The San Diego Padres announced that Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died on Monday at age 54. The eight-time National League batting champion affectionally known as "Mr. Padre" after spending his entire 20-year career in San Diego had been battling salivary gland cancer since 2009, according to MLB.com.
We are terribly sad to say goodbye to our teammate, our friend and a legend, Tony Gwynn. Rest in peace, Mr. Padre.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 16, 2014
After Gwynn's death was announced, many in baseball expressed their condolences for Gwynn's family as well as admiration for his legendary career.
A third-round draft pick of the Padres in 1981, Gwynn established himself as one of the game's best hitters with his metronomic left-handed swing. While racking up 3,141 career hits, Gwynn helped the Padres to their only two World Series appearances (1984, 1998). He retired with a .338 career batting average after the 2001 season and was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown in 2007 alongside Cal Ripken Jr., another rare one-team star.
"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," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement issued on Monday.