Remembering Tony Gwynn

I did not KNOW Tony Gwynn, but I certainly have met him.

His wife, Alecia, was a student of mine in Computer Science at National University, and she asked me to install the first computer in her home.

Tony and Alecia lived close to me in Poway, less than a mile, but they lived in a much better neighborhood. The community was not gated, but each home was gated, and their neighborhood had many Major League baseball players living there — they still do.

While installing an early computer — it was almost certainly a DOS computer — I got to interact often with the family. Tony was about the happiest guy I ever met… he laughed early in about every sentence, and often. His laugh was infectious, and you found yourself in a good mood regardless of the computer installation process.

We worked in the living room of this beautiful home, filled with silver bats denoting his National League Batting Championships, and Alecia’ s collection of Black dolls, with their son, Tony Jr. popping in an out — a bundle of youthful energy.

So many star athletes marry one of those blond bombshells always available to those with serious money, but Alecia was the “ girl next door.” I always thought how smart that was, since the blond bombshells are just in it for the short run, while the girl next door is usually in it for love. Alecia and Tony had no airs, no following retinue, no staff. Even the front gate was always open when I dropped by to check on things.

Randy Jones, great Padre pitcher and Cy Young winner, lived several doors down the street, and he said on the radio that he would walk his dogs early in the morning but when he passed Tony ’s house he could hear the crack of a bat as Tony trained in his private batting cage.

I saw Tony play often. I was not a Padre fan, I was a Tony Gwynn fan. He was the ultimate baseball player, a star in batting, running, and a Golden Glove winner as well.

He was also a great human being. Considering the baseball and football news is filled with the crime blotter, Tony was a welcome change.

Aloha, Tony.

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One Response

  1. Alan,

    Thank is as good of a tribute to a public figure as anything anyone can write. I hope that one day, someone will say something that kind about me and my family. It is nice to hear something about him that isnt based on what he did on the field.

    By the way, my e-mail is robakers19@gmail.com The 19 is for Tony Gwynn. He was my favortie baseball player growing up.

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