Editor’s Note: San Diego and the greater sports world continues to mourn Tony Gwynn. The hometown hero died Monday at age 54 after a battle with salivary gland cancer.
The man who became known as Mr. Padre clearly had a lasting impact on the city – you can read a roundup of some of the biggest reasons he meant so much to us. We reached out to Ernie Anderson, photographer for San Diego State University’s athletics department, who described some of his favorite shots of Gwynn during his time as an Aztec and beyond.
Gwynn, pictured here in 1978, was a first team NCAA All-American as a baseball player, hitting over .400 in each of his final two seasons at San Diego State.
When people think of Gwynn, most associate him with baseball and his time with the Padres where he was the eight-time MLB batting champion. But those of us who were lucky enough to see play him play basketball know he could have had a professional career in the NBA, too. He still is the all-time Aztec leader in assists and could score as well. He was an All-Conference player and was selected by the Clippers in the NBA draft.