Tony Gwynn dies: Baseball legend passes away from cancer at 54.

Baseball Legend Tony Gwynn Dies at 54  

Baseball Legend Tony Gwynn Dies at 54  

The Slatest
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June 16 2014 2:24 PM

Baseball Legend Tony Gwynn Dies at 54  

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Tony Gwynn.

Photo by Mike Fiala/AFP/Getty Images

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.

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Major League Baseball announced that he died at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, California, surrounded by his family.

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.