Category Archives: Tony Gwynn Collection

Tony Gwynn 2000 Topps Gallery

Tony Gwynn 2000 Topps Gallery

I’ve always been a big fan of baseball cards that feature an image of the player signing autographs inside the stadium or ballpark.  I find it a neat way to celebrate the player.  And while many in today’s game only do it when a camera is on them, guys like Tony Gwynn more than likely did it because they wanted to.

Imagine being in the right field stands perched right behind third base and #19 is headed your way.

What a truly great experience that would be and surely one that the lucky fans who were able to meet Mr. Gwynn will never forget.

This card of Tony Gwynn from the 2000 Topps Gallery set is a fantastic reminder that Gwynn was the consummate professional, and a very fan-friendly player and ambassador for the game.

A great addition to my collection!

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Tony Gwynn 1995 Leaf

Tony Gwynn 1995 Leaf

Often overlooked because he was such a dominant hitter during his playing days, but Tony Gwynn was a stellar defender during his early playing days.

Between the 1986 and 1991 baseball seasons, Gwynn captured 4 Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence in the outfield.  And as a National League outfielder, he had some major competition for those honors – Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Eric, Davis, Darryl Strawberry to name a few.

A truly gifted all-around baseball player, Tony Gwynn could do it all!  And then some…

I’m happy to see Leaf honored and celebrated Gwynn’s ability to play the outfield so well with this card from their 1995 set.

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Enjoy.

1997 HEADLINE: Tony Gwynn Wins 8th & Final Batting Title Of His Career

1997 HEADLINE: Tony Gwynn Wins 8th & Final Batting Title Of His Career

On this day in 1997, Tony Gwyn won the 8th and final batting championship of his career.  This title also put him at the top of the all-time list with the legendary Honus Wagner for the most in a career.

Taking a look back, Gwynn’s numbers are staggering:

Year # of Hits Average
1984 213 0.351
1987 218 0.370
1988 163 0.313
1989 203 0.336
1994 165 0.394
1995 197 0.368
1996 159 0.353
1997 220 0.372

That’s classic stuff right there – and the fact that he did that over a 14-season span is remarkable.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn!!!

Tony Gwynn 1996 Topps ‘Star Power’

Tony Gwynn 1996 Topps ‘Star Power’

Without a doubt, Tony Gwynn brought the ‘Star Power’ to the sport of baseball during his playing days.

Gwynn was a low-key superstar, playing for a team in a small market.  He did not get a lot of national coverage, sponsors, or commercial endorsements.

What he did get was respect from each and every player he played with and against.  Gwynn was a consummate professional and he would not be out-worked.  His ability to focus on the situation and study the scenario put him in place for the discussion of ‘Best Hitter Of All-Time’.

This is a card from the 1996 Topps baseball card set.  The card is from a subset tagged as ‘Star Power’.

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I’m going to have to seek out the full checklist for this set.  For me, it could have been a 1-card set that solely featured #19, but I am certain that is not the case.

Still, could be a fun one to review and check out as the graphics are pretty neat.

Tony Gwynn 1988 KayBee ‘Superstars Of Baseball’

Tony Gwynn 1988 KayBee ‘Superstars Of Baseball’

As I go back to collecting the superstars of my youth, it is fun to be able to revisit the cards and brands from that time.

Beyond the main card companies like Topps, Fleer, Donruss, and Score – 1988 was full of ‘extras’ from all kinds of companies that wanted in on a piece of the collecting buzz of the time.

KayBee Toystore was one of many companies that partnered up with Topps to produce cards with their branding.  The cards look nice, feature decent graphics, and almost always showcased the best players in the game.

This is the Tony Gwynn card from the 1988 KayBee ‘Superstars Of Baseball’ set.

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Enjoy.

Tony Gwynn 1989 Topps BIG – Going BIG As I Jump Back Into Collecting The Baseball Heroes Of My Youth

Tony Gwynn 1989 Topps BIG – Going BIG As I Jump Back Into Collecting The Baseball Heroes Of My Youth

Let me tell you, I had a blast while going through and documenting each and every baseball card I had in my Tony Gwynn collection.  This allowed for me to re-visit what I presently had, but it also got me pretty excited about what I can add down the road as the collection grows and takes shape.

There was a lot of, ‘I can get some of those’ and ‘Oh, I can get one of that’ and ‘Ooooh – I cannot wait to try to get that one’.  I literally felt like an 8-year old kid again as I began vividly recalling all of the amazing cards that are not part of my ‘current’ Tony Gwynn collection.  And I stress the word ‘current’, because I plan to go after this with great focus.

One of the first cards that I have picked up since getting back into the ‘Gwynn Game’ is this card from the 1989 Topps BIG set.

The card looks amazing, and I love the old ‘SD’ cap that #19 is wearing in the cameo on the right.

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SWEET!

Remembering And Celebrating The Magnificent Career Of Tony Gwynn

Remembering And Celebrating The Magnificent Career Of Tony Gwynn

Like most baseball fans across the globe, I took today’s news of Tony Gwynn’s death as a shock.  And while I had read prior reports about his health and battle with cancer, I did not expect his life to end today.

In a fog for a few hours after, I began recalling watching my generation’s greatest hitter perform at a level I have never seen duplicated.

Gwynn was as likable as any sports star in the 1980s and 1990s.  He smiled on the field, he did his job well, he was loyal to his organization – and best of all, he always worked harder with the goal of getting better.

Tonight, as I sit here, I wanted to share a few pieces of my personal collection that honors Mr. Padre.  I do this with a heavy heart, but also while sporting a smile for Tony Gwynn helped shape my love for the game during my youth.  And when I collected cards as a kid, and now again as a man and father of two young boys, I always try to grab cards of him for he was one of the best.

The first major league game that I ever attended was on a family vacation in 1985 to San Diego with my parents.   This is the ticket stub from the game – Gwynn went 1-for-4 on the day with a double.  I was 9 years old on this date – and already a Tony Gwynn fan.

gwynn ticket stub

When I got back into collecting baseball cards in 2008, one of the first players I decided to honor was Mr. Gwynn.  I put together a pretty good-sized collection of major brand cards from his playing days – from his rookie cards of 1983 through to the end of his career.

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And one year for Christmas, my wife and kids surprised me with a Tony Gwynn signed ball for my collection.

And in a collection of 100+ signed baseballs, my Gwynn ball rests on the top row of the lot alongside such greats as Nolan Ryan and Dave Winfield.

Gwynn signed ball

Lastly, when my family and I took a vacation to Southern California in 2012, I made going to see a Padres game a priority.  And while Mr. Gwynn was obviously not playing, I certainly did my best to acknowledge and celebrate him by sporting a t-shirt with his name and jersey number on the back as I visited and had my picture taken with his statue at Petco Park.

Tony Gwynn Statue

Mr. Gwynn, I hope that you are finally resting comfortably.  Please know that you have impacted not just my life, but the lives of millions and millions of baseball fans and people across this country.  The joy we got by watching you play a sport we love at the highest level is something I am unable to put into words.

You may be gone now, but you will never be forgotten.  Rest in peace.