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Monday, June 16, 2014

Hail/Tony Gwynn

They say the chance of rain this weekend is zero.

Don't know whether to believe the weather man, but I hope he's right.  Got the Merle Haggard show coming to the Zoo on Saturday night.

No rain!  No rain!

Done enough of that today, and big hailstones, too.  Some of the loudest, longest, rumbling thunder I've heard in a while.

The hail briefly achieved near-whiteout levels.

Spring better get on outta here, I'd say.  It's time for summer.

                                                     ***

Sad to hear of Tony Gwynn's passing this morning.  He was only 54, one of baseball's greatest hitters ever.

Like Ted Williams, another pretty good hitter, he grew up in Southern California. Williams, who played for the San Diego Padres when they were in the Pacific Coast League before moving up to the Red Sox for 19 seasons, was born and raised in San Diego.  He also lost four seasons to World War II.

Gwynn, born and raised in the L.A. area, chose San Diego State to play his college baseball and followed up with a 20-year career with the Padres of the National League.

Upon retiring he became coach of his alma mater.

Williams and Gwynn had more than a few things in common then. Their SoCal and San Diego roots, painterly swings, long careers with a single team, and stellar lifetime batting averages for sure.  They had a little mutual respect for each other as well, each appreciative of the other's skill at the plate.

Gwynn was one of those baseball types that grew a little rotund as he chowed down with the MLB meal per diem, which is generous. Williams remained tall and lanky his whole career.

Williams had better power to go along with his record hitting streak, earning 500 home-run-club-status.

Gwynn yarded it around 130 times.  Not bad, but not to Williams' level.

Williams was special, but Gwynn was up there, too.

RIP Tony Gwynn.


TS

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