Tony Gwynn professional model bats are certainly not as rare as some of the other wooden weapons used by the great hitters of the past, but the combination of his popularity as a player and the significance of his offensive achievements make his gamers a must for any comprehensive collection. In addition, some of his well-used gamers exhibit excellent character and visual appeal as a result of his distinct bat preparation. Bats from the latter part of his career, starting in the early 1990s, are often characterized by unique handle treatment in the form of thick tape near the base of the handle or other forms of grip enhancers, which often varied in color and design. Furthermore, well-used gamers often exhibit a light coating of pine tar on the upper handle.
Towards the end of his career, Gwynn provided game-used equipment to the hobby via his own company, which included equipment such as documented "hit" bats. These bats are autographed and inscribed (noting the particular hit) by Gwynn on the barrel. His bat of choice was certainly Louisville Slugger during his playing days, but Gwynn did use other brands along the way such as Rawlings/Adirondack and Hoosier bats on occasion.
Gwynn gamers are commonly found with his uniform number "19" noted on the knob or barrel end in black marker. This is the number Gwynn wore during his entire career. In some cases, you may see the specs of the gamer, such as the model number, length or weight of the bat (ounces) noted as well. This practice started around 1990 and was added by the Padres equipment manager.
Heavily-used Gwynn bats often possess a highly-concentrated area of ball marks located on the right barrel. Unlike some of the war clubs of the past, such as those ordered by the likes of Ty Cobb and Roberto Clemente, Gwynn bats are amongst the lightest gamers in baseball history. For Gwynn, the perennial NL batting champion, it was all about bat control.
Anthony Keith Gwynn (May 9, 1960 - June 16, 2014) tied Honus Wagner and the National League record in 1997 with his eighth career batting title with an average of .372. Gwynn played his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres (1982-2001) earning the name “Mr. Padre.” His preparation and study of the game was renown as he spent hours using video to analyze his swing and any little adjustments that needed to be made during his next at-bat. Along with Gwynn’s eight batting titles, he led the National League in hits seven times and runs and on base percentage once each. Tony was a perennial All-Star selection with 15 trips to the Mid-Summer Classic. He won five Gold Gloves and seven Silver Slugger Awards. Though a member of two Padre teams to take the National League pennant (1984, 1998), he never won a World Series title, despite doing his best by batting .371 with 13 hits. Tony Gwynn retired in 2001 after posting a career .338 batting average with 3,141 hits, 1,383 runs, 1,138 RBI and 319 stolen bases. A fierce hitter all-around, Gwynn also posted a .987 fielding percentage in right field over his career. Anthony Keith Gwynn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Approximate Value: $1200