Baseball Hall of Fame member and San Diego State University head baseball coach Tony Gwynn died Monday, the San Diego Padres announced. He was 54.
The right-fielder, also known as Mr. Padre, spent 20 seasons with the Padres and was a 15-time All Star.
At SDSU, where he was head baseball coach, Gwynn missed the second half of the recently completed season while he dealt with his health problems. The San Diego State University alumnus underwent surgery for a cancerous tumor in a salivary gland and his cheek.
Gwynn, who also had cancer surgery in the same spot in August 2010, had said he chewed smokeless tobacco throughout his career with the Padres and for many years after that. He blamed the substance for his condition.
``We are terribly sad to say goodbye to our teammate, our friend and a legend, Tony Gwynn,'' a Padres statement said via Twitter. ``Rest in peace, Mr. Padre.''
Shortly after Gwynn's death was announced, city officials and several others issued statements on social media sites mourning the loss.
``Very sad day for our City,'' City Councilman Scott Sherman said. ``My thoughts and prayers go out to Tony Gwynn's family.''
City Councilman David Alvarez said the city was terribly sad to say goodbye to a teammate, a friend and a legend. ``Rest in peace, Mr. Padre,'' he said.
City Councilman Mark Kersey said he was sending prayers to Gwynn's family
``An amazing hitter, a great man, an exemplary San Diegan,'' Kersey said. ``Number 19 will be missed by so many.''