Crazy that it’s been this long, but today is the 30th anniversary of Tony Gwynn’s MLB debut, July 19, 1982, in a game against the Phillies at The Murph. Pretty cool handshake there with Charlie Hustle. Here’s how the UT tells the tale of his first hit:
“I got a fastball out over the plate and just kind of carved it in to left-center field,” said Gwynn. “You get to second base, you’re kind of basking in the glory of getting a hit. … I’m standing on second base, kind of looking around and see them flash on the board that I got my first big-league hit. And as I turned back around, there’s Pete Rose standing in front of me.”
Rose, the Phillies’ first baseman, had been trailing the play.
“First big league hit, huh?” said Rose.
“Yes, Mr. Rose,” said Gwynn.
That’s when Rose stuck out his hand. Gwynn accepted it with a big grin on his face.
“Shaking Pete Rose’s hand is what sticks out for me,” said Gwynn, reflecting on the moment earlier this week. “It was an era when veteran guys didn’t say a whole lot to young guys. He didn’t have to do that but he did. That always resonated with me.”
So did this:
After shaking hands, Rose took a few steps back toward first base, stopped, turned and said, “Congratulations, kid. Don’t catch me in one night.”
How rad is that? Love it. Today also marks the start of a new website for Tony Gwynn.
Click to enlarge. That’s a screenshot of his home page. A pretty cool trip down the “Padres uniform history” lane. There are a bunch of amazing Gwynn shots on his site actually. Here are a few of my favorites.
[lobbed by Tommy Gibbs, local commercial real estate hero]