Memories of summers, the Padres, Petco Park.

Padres fans enter the stands before Tony Gwynn memorial begins.

What would Memorial Day weekend be without baseball? Unfortunately, it would be this Memorial Day weekend.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has put a temporary hold on sports in San Diego.

For those of you who miss heading down to East Village for baseball games, I thought now would be a good time to relive some memories of baseball in San Diego, the Padres and Petco Park.

I’ve looked through my blog and found posts that might interest Padres fans and rekindle strong memories. Over the past half dozen years there have been many emotional moments, including the passing of beloved Padres players and broadcasters.

I haven’t included posts concerning past FanFests, Opening Day block parties, the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and various other events at Petco Park like the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, but more stuff can be found by surfing about Cool San Diego Sights or performing a search.

Click the following links to see lots of photographs!

A very cool tour of Petco Park in San Diego!

Padres military heroes honored at Petco Park.

San Diego Padres Hall of Fame players at Petco Park.

Baseball history at San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Petco’s “San Diego Section” honors local teams!

The San Diego Padres happy mascot, the Swinging Friar, greets visitors to the big local sports teams event.

Fans celebrate local sports teams in San Diego!

Fun pics from World Baseball Classic in San Diego!

USS Midway model in Petco Park’s Power Alley.

Model of Lane Field stadium at Petco Park.

Local history excavated, displayed at Petco Park.

Biggest baseball library west of Cooperstown in San Diego!

Padres fans check out lots of photos and cool artifacts which recall the history of baseball in San Diego. On the left are photos of the first Padres team in 1936, and Lane Field.

Baseball flags debut at historic Lane Field Park!

Celebrating Dick Enberg at his final Padres home game.

Photos of Jerry Coleman public memorial service.

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

Tony Gwynn’s Memorial Tribute at Petco Park.

Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Tony Gwynn is remembered as a great player and great man.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Baseball history at San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.

Baseball fans check out cool exhibits inside the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park.
Baseball fans check out cool historical exhibits inside the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park.

Lovers of baseball history and fans of the San Diego Padres would definitely enjoy visiting the new Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. Inside, one can see many great exhibits concerning baseball in San Diego.

I checked out the Padres Hall of Fame last weekend during the Celebrate San Diego event. Here’s just a small preview of what you’ll see…

Historical photo shows first recorded game of baseball in San Diego. It took place on May 6, 1871.
Historical photo shows first recorded game of baseball in San Diego. It took place on May 6, 1871.
The first box score in the San Diego Union in 1874, and a 1907 photo showing local team posing in front of the Pickwick Theatre in downtown San Diego.
The first box score in the San Diego Union in 1874, and a 1907 photo showing local team posing in front of the Pickwick Theatre in downtown San Diego.
Old photo of baseball game being played in 1910 at Athletic Park in Barrio Logan.
Old photo of baseball game being played in 1910 at Athletic Park near the shipyards.
Babe Ruth poses with a bat during an exhibition tour at Balboa Stadium in 1927.
Babe Ruth poses with a bat during an exhibition tour at Balboa Stadium in 1927.
Padres fans check out lots of photos and cool artifacts which recall the history of baseball in San Diego. On the left are photos of the first Padres team in 1936, and Lane Field.
Padres fans check out lots of photos and cool artifacts which recall the history of baseball in San Diego. On the left are photos of the first Padres team in 1936, and Lane Field.
Photo of young Ted Williams, who joined the Padres after graduating from Hoover High School. He helped the Padres win the Pacific Coast League title in 1937.
Photo of young Ted Williams, who joined the Padres after graduating from Hoover High School. He helped the Padres win the Pacific Coast League title in 1937.
Souvenir program for the opening game of the 1939 season in the Pacific Coast League. San Diego Padres versus Oakland Oaks.
Souvenir program for the opening game of the 1939 season in the Pacific Coast League. San Diego Padres versus Oakland Oaks.
1954 photo of big celebration parade along Broadway in downtown San Diego. The Padres finished first in the Pacific Coast League.
1954 photo of big celebration parade along Broadway in downtown San Diego. The Padres finished first that year in the Pacific Coast League.
Autographed Padres team ball from 1954, and the home run ball smashed by Bill Elliot in the one game playoff to win the PCL championship.
Autographed Padres team ball from 1954, and the home run ball smashed by Bill Elliot in the one game playoff to win the PCL championship.
Old baseball program from the 1959 Pacific Coast League All Star Game.
Old baseball program from the 1959 Pacific Coast League All Star Game.
Photos of legendary radio broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who began a 42-year career in 1972, and Nate Colbert who that year hit five home runs in a Padres baseball double header.
Photos of legendary radio broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who began a 42-year career in 1972, and Nate Colbert who that year hit five home runs in a Padres baseball double header.
The National League Cy Young Award, presented to Padres pitcher Randy Jones in 1976.
The National League Cy Young Award, presented to Padres pitcher Randy Jones in 1976.
Souvenir program for the 1978 All-Star Game played in San Diego Stadium.
Souvenir program for the 1978 All-Star Game played in San Diego Stadium.
It's the world famous mascot, the San Diego Chicken!
It’s the world famous mascot, the San Diego Chicken!
1981 photo shows future superstar Tony Gwynn signing with the San Diego Padres.
1981 photo shows future superstar Tony Gwynn signing with the San Diego Padres.
Memories from the 1984 season. I was a young man, who was very excited watching the Padres defeat the Chicago Cubs to win the National League pennant.
Memories from the 1984 season. I was a young man, who was very excited watching the Padres defeat the Chicago Cubs to win the National League pennant.
Tony Gwynn baseball jersey that honored Ray Krok, beloved Padres owner, who passed away in 1984.
Tony Gwynn baseball jersey that honored Ray Krok, beloved Padres owner, who passed away in 1984.
1987 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, presented to Tony Gwynn, The Finest in the Field.
1987 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, presented to Tony Gwynn, The Finest in the Field.
In 1994 Tony Gwynn won the Silver Slugger Award. He batted .394 in a season cut short by a player strike.
In 1994 Tony Gwynn won the Silver Slugger Award. He batted .394 in a season cut short by a player strike.
In 1996 Ken Caminiti was voted National League MVP and Gwynn hit .353 to win a seventh batting title.
In 1996 Ken Caminiti was voted National League MVP and Gwynn hit .353 to win a seventh batting title.
Legendary reliever Trevor Hoffman's jersey on display in the Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. He helped the Padres win the 1998 National League pennant.
Legendary reliever Trevor Hoffman’s jersey on display in the Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. He helped the Padres win the 1998 National League pennant.
Trevor Hoffman becomes the all-time Major League Baseball saves leader in 2006.
Trevor Hoffman becomes the all-time Major League Baseball saves leader in 2006.
Photo of Ted Williams, member of the PCL San Diego Padres.
Photo of Ted Williams, member of the PCL San Diego Padres.
Photos of two Padres legends. Dave Winfield and Jerry Coleman.
Photos of two Padres legends. Dave Winfield and Jerry Coleman.
A display board inside the Padres Hall of Fame shows the team's all-time leaders in various categories.
A display board inside the Padres Hall of Fame shows the team’s all-time leaders in various categories.
The San Diego Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park will rekindle warm memories for dedicated hometown baseball fans.
The San Diego Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park will rekindle warm memories for dedicated hometown baseball fans.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

San Diego Padres Hall of Fame players at Petco Park.

The face of Dave Winfield, a past San Diego Padres superstar, now in the Baseball Hall of Fame, greets fans on the north side of Petco Park's historic Western Metal Supply Co. building.
The face of Dave Winfield, a past San Diego Padres superstar, now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, greets fans on the north side of Petco Park’s historic Western Metal Supply Co. building.

Just before the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in San Diego, a special section at Petco Park was readied to showcase our baseball team’s greatest players. In addition to large iconic images of four Padres favorites which had been added to the north end of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, an impressive “Padres In Cooperstown” wall of plaques was installed near the Padres Hall of Fame, which itself opened on July 1, 2016.

The faces you see in my photos bring back many memories. My fond memories include the magical 1984 season, which I followed closely when I was a young man. I hope any Padres fans visiting my blog might enjoy their own special memories.

Randy Jones as a Padre starting pitcher won the Cy Young Award in 1976. Today he is in the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
Randy Jones as a starting pitcher won the Cy Young Award in 1976. Today he is in the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
The familiar face of Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, on the Western Metal Supply Co. building. One of the best Major League Baseball hitters of all time.
The familiar face of Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, on the Western Metal Supply Co. building. One of the best Major League Baseball hitters of all time.
The face of Trevor Hoffman, who pitched as a closer for over 15 years with the San Diego Padres. His 601 saves are the second most in MLB history.
The face of Trevor Hoffman, who pitched as a closer for over 15 years with the San Diego Padres. His 601 saves are presently the second most in MLB history.
Legends who played baseball with the San Diego Padres who are now in Cooperstown's National Baseball Hall of Fame include Ted Williams and Willie McCovey.
Legends who played baseball with the San Diego Padres who are now in Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame include Ted Williams and Willie McCovey.
A wall at Petco Park is dedicated to Padres coaches and players who are now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Names include Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Goose Gossage.
A wall at Petco Park is dedicated to Padres coaches and players who are now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Names include Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Goose Gossage.
National Baseball Hall of Fame players who spent time with the Padres also include Roberto Alomar, Greg Maddux and Mike Piazza.
National Baseball Hall of Fame players who spent time with the Padres also include Roberto Alomar, Greg Maddux and Mike Piazza.
Dave Winfield played for the San Diego Padres from 1973 to 1980. A talented outfielder, he swung the bat with incredible power. A special plaque for him now stands in front of the "Padres In Cooperstown" wall at Petco Park.
Dave Winfield played for the San Diego Padres from 1973 to 1980. A talented outfielder, he swung the bat with power. A special plaque for him now stands separately in front of the “Padres In Cooperstown” wall at Petco Park.
Tony Gwynn was simply one of the best Major League Baseball players of all time. He spent his entire career as a San Diego Padre. He was a cheerful soul loved by everyone who knew him.
Tony Gwynn was simply one of the best Major League Baseball players of all time. He spent his entire career as a San Diego Padre. He was a cheerful soul loved by the fans and everyone who knew him.
The smiling face of Tony Gwynn on a very special plaque. It stands proudly in front of the "Padres In Cooperstown" wall at Petco Park.
The smiling face of Tony Gwynn on a very special plaque. It stands eternally in front of the “Padres In Cooperstown” wall at Petco Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Biggest baseball library west of Cooperstown in San Diego!

Visitor to eighth floor of San Diego's downtown public library checks out photographs in the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.
Visitor to eighth floor of San Diego’s downtown public library checks out photographs in the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.

Many San Diegans don’t realize that our city–our amazing new Central Library, to be exact–contains a unique and important repository of American history. The Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, located on the eighth floor of the downtown library, is home to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Collection. It constitutes the largest baseball library west of Cooperstown! Shelves of books, magazines, journals, scrapbooks and other historical documents, and many photographs, have recorded in detail the fascinating history of American baseball. And it’s all open to the public!

The research center is directly adjacent to the spacious, high-domed reading room. In the center of the collection is a shiny sculpture of a player swinging a bat, titled Male baseball #1, created in 2009 by artist Yoram Wolberger. On one wall among many old photos, a video screen shows scenes from baseball history. This is one super cool section of the library!

According to the website of the Society for American Baseball Research: “The Baseball Research Center opened in 2001, with an initial collection of books and microfilm donated by SABR’s Ted Williams Chapter. In the years since, it has grown to more than 3,000 publications, books, and journals, and 300 microfilm reels.”

Today, the collection is housed in museum-like grandeur, and to peruse the many photographs and titles is like taking a wonderful, nostalgic journey back through time. Anyone who is a fan of baseball in San Diego needs to check it out!

Bronze and chrome Yoram Wolberger statue of a baseball player swinging a bat.
Bronze and chrome Yoram Wolberger statue of a baseball player swinging a bat.
Many historical photographs can be enjoyed on one wall of the baseball research center.
Many historical photographs can be enjoyed on one wall of the baseball research center.
Anyone who is interested in sports, and America's Pastime in particular, should visit the SABR Collection in San Diego.
Anyone who is interested in sports, and America’s Pastime in particular, should visit the SABR Collection in San Diego.
The collection includes many books, periodicals and artifacts concerning the great sport of baseball.
The collection includes many books, periodicals and artifacts concerning the great sport of baseball.
Photo of one display case, which contains a copy of Baseball Magazine, plus various programs and record books.
Photo of one display case, which contains a copy of Baseball Magazine, plus various programs and record books.
Another exhibit, with an old newspaper, World Series Records, Sporting News publication, team photograph.
Another display case, with an old newspaper, World Series Records, Sporting News publication, team photograph.
Shelves in the library contain hundreds of baseball reference books and registers.
Shelves in the library contain hundreds of baseball reference books and registers.
One small exhibit focuses on fan photography, called Fantography.
One small exhibit focuses on fan photography, called Fantography.
Cool photo of the KGB Chicken between two Padrettes. Ted Giannoulas later became known as The Famous San Diego Chicken.
Cool photo of the KGB Chicken between two Padrettes. Ted Giannoulas later became known as The Famous San Diego Chicken.
Image of San Diego past superstar Dave Winfield in stadium greeting fans.
Image of San Diego past superstar Dave Winfield in stadium greeting fans.
Wonderful photo of San Diego Padres legendary Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn with his family out on the playing field.
Wonderful photo of San Diego Padres legendary Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn with his family out on the playing field.

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Fun sculptures debut at San Diego waterfront park!

Children delight in a fun work of art unveiled today on San Diego's beautiful waterfront!
Children delight in a fun work of art unveiled today on San Diego’s beautiful waterfront!

Three super fun sculptures made their debut this morning on San Diego’s waterfront! They’re located in the wonderful, huge one-year-old park that surrounds the County Administration Building. Created by world-renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle, the pieces are on long term loan from the Niki Charitable Art Foundation to the County of San Diego.

Niki de Saint Phalle, born in France in 1930, loved San Diego and adopted it as her own. Several of her imaginative works can be seen around the city. In the past I’ve blogged about a few of her pieces. Here and here.

As someone said during today’s opening ceremony, Niki would love the idea of children romping on her playful sculptures. She believed that art should not be segregated from everyday life. Public art was very important to Niki.

San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts introduces those responsible for some great new public art.
San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts introduces those responsible for the installation of great new public art.
Ron Roberts and the great granddaughter of renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle reveal a sculpture titled 19 Baseball Player.
Ron Roberts and the great granddaughter of renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle reveal a sculpture titled #19 Baseball Player.
It's Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre! The sculpture was unveiled the day after Tony would've turned 55 years old.
It’s Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre! The sculpture was unveiled the day after Tony would’ve turned 55 years old.
San Diego's beloved baseball legend Tony Gwynn holds a bat and faces a very large pitching mound (with slides)!
San Diego’s beloved baseball legend Tony Gwynn holds a bat and faces a very large pitching mound (with fun slides)!
Another very cool sculpture draws a crowd for its public debut at the San Diego County Administration Center.
Another very cool sculpture draws a crowd during its public debut at the San Diego County Administration Center.
Niki de Saint Phalle's 1999 Cat is made of fiberglass, resin, steel armature, ceramic tiles, tumbled stones, stained and mirrored glass.
Niki de Saint Phalle’s 1999 Cat is made of fiberglass, resin, steel armature, ceramic tiles, tumbled stones, stained and mirrored glass.
Kids play on a newly installed fat hollow Cat. The interactive sculpture sits next to the playground in San Diego's super cool, one-year-old waterfront park!
Kids play on a newly installed fat hollow Cat. The interactive sculpture sits next to the playground in San Diego’s super popular, one-year-old waterfront park!
Look at this! It's the colorful Serpent Tree! Rising like a huge multi-headed Hydra on the north side of the park, it's hard to miss!
Look at this! It’s the colorful Serpent Tree! Rising like a huge multi-headed Hydra on the north side of the park, it’s hard to miss!
Another fun addition to San Diego's already awesome Embarcadero. Lots of people are certain to enjoy these fantastic sculptures!
Another fun addition to San Diego’s already awesome Embarcadero. Lots of people will enjoy these fantastic sculptures!

UPDATE!

I was walking past Waterfront Park in 2018 when I suddenly noticed the cat sculpture had been replaced with a seal! When I spoke to a security guy, he said someone fell madly in love with Cat and purchased it!

Here are photos of the fun replacement sculpture, Large Seal (element of Seals), 1999…

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Awesome street art on a little old building.

Elaborate figure's arm embraces a building window. Art by Zio Ziegler.
Elaborate figure’s arm embraces a building window in San Diego. Art by Zio Ziegler.

There’s one little old building in a corner of downtown San Diego that’s very difficult to miss. That’s because it’s loaded with ultra-awesome street art!

These murals are painted on an otherwise unremarkable structure in the East Village neighborhood. The building is occupied by Undisputed Fitness, an establishment where locals train themselves as boxers and MMA fighters. All this artwork is visible near the corner of 16th Street and K Street.

My last blog post concerned a mechanical shark mural. You can see the rear portion of that mural in the final photograph.

Smiling face painted on building wall on 16th Street in East Village.
Smiling face painted on building wall on 16th Street in East Village.
Fantastic composite creature with pink hammerhead cradles a shark.
Fantastic composite creature with wings and pink hammerhead cradles a shark.
Nearby shark art for PangeaSeed's The Great Coast Migration by Rah Akaishi.
Previous pic’s shark art was created for PangeaSeed by Rah Akaishi.
Closet full of clothes opens onto a city sidewalk.
Closet full of clothes opens onto a city sidewalk.
Mr. Padre mural along rooftop honors Tony Gwynn. Art by Wildstyle Technicians.
Mr. Padre mural on rooftop honors baseball legend Tony Gwynn. Art by Wildstyle Technicians.
I Love San Diego cool design is visually complex. Art by Ezra Pirk.
I Love San Diego cool graffiti design is visually complex. Art by Ezra Pirk.
Bold, colorful street art on walls of parking lot behind Undisputed Fitness.
Bold, colorful street art on walls of parking lot behind Undisputed Fitness.

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A shiny new skyscraper. A little old firehouse.

New Cisterra building rises behind Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park in East Village.
New Cisterra building rises behind Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park in East Village.

As the local economy has improved, I’ve noticed a spate of new construction underway in downtown San Diego. Several skyscrapers are on the rise!

Last weekend I walked past the rapidly progressing Cisterra building which will overlook East Village. It stands just a block north of Petco’s Park at the Park. The future home of gigantic Sempra Energy, the high-rise is being built directly next to one of San Diego’s most interesting old buildings: Fire Station 4. The beautiful little firehouse is San Diego’s oldest, dating from the 1930’s. Once the shiny new skyscraper is completed, the two buildings side-by-side will create quite a contrast!

New skyscraper in San Diego to be headquarters of Sempra Energy.
New skyscraper in San Diego to be headquarters of Sempra Energy.
Steel, glass and reflections make for interesting photos.
Steel lattice, glass grid and odd reflections make for an interesting photo.
Construction of this gleaming high-rise can be observed in downtown San Diego.
Construction of this gleaming high-rise can be observed in downtown San Diego.
Stately little Fire Station No. 4 beside new modern skyscraper.
Stately little Fire Station No. 4 beside new modern skyscraper.
This is the oldest firehouse in San Diego, in service since 1938.
This is the oldest firehouse in San Diego, in service since 1938.
Fire Station 4, built as a New Deal WPA project, is a designated historical landmark.
Fire Station 4, built as a New Deal WPA project, is a designated historical landmark.
Beautiful old San Diego firehouse at the foot of a shiny new skyscraper.
Beautiful old San Diego firehouse at the foot of what will be a shiny new skyscraper.

Here’s a bonus pic which I took on a morning in early February…

A rising skyscraper shines brightly in the early morning.
A rising skyscraper shines brightly in the early morning.

…and another I took in March…

Fire Station Number 4 at base of silvery, shiny new skyscraper.
Fire Station Number 4 at base of silvery, shiny new skyscraper.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Anthony Keith Gwynn, 1960-2014
Anthony Keith Gwynn, 1960-2014

Many distinguished speakers at the Tony Gwynn Memorial Tribute remembered and honored one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time. The public ceremony was held at Petco Park on June 26, 2014. Here are some quotes…

Ted Leitner, Padres radio broadcaster:

So we will cry together, we will laugh together, we will have joy together today, but one thing we will never never do is to forget the greatest hitter of his generation and one of the greatest people in the history of major league sport.

I would like one more time one final standing ovation before the anthem for that magnificent Padre, number 19, Tony Gwynn.

They lied to us, you know.  They lied to us in the movie A League of Their Own, when the manager and the Tom Hanks character said “There’s no crying in baseball!”  Wrong, huh?  Since June 16, there’s been almost nothing but crying in baseball.

People identified with him more than big muscled sculpted athletes because they thought he was the guy next door.  Tony was chunky…He was 4 for 5 today, he doesn’t need to lose weight, okay?

Many of you were there in 2007 when he was inducted with the immortals, literally, in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  It was the biggest crowd in Cooperstown history, beyond Ruth, beyond Mantle, beyond Aaron, beyond anybody when he and Cal Ripken were inducted that hot summer day.

See, nobody’s talking about at-bats and number of hits.  We know those numbers. 3141 hits, and 15 All Star Games, and 8 batting titles and 5 Gold Gloves, and all that stuff, but it’s, and that is greatness unto itself, but it’s so beyond that, it’s so beyond that, but the man and the compassion…

But he stayed here. It was never about the money.  It was about you folks…it was about this Padre organization that he loved..he was never about the money.

The greatest laugh of all time…it was the best…it was better than the game.  I could’ve broadcast that instead of the game.

Ron Fowler, Executive Chairman of the San Diego Padres:

Tony was important to all of us. The number of wonderful stories since his passing from around the country reinforces the many reasons why he was loved by so many.

We all know of Tony’s iconic status as one of the greatest baseball players ever, but even more importantly, many of us experienced the special qualities of the warm, giving and compassionate member of our community. What stood out most for me was Tony’s ability to relate to people from all demos and economic strata. His special ability to relate to children…

Tony considered himself an Everyman and remained an Everyman throughout his entire life, so approachable and so easy for San Diegans to embrace as our city’s favorite son.

Reggie Jackson, member of baseball’s Hall of Fame:

He was a genuine man, he was a quality man, one hundred percent family man, he was a great son, a great husband, a great father, and a great brother. A great friend and a great teammate. He was the example of what we all want to live and emulate as a person. He cared about his fellow Man, and we understand and know that he cared about his community.

During the dash of his 54 years, he showed us the template of how to live with dignity.

I’ll leave you with something to think about as I refer about baseball. I saw some great hitters. I saw Mike Schmidt and Jim Rice. Kaline, Dick Allen, Molitor, Yount and Brett. Cooper and Bench. I saw Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Billy Williams, Stargell and Stretch McCovey. I saw Banks at the end. Number 19, Tony Gwynn, belongs on that page.

John Boggs, Tony Gwynn’s agent:

Tony was a very humble man, and he wasn’t big on ceremonies, especially ceremonies that were about him, but I know he’s looking down this evening on all of us here at Petco and I’m sure he’s very grateful for this outpouring of love.

He was an incredible friend. He was the definition of friend. In life there are a lot of acquaintances but very few true friends…He touched so many people, and I was just lucky to be one of them.

He was so much better than the statistics he accumulated.

There was also the memory of Tony and Ted Williams together in the first interview they did together and I’ve never seen Tony so energized and excited as two of the greatest hitters exchanged baseball knowledge…I was lucky to be just a fly on the wall.

And Tony’s humility. Waiting for the Hall of Fame call, I could not believe how nervous he was. With all of his accomplishments, I said, “Tony, this is a slam dunk.” And he just smiled and looked at me and said. “Hey, you never know.” That was Tony. He never took anything for granted.

To the fans, he loved you and appreciated you more than I convey into words. He loved the city of San Diego, he loved being an Aztec, and he most definitely loved being a Padre. He was and always will be Mr. Padre.

Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego:

Tony Gwynn represented the best of San Diego. His infectious personality did more than spark the Padres to two World Series appearances, he lit up our entire community with pride, and it’s almost impossible to sum up how much Tony Gwynn meant to our city.

Damian Jackson, former San Diego Padres player:

He was a baseball giant to me…who he was as a man so overshadows what he was as a baseball player, and that’s amazing to me.

He not only showed us how to play the game the right way, but he also showed us how to be the right person, and be a great, respected man in the community.

And boy did he love his family. He talked about them daily. When he talked about his children, he just lit up, like the sun.

He wouldn’ve been a great dad to have.

So Tony taught and inspired us on a daily basis…he was a Hall of Fame man, in my eyes.

You inspire me to be a better father, you inspire me to be a better man, and your legacy lives on in this city and in my heart. And thank you Tony. May you rest in peace.

Rob Manfred, COO of Major League Baseball:

In my 25 years in the game, I’ve known scores of players. Even among this elite group, Tony Gwynn was special. He was special because of his Hall of Fame talent, his devotion to the game, and the values he came to represent.

Tony Gwynn may have been the perfect member of the baseball family.

While he was playing, baseball could always count on Tony to do the right thing…he was a great role model to young players.

Mark Martinez, SDSU Aztecs baseball head coach:

He was my colleague, my mentor, but more importantly, my friend. My family. He was part of the Aztec family.

Coach Gwynn’s a teacher. And he was best at teaching all kinds of things. Obviously baseball, but teaching life lessons…All of his teachings were centered around his core value: Do things right.

And then he would say: “Let’s go to work.” Let’s go to work. Does that not embody what he was about? For 20 years in the big leagues and 12 years on the mesa…

Finally, Coach Gwynn is a gift. He’s a gift to all of us. His laugh, his mentorship, the way he made you feel important, even if he just met you for the first time. He gave these gifts every single day.

Trevor Hoffman, former San Diego Padres player:

Whenever… he had the opportunity to speak to you the fans, it felt like he was talking to us one on one.

What a gift he gave us all. That joy that everybody’s talked about, his smile, and his laugh, will be etched in our memories forever, another great gift…He always said, you give a little bit, you get a lot. How appropriate that was about T. Gwynn…What a great man, T. Gwynn.

It was on one of those videos we heard Tony say thank you, thank you, thank you–always being humble, always thanking us. Well it’s us that needs to be saying thank you to T. Gwynn. Thank you for your Hall of Fame career over twenty years, sharing it with us. Thank you for representing San Diego with such class. And thank you for letting us all in your house tonight. Amen.

Anisha Gwynn Jones, daughter of Tony Gwynn:

On behalf of all of the Gwynn family, I would just like to take the time to thank each and every one of you for all of the support and all the love. Thank you. You guys are why my dad loved San Diego so much.

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Tony Gwynn’s Memorial Tribute at Petco Park.

Tony Gwynn on video screen at Petco's Park at the Park.
Tony Gwynn on video screen at Petco’s Park at the Park.

Tonight I joined thousands of other San Diegans at Petco Park to honor the late Tony Gwynn, the greatest Padres player ever…and one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the sport.

I apologize that my camera takes very poor long distance shots. There were many speakers paying tribute to Tony, and my photos of the distant stage and podium came out terribly.

A few photographs seem to have captured the spirit of the occasion. Here they are…

San Diegans pay their respects at the Tony Gwynn statue.
San Diegans pay their respects at the Tony Gwynn statue.
Flowers, messages and memorabilia from loving fans.
Flowers, messages and memorabilia from loving fans.
Child reaches up to touch number 19.
Child reaches up to touch number 19.
Padres fans enter the stands before Tony Gwynn memorial begins.
Padres fans enter the stands before Tony Gwynn memorial begins.
Anthony Keith Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever.
Anthony Keith Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Padre.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Padre.
Thousands gather long before the memorial tribute starts.
Thousands gather long before the memorial tribute starts.
Thank you signs and poignant gestures from the crowd.
Thank you signs and poignant gestures from the crowd.
White doves are released near the stage as program begins.
White doves are released near the stage as program begins.

Nineteen doves were released after a choir opened the service, singing: “I’m not here, but I’m not far. My spirit lives on.”

Ted Leitner remembers Tony and introduces many guests.
Ted Leitner remembers Tony and introduces many guests.

Ted Leitner, long-time Padres radio announcer, said that we’d never forget the greatest hitter of his generation. He then asked the crowd to provide one last standing ovation. During the memorial tribute, Ted played a recording of Tony’s unforgettable laugh from a cell phone.

There were scores of distinguished guests, and several speakers remembered Tony Gwynn for the cheering crowd.

Reggie Jackson, Mr. October, gave a Yankee salute to Tony and his family. San Diego’s mayor spoke, and so did the Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball. Tony La Russa and Joe Torre stood up in the VIP section to loud applause. On the big video screen, tributes were offered by former teammates and opponents alike. In old videos, Tony Gwynn was treated with respect by contemporary baseball greats, including Mike Schmidt, Cal Ripken, Greg Maddux, Tommy Lasorda and many others.

Every guest speaker at the memorial seemed to agree that Tony was an inspiration to all those around him. To many he was a mentor, and to all he was a friend.

Tony Gwynn is remembered as a great player and great man.
Tony Gwynn is remembered as a great player and great man.
After the ceremony, number 19 remains on field.
After the ceremony, number 19 remains on field.
Petco Park slowly empties after tribute ends.
Petco Park slowly empties after tribute ends.

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Pics of big Tony Gwynn flag on San Diego Bay.

Big Tony Gwynn flag flies above tall ship America at Maritime Museum.
The big Tony Gwynn flag flies above tall ship America at Maritime Museum.

Both before and after work today, I strolled over to the Embarcadero to take a few pics of the big, 50 foot Tony Gwynn flag. It’s been flying for a couple days from the mast of America, a tall ship owned by Next Level Sailing. America is a replica of the yacht that won the original America’s Cup.

The flag in the late afternoon was fluttering in the sea breeze and glowing brightly in the San Diego sunlight. It seemed a perfect symbol of Tony Gwynn himself. The great, always smiling Padres hitter was not only a superstar, but was like sunshine on a perfect day.

I took the first photo in the early morning, and the others in the late afternoon.

Flag is flown in memory of deceased Tony Gwynn, number 19.
Flag is flown in memory of deceased Tony Gwynn, number 19.
Tony Gwynn flag on San Diego Bay seen between Star of India masts.
Tony Gwynn flag on San Diego Bay seen between Star of India masts.
Star of India figurehead faces 19, uniform number of Tony Gwynn.
Star of India figurehead faces 19, uniform number of Tony Gwynn.

During my walk along the Embarcadero on June 29, I happened to notice a big Tony Gwynn Padres jersey hanging from the roof of the County Administration Building!

Tony Gwynn jersey on County Administration Building.
Tony Gwynn jersey on County Administration Building.

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