By Mike Harrington
During the 1998 World Series, Jerry Sullivan was among a small group of reporters who chatted with Gwynn about his trip to Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. When you read Sully's column, it's clear Gwynn held the Yankees and the Bronx in a huge amount of reverence.
And like Gwynn said at the end of the piece: The Yankees were "the steepest mountain out there to climb". They swept the Padres in four straight but it wasn't Gwynn's fault. He batted .500 and tied Series MVP Scott Brosius for the most hits in the series with eight. One of them was this soaring home run into the right-field facade in Game One:
Ten years later, on the day of the 2008 All-Star Game that was one of the shining moments of the final season in The House that Ruth Built, reporters were given a chance to interview several Hall of Famers taking part in a red carpet parade that day. We piled into a ballroom at the Hotel Intercontinental and I was floored at the baseball royalty in front of me, as my blog from that day clearly shows.
Eventually, I made my way to a back corner of the room where Gwynn was speaking to a lone Japanese reporter. They were talking about Ichiro and Gwynn was fascinating. Then I asked Gwynn about his trip to Monument Park 10 years earlier and he recalled the trip in vivid detail. It was with his son, Tony Jr., now a 31-year-old player for the Phillies. I had to leave him at that point to catch a couple others, notably Tommy Lasorda and Wade Boggs, for their thoughts on the closing of the old ballpark. Sad to think now. Lots of hitting questions to be had.
You can click the audio file to hear the brief conversation below. RIP, Mr. Padre.
Mike Harrington talks to Tony Gwynn in 2008
taggedAll-Star Game | Hall of Fame/Cooperstown | Padres