June 16, 2014

MLB Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54.:
The 15-time all-star passed away from cancer. Known for his hitting (8-time NL batting champ), his greatest season (1994) was shortened by the player's strike.

He played 20 seasons with the Padres, and always had an OPS over 100+, and never struck out more than 40 times in a season.

posted by grum@work to baseball at 11:56 AM - 17 comments


They should make his grave 6" shallower than normal so that he'll always be in the 5.5 hole.

posted by LionIndex at 12:10 PM on June 16, 2014


posted by BornIcon at 12:14 PM on June 16, 2014

Thought this was a good stat from Dave Cameron at Fangraphs:

"Ichiro is probably closest thing we had to Tony Gwynn 2.0. Ichiro struck out twice as often as Tony Gwynn."

posted by yerfatma at 12:21 PM on June 16, 2014

My favorite hitter and one of my favorite baseball players ever. What a shame.

posted by rcade at 01:03 PM on June 16, 2014


posted by tommybiden at 01:20 PM on June 16, 2014


posted by jerseygirl at 01:28 PM on June 16, 2014


posted by Bonkers at 01:34 PM on June 16, 2014

Oh, and in case it needs to be mentioned, fuck cancer and fuck big tobacco.

posted by grum@work at 01:35 PM on June 16, 2014

It didn't need to be mentioned but I'm glad you did.


posted by BornIcon at 02:51 PM on June 16, 2014

How good was he at hitting?

vs every pitcher that he had at least 50 plate appearances:

vs every pitcher that is in the Hall of Fame:

at home:

on the road:

his worst month (July):

with the pitcher ahead in the count:

with RISP:

with 2 outs:

late and close:

his worst inning (2nd):

extra innings:

vs RP:

vs SP 1st/2nd/3rd/4th+ time through

vs power pitchers:

vs finesse pitchers:

vs ground ball pitchers:

vs fly ball pitchers:

his worst AVG against any NL team:
St. Louis .302 (758 PA)

his worst AVG in any NL stadium (minimum 300PA):
Busch Stadium .305 (381 PA)

In summary, he was very good at hitting a baseball.

posted by grum@work at 11:22 PM on June 16, 2014

Also: 5 gold gloves.

posted by LionIndex at 11:29 PM on June 16, 2014

The Gwynn/Williams relationship brings to mind an argument over hitting styles and the argument over who might be the greatest hitter. Williams succeeded because of his incredible eyesight and depth perception. Add to this his natural power via his strength and long, lanky build. Gwynn had amazing bat control. He was almost a throwback to the old days of hitters who specialized in spraying the ball, "hitting 'em where they ain't" a la Willie Keeler. Gwynn was far more than a spray hitter. He was not noted for power, but he certainly could put some dents into outfield walls.

54 is way too early, but the Heaven All Stars needed a solid bat. RIP Tony Gwynn.

posted by Howard_T at 11:46 PM on June 16, 2014


posted by Irish627 at 02:07 AM on June 17, 2014

grum@work -- what's the best jigger-statz combo you can work up to prove that Tony Gwynn was superhuman? Was he 1.000 against lefties in AL stadiums on Tuesdays when the Padres were still in contention and runners were on first and third?

posted by Etrigan at 07:40 AM on June 17, 2014

The split stats don't let you combine information like that.

Also, the issue with Gwynn is that he's ridiculously consistent in almost every situation. It's really hard to find any split where he's below .300 or above .400 (except in small sample sizes).

Here's my favourite stat:

Against the possibly the best 3-man pitching staff in NL history (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz), he batted .382/.423/.523 (in 287 PA).

Against everyone else, those three pitchers held batters to .264/.326/.365

posted by grum@work at 09:22 AM on June 17, 2014

Keith Olbermann had a nice tribute.

posted by bender at 10:13 PM on June 18, 2014

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