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I first got to know Tony Gwynn, who died on June 16 at 54, when we were National League teammates in All-Star Games in the 1980s. We got to spend more time with each other over the years. When San Diego was in town to play St. Louis, or vice versa, we’d have nice long conversations, and our friendship grew closer when we’d see each other at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. He was just a guy who loved being around people. His laugh was infectious.
Tony studied not only the mechanics of the opposing pitchers but also their patterns: when they were going to throw breaking balls, when they were going to throw fastballs.