Tony Gwynn would have turned 60 years old today. Mr. Padre had a legendary career:
🔹First Ballot Hall of Fame Inductee
🔹8× NL batting champion
🔹5× Gold Glove Award
🔹7× Silver Slugger Award
🔹3,141 Career Hits
🔹.338 Career Batting Average pic.twitter.com/6vbHEUv5G1
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 9, 2020
Gwynn played his entire 20 year career with the Padres and was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2007.
He is one of 13 Padres players inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York during the franchise’s 52 year history.
Here are 3 San Diego Padres players who should be in the Hall of Fame.
1. Gary Sheffield, Outfielder
Sheffield played for 22 years from 1988 to 2009.
He spent 2 years as a Padre.
Sheffield hit 509 homeruns and had 1,676 runs batted in.
He also had 2,689 hits and was a 9 time All Star and 5 time Silver Slugger.
Sheffield committed only 172 errors though he played defense in 2,212 games.
He was an all around player that has repeatedly been overlooked by Cooperstown.
Here's a Sheffield stat for ya: Only six players in MLB history have at least 500 home runs, 2,600 hits and a career on-base percentage above .390: Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott and Gary Sheffield. https://t.co/VIQaupoglv
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) January 26, 2021
Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe describes Sheffield.
“At the plate, Sheffield was viscerally impressive like few others. With his bat twitching back and forth like the tail of a tiger waiting to pounce, he was pure menace in the batter’s box.”
Sheffield described his offensive aggressiveness.
“Every time I ever stepped into a batter’s box, I wanted to destroy whoever was on the mound. In my mind, that guy was trying to take food off my table and I would bite them if it meant me getting a hit.”
Baseball was in his blood; Sheffield’s uncle was Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden who is only 4 years older than him.
Sheffield has 3 more years of eligibility; in 2021 he received 40.6% of the votes; 75% of the votes are needed to get into the Hall of Fame.
Over the last two years, Gary Sheffield has tripled his % in Baseball Hall of Fame voting, from 13.6% in 2019 to 40.6% in 2021
Three more years on the ballot for him
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) January 26, 2021
2. Graig Nettles, Third Base
Graig Nettles was a native of San Diego so it only made sense that some of his MLB career would be spent near home.
Nettles had a 22 year career spanning from 1967 to 1988, and 3 of those years were spent in San Diego.
He hit 390 homeruns and had 1,314 RBIs during his career.
Nettles batted in 2,700 games; he played in the field for 2,504 games.
During those 2,504 games, he committed only 298 errors and was part of 480 double plays.
He was a 6 time All Star, 2 time Gold Glove winner, and won 2 World Series (with the Yankees).
Nettles played third base at a time when the league was filled with talented third basemen so he tends to be forgotten.
Graig nettles. Very overshadowed with likes of Robinson, Schmidt and Brett
— Michael Glasco (@MglascoCPA) January 23, 2021
3. Steve Garvey, First Base
Like Sheffield and Nettles, Steve Garvey had a long career.
He played for 19 years from 1969 to 1987.
14 of those years were spent with the Dodgers, but the final 5 years were with the Padres.
Garvey retired with a .294 batting average, 2,599 hits, 272 homeruns, and 1,308 RBIs.
— Forbes (@Forbes) November 9, 2019
Defensively, he won 4 Gold Gloves.
Garvey played first base in 2,261 games committing only 130 errors.
He was a 10 time All Star and a World Series Champion in 1981 with the Dodgers.
Upon making the move from LA to San Diego, Garvey said:
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“I used to look like an American flag. The Padre uniform makes me look like a taco. Actually the transition has been great. I made 25 new friends, and I never thought I wanted to be anything other than a Dodger, but this is fun.”