Saturday, May 9, 2020

Celebrating Tony Gwynn's Birthday

Today would have been Tony Gwynn's 60th birthday had he not passed away back in 2014.  It's crazy to think it has been six years since his death and that it has been almost two decades since his last game played.

Tony was a generational player.

This meme from Twitter captures how good he was in his career
I didn't believe this stat when I first saw it so I went over to Baseball-Reference to verify.

Of those 4 Hall of Fame Pitchers Gwynn put up batting averages of .314, .444, .303, and .415 respectively against Pedro, Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux.

In those plate appearances he struck out twice against Glavine, once against Smoltz, and ZERO times against Pedro and Maddux.

He worked 20 walks against only 3 strikeouts.

That is insane levels against 4 FIRST BALLOT HALL OF FAMERS.

How did he do against other Hall of Famers?

Well, Nolan Ryan struck him out the most amount of times with 9 punchouts in 67 plate appearances, but Gwynn still batted at a .302 clip against the Ryan Express.

Randy Johnson owned Gwynn at the plate striking him out 5 times in 18 plate appearances and only collecting 2 hits good for only a .278 OPS.

There is another insane stat that captures how unique a talent Tony was

Mike Trout, arguably the best player in the game today, had over 20 games last year alone with 2 or more strikeouts.  INSANE!!!

As a kid I always wanted the 1983 Topps Gwynn rookie.  I settled for a Fleer and eventually got an 83 Topps as an adult. 

I will now show off all my 1983 Topps design cards of Cutch as a tribute for the great hitter of Mr. Padre.
Back in 2018, Topps was celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1983 design which featured Tony Gwynn's rookie card.
I have shown a few of these cards off in the past.
Red /5, White/30
Superfractor/1, Orange/25

I also have a few of the on card signatures

I have 1 buyback 1/1 card from the 2018 Transcendent Party

2015 Topps Archives Black 1/1
 2015 Topps Archives Printing Plates
1/1 Plates of Yellow, Cyan, Magenta

Even though Gwynn wasn't an All-Star in 1983, I still want to show off the near complete run of 1983 2013 Topps Archives All-Stars printing plates
1/1 Printing Plates
Yellow, Black, Magenta

Here are a bunch of them I grouped together for a picture I showed off on Twitter

On a completely different note about the way the game has changed from the 80s to current game compare these stats

It looks like the 2020 baseball season is going to be a lost season so let's look at Cutch's stats through his age 33 season (he wouldn't turn 34 until October)

Andrew McCutchen
1,560 Games
233 Home Runs
1,664 hits
.287 AVG
823 walks vs 1238 strikeouts
187 Stolen Bases
.378 OBP
.858 OPS
134 OPS+

Tony Gwynn (through age 33/1993 season)
1585 Games
66 Home Runs
2,039 hits
.329 Avg
542 Walks vs 310 Strikeouts
263 Stolen Bases
.383 OBP
.821 OPS

The game has clearly moved into one of three outcome situations (walk, homer, strikeout).  Gwynn got 1.29 hits per game over his career compared to Cutch's 1.07 hits per game played.


  1. Gwynn is my boy. He's my all-time favorite athlete... and it's not even close. Happy Birthday Mr. Padre.

  2. Gwynn was consistently awesome. Those stats against the Braves aces and Pedro are unreal.