San Diego Padres Hall of Famer and batting legend Tony Gwynn died today at age 54 after a long battle with cancer; he had undergone surgery for cancer of the mouth and salivary glands, and believed that years of chewing tobacco caused his disease. Since March he had been on medical leave from his job as head baseball coach at his alma mater, San Diego State.
Gwynn, a lifetime .338 hitter, was famous for his hand-eye coordination, which was spectacular even in comparison to other Major League baseball players. He compiled 3,141 hits during a 20-season Hall of Fame career and was an eight-time National League batting champion. In his career, he faced Greg Maddux 107 times—and never struck out once.
Major League Baseball announced that he died at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, California, surrounded by his family.