Originally created 08/08/99

California honors Padres' Gwynn



California Gov. Gray Davis formally declared Saturday "Tony Gwynn Day" to honor the San Diego Padres' slugger who reached the 3,000th-hit mark against the Montreal Expos.

Gwynn, who played at San Diego State, has spent all 17 years of his big legue career with the Padres. He became the 22nd major leaguer to reach 3,000 hits when he singled Friday night.

Davis lauded Gwynn, an eight-time National League batting champion and a member of 14 All-Star teams, for his athletic prowess and his work off the field to assist needy children.

Davis noted that "Anthony Keith Gwynn was born on May 9, 1960 in Los Angeles," and that Gwynn's "Number 19 has been a fixture in Padre outfield" since 1981.

"Tony Gwynn is one of only four players in major league baseball history to have earned a batting average above .350 for five consecutive seasons, and the only player to have won four batting titles in two separate decades," the governor said in his formal proclamation.

Once Gwynn reached the 3,000-hit milestone, he didn't stop. Just like Mark McGwire the night before, making history wasn't simply enough.

Gwynn went 4-for-5, singling in his first at-bat to become the 22nd major leaguer to reach 3,000 hits, as the San Diego Padres beat the Montreal Expos 12-10 Friday night.

"I'd have loved to do it last night in St. Louis but now that things have happened the way they've happened, this is great for me," Gwynn said. "Mark had his day, today is my day."

Gwynn Said, "It was because my family was telling me don't just be satisfied with getting one. After I got the hit in the first inning, I was a whole lot more relaxed than I had been."

Gwynn became the first NL player since the Cardinals' Lou Brock in 1979 to reach 3,000 hits. Brock was at Thursday's game in St. Louis, as was Stan Musial, hoping to see Gwynn reach 3,000.

"We've been waiting for this moment and it's a moment that we'll cherish along with Tony," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're so proud of him. I consider it a privilege to have played with him, managed him and to see him reach his milestone."