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SAN DIEGO -- There were two certainties about Tony Gwynn: He could hit a baseball lik
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SAN DIEGO -- There were two certainties about Tony Gwynn: He could hit a baseball like few other major leaguers, and he was going to laugh. Gwynn was a craftsman at the plate, whose sweet left-handed swing made him one of baseballs greatest hitters. The Hall of Famer died Monday of oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. He was 54. Any knowledgeable fan can recite Gwynns key stats. He had 3,141 hits -- 18th on the all-time list -- a career .338 average and won eight batting titles to tie Honus Wagners NL record. There was far more to the man. In a rarity in pro sports, Gwynn played his whole career with the Padres, choosing to stay in the city where he was a two-sport college star rather than leaving for bigger paychecks elsewhere. He was loyal, generous and approachable. He smiled a lot. It didnt take much to get him to laugh his hearty laugh. Gwynn loved San Diego. San Diego loved "Mr. Padre" right back. His death left even casual fans grieving. "Our city is a little darker today without him, but immeasurably better because of him," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. Five things to remember about Gwynn: HIS CRAFT: After spending parts of just two seasons in the minors, he made his big league debut on July 19, 1982. Gwynn had two hits that night. After Gwynn doubled, career hits leader Pete Rose, who been trailing the play, said to him: "Hey, kid, what are you trying to do, catch me in one night?" On Monday, Rose recalled Gwynns work ethic and his pioneering use of video to study his at-bats after every game. "Every day you went to the ballpark in San Diego and we used to go 2:30 or 3 oclock, Tony would be out there hitting, religiously, every day," Rose said. "Fifty-four years old is way too young." THE LAUGH: Former Padres teammate Tim Flannery recalls Gwynn as "always laughing, always talking, always happy." It didnt take much for Gwynn to cackle or break into a horse laugh. "He had a work ethic unlike anybody else, and had a childlike demeanour of playing the game just because he loved it so much," said Flannery, third base coach for the San Francisco Giants. THE 5.5 HOLE: Gwynn loved to hit the other way, through the hole between third base and shortstop. "All I keep thinking of when I think of Tony Gwynn is that line drive base hit to left field, or the one-hopper in the hole at shortstop to left field," Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said. "He hit the ball wherever it was pitched, and he was just a genius with the bat, without a doubt." SAN DIEGO STATE: Gwynn had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma mater. He called it his dream job, one he began right after retiring from the Padres following the 2001 season. He coached his son, Tony Jr., whos with the Philadelphia Phillies. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gwynn played point guard for the SDSU basketball team -- he still holds the game, season and career record for assists -- and in the outfield on the baseball team. He was drafted by both the Padres (third round) and San Diego Clippers (10th round) on the same day in 1981. As much as he loved basketball, baseball was his future. Texas Augie Garrido, the winningest college baseball coach, said at the College World Series on Monday that he tried to recruit Gwynn when he was coaching at Cal State Fullerton, but told him he wouldnt be able to play baseball and basketball. Because baseball would be well underway by the time basketball ended, "Youd have to be one hell of a baseball player to be break into the lineup," Garrido recalled telling Gwynn. "He decided to go to San Diego State. After he won his seventh batting title at Dodger Stadium on the last day of the season, he broke that story to the LA Times. He didnt leave out one bit of information about how stupid I was. Thats why my recruiting genius is limited," said Garrido, who added he and Gwynn had a good relationship. TERRIFIC TONY: Gwynn struck out only 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats. He played in San Diegos only two World Series -- batting a combined .371 -- and was a 15-time All-Star. He had a home run in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series off fellow San Diegan David Wells and scored the winning run in the 1994 All-Star Game despite a bum knee. Gwynn never hit below .309 in a full season. He spread his batting titles from 1984, when he batted .351, to 1997, when he hit .372. Gwynn was hitting .394 when a players strike ended the 1994 season, denying him a shot at becoming the first player to hit .400 since San Diego native Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. Akiem Hicks Womens Jersey . -- First baseman Carlos Pena and outfielder Brennan Boesch have signed minor league deals with the Los Angeles Angels. Devin Hester Bears Jersey . -- Gary Harris gave No. http://www.bearsfootballpro.com/Authentic_Devin-Hester_Bears_Jersey/. -- D. J. Williams finally has his packing strategy down. Akiem Hicks Bears Jersey .Y. - Sven Andrighetto scored once and set up two more as the Hamilton Bulldogs hung on to defeat the host Adirondack Flames 5-3 on Tuesday in American Hockey League action. Gale Sayers Bears Jersey . -- Canadian freestyle skier Roz Groenewoud isnt letting surgery to both of her knees deter her expectations for the Sochi Olympics.MONTREAL -- P.K. Subban has picked the right time of the year to go on an offensive tear. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner had his third straight two-point game with a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens held off the Boston Bruins for a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night to take the lead in their NHL Eastern Conference playoff series. Montreal leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 slated for Thursday night at the Bell Centre. "Were playing well as a team," said Subban, who has 11 points in seven post-season games. "Im just the beneficiary of the guys playing well around me, supporting me. "It starts in goal. Well, it actually starts with our coaching staff and making sure everybody is feeling confident. Were doing it together. It starts with Pricey. From our defence to our forwards. Were sticking together. When we had adversity, were sticking together doing the right things. "Its fun to play on teams where you know guys are going to support you." Lars Eller and fourth-line digger Dale Weise also had a goal and an assist each and Tomas Plekanec scored Montreals other goal. Patrice Bergeron and Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins. Subban became the third Canadiens defencemen to have three consecutive games of more than one point in the playoffs, after Larry Robinson in 1978 and 1987 and J.C. Tremblay in 1971. Robinsons 1978 streak stretched to five games. While Montreal has the lead in the series and has wrestled home-ice advantage from the Bruins, the series between the long-time rivals is hardly over. Boston outshot Montreal 28-26, had the Canadiens hemmed in their end for long stretches, and looked nothing like a team that is overmatched and demoralized. But unlike the first two games, they were unable to erase a two-goal Montreal lead as their frantic third-period comeback fell short and Eller ended it with an empty-net goal with three seconds left on the clock. "I dont think we played badly, we just made stupid mistakes that ended up costing us the game," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. "We have to get rid of those, and keep playing like were playing. "Youre three goals behind and its tough. You battle back, but times running out. We have to try to get that lead and play with the lead." For the third straight game in the series, the Canadiens held a 3-1 lead in the third period but, this time they didnt let it slip away. In Game 2 on Saturday in Boston, the Bruins scored four goals in the final 10 minutes for a 5-3 comeback win. This time, they got one back, but it wasnt enough. Rask was pulled with 2:20 left to play. Only four seconds later, Meszaros beat Price with a high shot through traffic off a feed from Milan Lucic. Eller said the Canadiens may finally be getting a hang of retaining the lead. "We learned a little bit from the last game and we didnt panic," said the Danish centre, who has eight points in seven post-season games afteer a disappointing regular season.dddddddddddd "You know they are going to come hard when youre down by two. They gave it all theyve got and we were prepared for it and held strong." "We werent as good as them in the first period and that cost us," countered Bruins forward Jarome Iginla. "After that, we were playing catch-up. "We found a way to get ourselves back in it, but the first period was the biggest difference in the game. We werent as sharp as them early." Canadian anthem singer Ginette Reno had the 21,273 at the Bell Centre at maximum loudness to start the game, but after an early flurry, the Bruins took control of the puck through the first 10 minutes of play. Then Michael Bournival made a gritty play to get the puck around the boards to Subban, who left it for Thomas Vanek for a diagonal pass that gave Plekanec a shot into an open side for his third of the playoffs at 10:57. Subban was sent off for roughing after a high hit on Reilly Smith that also took out Vanek, sending the Austrian to the clinic with an apparent right leg problem. He returned for the second period. "I spoke to him after and he said "Im fine, dont worry about it," said Subban. "I was pretty happy to see him back there skating. Obviously I dont want to hurt my own teammates with a body check, but sometimes that happens." As Subbans penalty ended, Rask neglected to alert his teammates by banging his stick on the ice. That left the defenceman open to collect Ellers pass, go in on a breakaway, put a deke on Rask and score on a low forehand shot at 14:44. Mike Weaver blocked a shot that went to Daniel Briere, who sent Weise in on a breakaway with a pass up the middle. The fourth-line winger beat Rask between the pads for a three-goal lead at 13:52 of the second. But Bergeron won a face-off from Plekanec in the Montreal zone and reached across himself to deflect Torey Krugs point shot past Price with 2:12 left in the middle period. That put the Bruins in comeback mode. But despite pushing hard, they managed only seven third-period shots. "We were very solid playing with the lead," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien, who caused a surprise by tweaking his lines, moving Vanek to the second unit with Plekanec and putting Brendan Gallagher on the top line. "We wanted energy on each line," he said. "Gallagher brings energy to any line he plays on. And Vanek made a heck of a play on the first goal, so I was pleased with the players." Notes: As expected, the Canadiens put Douglas Murray in the lineup for the first time in the post-season in place of Francis Bouillon. Travis Moen went in for Brandon Prust. Ryan White, George Parros and Jarred Tinordi were scratched. . . Gallagher celebrated his 22nd birthday. . . The Bruins made no changes, with Matt Barkowski, Justin Florek and Corey Potter sitting out. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
 
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