handle a bat like few other major leaguers, whether it was driving the ball through the "5.5 hole" between third base and shortstop or hitting a home run off the facade in Yankee Stadium in the World Series. He was a craftsman at the plate, whose sweet left-handed swing made him one of baseballs greatest hitters. Gwynn loved San Diego. San Diego loved "Mr. Padre" right back. Gwynn, a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest athletes in San Diegos history, died Monday of oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. He was 54. "Our city is a little darker today without him but immeasurably better because of him," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. In a rarity in pro sports, Gwynn played his whole career with the Padres, choosing to stay in the city where he was a two-sport star in college, rather than leaving for bigger paychecks elsewhere. His terrific hand-eye co-ordination made him one of the games greatest pure hitters. He had 3,141 hits -- 18th on the all-time list -- a career .338 average and won eight batting titles to tie Honus Wagners NL record. He struck out only 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats. He played in San Diegos only two World Series -- batting a combined .371 -- and was a 15-time All-Star. He had a memorable home run in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series off fellow San Diegan David Wells, and scored the winning run in the 1994 All-Star Game despite a bum knee. Gwynn never hit below .309 in a full season. He spread out his batting titles from 1984, when he batted .351, to 1997, when he hit .372. Gwynn was hitting .394 when a players strike ended the 1994 season, denying him a shot at becoming the first player to hit .400 since San Diego native Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. Gwynn befriended Williams and the two loved to talk about hitting. Gwynn steadied Williams when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 1999 All-Star Game at Bostons Fenway Park. Fellow Hall of Famer Greg Maddux tweeted, "Tony Gwynn was the best pure hitter I ever faced! Condolences to his family." Gwynn was known for his hearty laugh and warm personality. Every day at 4 p.m., Gwynn sat in the Padres dugout and talked baseball or anything else with the media. Tim Flannery, who was teammates with Gwynn on the Padres 1984 World Series team and later was on San Diegos coaching staff, said hell "remember the cackle to his laugh. He was always laughing, always talking, always happy." "The baseball world is going to miss one of the greats, and the world itself is going to miss one of the great men of mankind," said Flannery, the San Francisco Giants third base coach. "He cared so much for other people. He had a work ethic unlike anybody else, and had a childlike demeanour of playing the game just because he loved it so much." Gwynn had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma mater. He died at a hospital in suburban Poway, agent John Boggs said. "He was in a tough battle and the thing I can critique is hes definitely in a better place," Boggs said. "He suffered a lot. He battled. Thats probably the best way I can describe his fight against this illness he had, and he was courageous until the end." Gwynns wife, Alicia, and other family members were at his side when he died, Boggs said. Gwynns son, Tony Jr., was with the Philadelphia Phillies, who later placed him on the bereavement list. "Today I lost my Dad, my best friend and my mentor," Gwynn Jr. tweeted. "Im gonna miss u so much pops. Im gonna do everything in my power to continue to ... Make u proud!" Gwynn had two operations for cancer in his right cheek between August 2010 and February 2012. The second surgery was complicated, with surgeons removing a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumour inside his right cheek. They grafted a nerve from Gwynns neck to help him eventually regain facial movement. Gwynn had been in and out of the hospital and had spent time in a rehab facility, Boggs said. "For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the national pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched," Commissioner Bud Selig said. Fans paid their respects by visiting the statue of Gwynn on a grassy knoll just beyond the outfield at Petco Park. Gwynn was last with his San Diego State team on March 25 before beginning a leave of absence. His Aztecs rallied around a Gwynn bobblehead doll they would set near the bat rack during games, winning the Mountain West Conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA regionals. Last week, SDSU announced it was extending Gwynns contract one season. The Aztecs play at Tony Gwynn Stadium, which was built in the mid-1990s with a $4 million donation by then-Padres owner John Moores. Gwynn was born in Los Angeles on May 9, 1960, and attended high school in Long Beach. He was a two-sport star at San Diego State in the late 1970s and early 1980s, playing point guard for the basketball team -- he still holds the game, season and career record for assists -- and in the outfield on the baseball team. Gwynn always wanted to play in the NBA, until realizing during his final year at San Diego State that baseball would be the ticket to the pros. He was drafted by both the Padres (third round) and San Diego Clippers (10th round) on the same day in 1981. After spending parts of just two seasons in the minor leagues, he made his big league debut on July 19, 1982. Gwynn had two hits that night. After Gwynn hit a double, all-time hits leader Pete Rose, who been trailing the play, said to him: "Hey, kid, what are you trying to do, catch me in one night?" In a career full of highlights, Gwynn had his 3,000th hit on Aug. 9, 1999, a first-inning single to right field at Montreals Olympic Stadium. Gwynn retired after the 2001 season and became a volunteer assistant coach at SDSU in 2002. He took over as head coach after that season. He and Cal Ripken Jr. -- who spent his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles -- were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. "I had no idea that all the things in my career were going to happen," Gwynn said shortly before being inducted. "I sure didnt see it. I just know the good Lord blessed me with ability, blessed me with good eyesight and a good pair of hands, and then I worked at the rest." Gwynn also is survived by a daughter, Anisha. Boggs said services were pending. Indianapolis Colts Jerseys .com) - The Buffalo Bills will return to the friendly confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday when they welcome the upstart Cleveland Browns to town. Adam Vinatieri Jersey . Adam Lind provided the power and rookie starter Marcus Stroman had the best start of his young career as the Blue Jays dumped the Yankees 8-3 at Rogers Centre. Stroman, making his fifth start for Toronto, allowed one earned run and three hits over a career-high eight innings. http://www.coltsofficialstore.us/authen ... ts-jersey/. Rajne Soderberg, the director of the Stockholm Diamond League event, said in an email Friday that the ban still holds. Euromeetings, the organization representing Europes top track events, "will continue to recommend that members do not invite athletes who we believe cause disrepute to our meetings and our sport. Johnny Unitas Jersey . Granada defender Diego Mainz barged into the back of Villa to send the Spain striker to the ground inside the area and Costa stepped up to the spot to score his 12th league goal in the 38th minute. Costa showed no effects of the news that his Brazilian citizenship may be revoked after he elected to play for Spains national team, as the forward was a constant threat for Atletico and forced several saves from goalkeeper Roberto. Quincy Wilson Jersey .L. - Defending womens champion Alberta improved to 3-0 at the Canadian junior curling championships with a 10-3 win over Ontario in Sundays afternoon draw. MILWAUKEE -- For about a three-minute stretch of the second half, Milwaukees Brandon Knight just could not be stopped. A quick first step to get to the hoop for a layup. A rousing dunk on the break off a high outlet pass saved by teammate Ramon Sessions. A back-breaking 3 from the wing. Knight scored 11 straight points during a stretch between the third and fourth quarters to help the Bucks erase an 18-point deficit and defeat the Orlando Magic 105-98 on Monday night. The Bucks fed off their lead guard once Knight got going. "He was attacking, finishing, finding guys and making plays for us," said Khris Middleton, who added 21 points and three crucial 3s in the fourth quarter. Maurice Harkless had 14 points to lead seven players in double figures Orlando, which got guard Victor Oladipo back after the rookie missed two games with left ankle soreness. Oladipo finished with 12 on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench. The Magic just had no answer for Knight. "I thought his aggression as far as attacking the basket was a huge plus," coach Larry Drew said. A game between two of the worst teams in the league -- the Bucks and Magic had combined for 95 losses coming into the night -- turned into an entertaining affair down the stretch that saw the Bucks snap a three-game skid. Several times early in the contest, it looked as though the Magic would hold on for their fifth road victory of the year. But the stretch run belonged to Knight, who had an emphatic answer to start the fourth quarter to answer two buckets by Oladipo that ended the third. "NBA games are extremely long and an 18-point lead in the first half doesnt mean a lot," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. Knight nearly singlehandedly blew past Orlando to start the fourth. A layup with 11:21 left gave Milwaukee a 72-71 lead, its first advantage since the quarter. Then came Knights dunk. Rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo threw a high pass downcourt back to Sessions, who jumped with one arm outstretched and got the ball to the streaking Knight for the throwdown. After another missed Magic shot, Knight hurt OOrlando again with a 3 from the wing for a 77-71 lead with 10:30 left.dddddddddddd "Its real frustrating. We were playing basketball the right way. But we stopped playing team ball," said Tobias Harris, who scored all 11 of his points during a 13-0 run in the first half that allowed the Magic to build a 31-13 lead. Knights hustling play was in stark contrast to a lethargic Bucks squad that couldnt hit shots and appeared to be just standing around the hoop defensively during Orlandos early spurt. "I just wanted to come out and be aggressive, come out and be strong and attack the basket," Knight said. "We were able to get out and get a lot of easy baskets, so that got us in a good rhythm and we were able to steamroll from there. Not quite, even if Middleton added three fourth-quarter 3s to help the Bucks build its own double-digit lead. The lead swelled to 95-81 with 2:49 left before Orlando mounted its own late charge to get within three off a 3 from Jameer Nelson with 35 seconds left. But the Bucks hit their foul shots late and Orlando was hurt after Nikola Vucevic was whistled for an offensive foul with 22 seconds left. Nelson finished with 13. Sessions had 16 points and eight assists and went 6 of 6 from the line. Sessions combined with Knight to effectively lead the Bucks up-tempo attack in the second half. Even Oladipos return couldnt help Orlando. The rookie said after the game he wasnt working out or shooting for about a week because of his sore foot, so Vaughn eased Oladipo back into the rotation Monday. "I felt like I was kind of slow with my reaction time because I havent played in a while. Still no excuse," Oladipo said. "I feel like I let my team down a little bit today but Ive just got to keep growing and getting better." NOTES: The Magic fell to a league-worst 4-30 on the road. ... Vucevic finished with a double-double off 12 points and 12 rebounds. ... Knight extended his career-best streak of scoring in double-digits to 18 straight games. ... The Bucks play seven of their next eight games on the road. China Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '


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