Wow, VERY sad. I lived in the San Diego area from '89 to '02 so saw him play many times and saw his interaction in the community up close. Helluva ballplayer and by all accounts a GREAT guy. He will be missed.
Some sports things people ought to know about Tony:
He was drafted by the Clippers of the NBA in '81 as he was a helluva hoops player at San Diego St. He has more batting titles than anyone not named Ty Cobb (eight, Cobb had twelve). He hit .394 in 1994 and I have always believed he would've hit .400 that year if not for the player's strike. He had gotten very hot in July and if I remember correctly, raised his average from like .375 to .394 in one month. His first stop in the minor leagues was rookie ball in Walla Walla. He won 5 gold gloves so could field as well as hit.
A true great and professional. One of the many reasons I grew up playing baseball with as much passion as a I did. The fact that these players and owners ruined baseball with PEDs still pisses me off every time I'm reminded by some mention of a fake, over-inflated stat from the 90's-2000's. Gwynn was not one of those reminders. He was one of the few legit players that would have been great in 1890 or 1990 or 2090. He was a true talent that had a love for the game, not because it made him rich and famous, but because it was a game made for him to master. Russell Wilson is cut from the same cloth as Gwynn and if Wilson can do in football even 75% of what Gwynn did in baseball, then Wilson is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
One of my true idols. I was a left handed hitter that loved to hit for average, hated getting out and especially striking out. His career always gave me hope that I'd make it to the majors someday. I'm also ceasing my chewing tobacco habit today. Going over his stats today, absolutely mind-blowing. The most he ever struck out was 40 times in a season. Check out this yahoo article. Absolutely amazing. We'll never see most of this stuff ever again.