The news that Tony Gwynn had 15 hours of surgery to remove cancerous tumors from his mouth (and then replace cheek nerves with some from his neck and shoulder) was particularly sobering for me. In San Diego during the 1980s, Tony (and very often people refer to him only by his first name--you just know to whom they refer) became an idol when I was a teenager attending lots of games. He even acquired the nickname "Mr. Padre." Not only did he have an amazingly sweet swing that sent so many balls to the 5.5 hole, but he was also the most affable athlete imaginable. When you think of the Padres, you think of Tony.
As a kid I had the chance to talk to him very briefly at autograph signings, which only reinforced his image of being a really nice guy. I have this print by Christopher Paluso in my office on campus. I hope Tony has a full recovery.
It also reminds me of the "Bring Back the Brown" movement to go back to brown uniforms. Tony played in the heyday of the brown: