Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. has it different than any other visiting player at Petco Park.
There is a street outside the stadium named after his father, Tony Gwynn, a 15-time All-Star for the Padres from 1982-2001. Gwynn’s number 19 is retired here, one of six numbers on display above the center-field fence.
But at some point, this has to become second-nature to the 29-year-old baseball progeny, who still calls San Diego home in the off-season — right?
“Not at all,” Gwynn Jr. said. “It’s the opposite of that. It’s a reminder of not only how good he was, but how much love the city of San Diego has for him.”
It reminds him of something else, too.
In 1997, with an expiring contract and seven batting titles in his back pocket, Gwynn Sr. wanted to keep playing in San Diego. Gwynn Jr. had different ideas back then, and again before his father’s next contract expired in 2000.
“I tried to get him to go anywhere he could really have a chance to win,” he said. “At the time, I think Cleveland was one of the teams … he was being courted by a couple different teams. I was trying to push him to go because I wanted him to have a chance to play for a World Series championship.”
But Gwynn kept extending his contract with the Padres, keeping his legacy (and his son and daughter) planted in San Diego.
“For whatever reason I didn’t pick up on it until he after re-signed and retired how rare it was for one player to spend an entire career with one team,” Gwynn Jr. said.