On Tony Gwynn

Tyler Kepner, writing for The New York Times:

For Gwynn, the thrill was in the pursuit of perfection in a job built around failure. He tried to leave nothing to chance. Years before laptops and iPads, Gwynn would lug video equipment around the league, meticulously combing through his at-bats, discarding the rare clunkers and studying the gems. He hit .338 for his career, the best mark — by 10 points — of any hitter who made his debut after World War II and had at least 3,000 turns at bat. He had more games of four or more hits (45) than of two or more strikeouts (34). He faced Greg Maddux more than any other pitcher, 107 times — and batted .415 with no strikeouts. Pedro Martinez never struck him out, either, in 36 confrontations. The two pitchers finished their careers with seven Cy Young Awards between them. I was surprised and saddened to learn of Gwynn's death, the news of which came to me via a push notification from MLB's At Bat app on iPhone. Gwynn was a superstar, and arguably the best pure hitter I've ever saw. As a child of the '80s, Gwynn was the San Diego Padres to me. He embodied them --- Gwynn was to the Padres what the Padres were to Gwynn. See also: Jayson Stark's piece for ESPN on Gwynn's statistical prowess.