The neighborhood around Cooperstown, New York was upgraded considerably in 2007 when two particular men, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, were enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame. To say that these guys represented the “Class” of 2007 is true in any number of dimensions.
I moved to the Baltimore/Washington area in 1983, which is right about the time both Ripken and Gwynn came on the MLB scene. Ripken of course, soon became a minor deity in Baltimore. Growing up in the Midwest and later living on the east coast, I did not much follow the San Diego Padres. They might as well have been the Pluto Padres as far as I was concerned. What I did know about them, however, was codified in the persona of Tony Gwynn.
No tribute to Tony Gwynn is complete without that hilarious commercial he and Bip Roberts did for MLB about twenty years ago. Bip mistook the value of Robin Roberts’ rookie card for his own, until Gwynn corrected him. As a baseball card collector, I could not stop laughing. Besides, I had a Bip Roberts rookie card, but not a 1949 Bowman Robin Roberts one, unfortunately.
Watch, remember, and enjoy. RIP Tony.