Phillies Fans Give Tony Gwynn Jr. Standing Ovation in First Game Back

Tony Gwynn Jr. returned to the Phillies Tuesday night, eight days after he went on bereavement leave. Gywnn’s dad, the legendary San Diego Padres hitter, died last week at 54.

When Gwynn Jr. pinch-hit for Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman in the eighth inning, Phillies fans gave him a standing ovation. (Fans, spurred on by CSN’s Amy Fadool, attempted to organize this on Twitter during the day.) Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped to the mound during the ovation so it could continue for longer.

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Hall of Fame Baseball Player Tony Gwynn Dies; Son Plays for Phillies

Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Famer who’s generally considered the best pure hitter since Ted Williams, died after a long battle with cancer in his salivary gland and cheek. He was 54. His son, Tony Gwynn Jr., is a bench player for the Phillies.

Gwynn was the player who got closest to hitting the mythical .400 mark since Ted Williams’ .406 in 1941. Gwynn hit .394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season and .372 in 1996. He played his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres and struck out just 434 times. He had been head baseball coach as his alma mater, San Diego State University, since 2003.

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