The 2007 MLB Baseball Hall of Fame class set a record for attendance in Cooperstown, New York that summer.
Tony Gwynn and his gaudy numbers need no introduction in San Diego, but I will do it anyways. He was a 15-time All-Star. He was presented seven Silver Sluggers awards. Eight MLB batting titles are a N.L. record. And he also won five Gold Gloves. These are just some of his accomplishments, and he did it all with one team for 20 seasons.
The only time he struck out more than he walked was his rookie season, when he had 16 strikeouts to 14 free passes. His 3,141 hits is currently, fittingly, 19th best all-time. His #19 is retired forever in the San Diego Padres organization. He was a part of the community. He is Mr. Padre and Mr. San Diego.
It is not possible to have too many articles about Tony Gwynn.
Not to be forgotten was another man who carved out a MLB Hall of Fame career with one team. Ripken spent all 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He collected 3,184 hits and 431 home runs. He is, of course, most known for being the “Iron Man” as he set the all-time record of appearing in 2,632 straight games.
Gwynn and Ripken both enjoyed being immortalized with baseball’s ultimate prize on July 29, 2007.
10 years later, sadly, we remember the late Tony Gwynn, who passed away in 2014. His legacy stretches far beyond the San Diego Padres. He died as the head coach of the San Diego State Aztecs baseball team. He was a constant presence in the Padres TV booth as his smiling, laughing and hitting-obsessed self.
Ripken has since moved on to be a businessman, as well as making the occasional appearance as a TV analyst on TBS for the playoffs. He owns multiple minor league baseball teams.
These two made a crater in baseball history during their careers. 10 years after their tickets were punched to Cooperstown, it remains the same. Both franchises remember their heroes that played in three separate decades, for one team, in their entire careers. Ten years has passed, but the time has not dulled or faded their legacies.