The greatest hitter of his generation and one of the greatest hitters ever, Tony Gwynn passed away this morning at age 54.

Gwynn had been battling cancer since 2010.  He had taken a leave of absence from his head coaching job at San Diego State back in March in order to have more treatment.  Gwynn did not accompany his team to Lafayette for the NCAA Regionals because of his illness.  San Diego State lost its only two games in the tournament, falling to Mississippi State and Louisiana.

Gwynn had received a one year contract extension just five days ago.

Gwynn spent his entire 20-year major league career with the San Diego Padres (1982-2001).  He never hit below .300 as a regular, finishing with a .338 lifetime batting average.  He amassed 3,141 hits, won eight batting titles, won four Gold Gloves and was a 15-time all star.  He also led the Padres to their only two World Series appearances.

His eight batting titles tied Honus Wagner for the most in National League history.  Only Ty Cobb had more.

Following his retirement, he went to his alma mater as head baseball coach and served twelve seasons.

(statistics courtesy