“Gwynn charted his course to Cooperstown, N.Y., early on and never wavered in his pursuit of perfection in his chosen craft.Racing through the team’s farm system after getting drafted in the third round in 1981, Gwynn joined the Padres in Philadelphia on July 19, 1982, and found his name on manager Dick Williams’ lineup card that night, batting fifth and playing right field.Answering the challenge, Gwynn banged out the first two of his 3,141 hits — a double to center off Sid Monge and a single to center off Ron Reed.Gwynn stayed right where he was, as constant and as cool as the Pacific Ocean breezes, for two decades. He made 15 All-Star teams, winning eight batting titles — matching Honus Wagner’s National League record — while finishing in the top 10 for 15 consecutive seasons.His .338 career average is the best in the sport since native San Diegan Ted Williams retired his .344 average in 1960.”
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