I don’t have much to say about Chuck Noll because I really don’t know that much about him except that he was the 1st NFL head coach to win 4 Super Bowls, and helped captivate the Steelers into a dynasty in the 1970s while coaching a host of Hall-of-Fame players.
However, I know about Tony Gwynn. A 15-time all-star, 8-time National League batting champ, and even won 4 Gold Gloves for his defensive play as an outfielder.
Gwynn was only 54 years of age, you can check out his statistics here.
Gwynn was a hitter, POINT BLANK. Gwynn played for the same team for 20 seasons in San Diego. Gwynn never won a World Series (went twice and lost both times), Gwynn always smiled, hardly was ever upset. Gwynn loved to laugh, if you have ever heard him laugh…it makes you laugh.
He was the player that you wanted to be like. He was cool, he was focused, he wasn’t a pain in the ass as most players in the game today have become.
As much of a Cardinal fan I was, I remember in 1999 when Tony Gwynn was making his quest to 3,000 hits and rolled into St. Louis 6 hits shy of 3,000. In the 4-game series, he got 5 hits. I was hoping that he would get it at Busch Stadium than in Montreal because a larger would congratulate such a feat. It reminds me of the day that Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 500th home run in St. Louis on Father’s Day back in 2001. It was a memorable moment. However a better moment occurred for Gwynn, he got #3,000 in Montreal on his mother’s birthday AND it was six years to the day that he hit his 2,000th.
Recently, ESPN host Keith Olbermann did a tribute to Tony. This was very moving and showcased how much of a guy Tony Gwynn really was.
Gwynn was a terrific player and a fan like you and me. That’s the kind of player I love.