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Padres plan public tribute to Gwynn on June 26

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm •  Published: June 18, 2014
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres have scheduled a public tribute to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn for June 26 at Petco Park.

Gwynn died of cancer Monday. He was 54.

The tribute will start at 7:19 p.m., symbolic because Gwynn made his Padres debut on July 19, 1982. Gwynn also wore No. 19.

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said the tribute will be similar to the one held at Petco Park on Jan. 18 for Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died on Jan. 5 at 89.

Fowler said the Padres are finalizing a list of speakers. He said they will include people important to Gwynn's Padres and San Diego State careers. Gwynn played baseball and basketball at SDSU and had been the school's baseball coach since just after the 2002 season.

"I've lived through his career in San Diego," Fowler said. "I've lived through all the good things Tony has done for the community. I miss him personally. Although I knew he was ill, I was just shocked when I found out that he passed away.

"He's a special human being and I don't think we'll ever have a Padre that will be his equal again," Fowler said. "That doesn't mean we're not going to have great ballplayers, but Tony was once-in-a-lifetime. Arguably the best hitter in the last 50 years of baseball."

Prior to Wednesday night's game against Seattle, Padres players and coaches gathered around a large No. 19 painted on the grass in right field, which was Gwynn's position.

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