SAN DIEGO -- Tony Gwynns sweet swing was matched only by his incandescent smile. wholesale jerseys
. The Hall of Famer was saluted at Petco Park on Thursday night in a ceremony that would have made "Mr. Padre" light up. Though, that wasnt something Gwynn had trouble doing. "It was so engaging," former teammate Steve Garvey said of Gwynns grin. "There are a few guys in sports that have it. You always think of Magic (Johnson), and Tony was baseballs Magic as far as that smile was concerned." Gwynn, a Hall of Famer who spent his entire 20-year career with the Padres, died on June 16 from oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. He was 54. The 15-time All Star averaged .338 over a career in which he had 3,141 hits and won eight NL batting titles. A two-sport star at San Diego State before getting selected by the Padres in the third round of the 1981 draft, he was beloved for his achievements on the field and his humility on and off it. Gwynn never hid his affection for San Diego, embracing his "Mr. Padre" nickname and declining to leave San Diego as a free agent on numerous occasions. After retiring from the Padres following the 2001 season, Gwynn became SDSUs baseball coach. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and ex-Padre Trevor Hoffman were among the speakers who addressed the crowd of about 20,000 from a stage erected in right field, just in front of the No. 19 carved into the outfield grass. A podium was placed between three No. 19 Gwynn jerseys, two from the Padres World Series appearances in 1984 and 1998 and one from San Diego State. The left-field scoreboard showed a collage of pictures that ranged from Gwynn tipping his hat to the crowd and to him clutching his Hall of Fame plaque. And, of course, one displaying that warm smile. "We all know Tony was a great player, a great Hall of Famer," Jackson said. "That is known when he got 97 per cent of the vote -- that puts him in the top four or five. ... "He was a genuine man, a quality man, a 100 per cent family man. A great son, a great husband, a great father, a great friend and a great teammate. He was an example of what we all want to live and emulate as a person." Thursdays tribute, which started when 19 white doves were released, was open to the public following the private service Gwynns family held Saturday at SDSU. Gwynns fans, many wearing his brown-and-yellow No. 19 jersey, were given a chance to pay their respects to someone they felt they knew. He was an anchor of not only the Padres two World Series teams, but in the community as well. After leaving the Padres, he coached at SDSU, was a member of the Padres broadcasting team and remained active in various charities. A stream of people walked past Gwynns statue in the adjacent Park at the Park, with a line snaking past memorabilia of his storied career. Gwynn, whose No. 19 is retired by the Padres, batted at least .300 in 19 straight seasons. In 1994, he was hitting .394 in August when the season ended prematurely because of the baseball strike; in 1995, he struck out only 15 times in 577 plate appearances. But it was the way Gwynn carried himself that endeared him to countless fans. And not just those in San Diego. Gwynn has been honoured around baseball since his death. Tony Gwynn Jr., his son, was given a standing ovation Tuesday in Philadelphia in his first at-bat with the Phillies since taking a leave following his fathers death. "Even though he was on the other team you still had to admire the way he went about his business," said Joe Torre, an executive vice-president for Major League Baseball and former Yankees manager. "Unfortunately we dont have many, maybe any -- maybe Derek Jeter -- that conduct themselves in a similar fashion. "Honestly, what you saw is what you got: he was a good hitter and never tried to show anybody up." Gwynn became and stayed a star in San Diego. He never thought it would shine brighter elsewhere. "Im a Padre, a San Diego Padre," Gwynn once said. "And Im proud of it." Near the end of the tribute Hoffman, in a halting voice, talked straight to Gwynn, his former Padres teammate. "Thank you for representing San Diego," Hoffman said, "with such class." cheap jerseys
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. -- Vincent Viola grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from West Point, is a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange and after the Sept.MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have parted with team CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash in a front-office shake-up that follows the Grizzlies elimination in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Grizzlies announced the moves Monday. General manager Chris Wallace assumes interim responsibility for basketball operations. Jason Wexler, the Grizzlies chief operating officer, remains responsible for business operations. Robert Pera, the Grizzlies controlling owner, thanked Levien for his hard work in a statement. "Rest assured that we remain as committed as ever to bringing a championship to this great city, and we are confident that when the new season begins our fans will be excited about both our roster and the direction of our organization," Pera said. Levien had been the Grizzlies CEO since Pera and his ownership group took control of the team in November 2012, and one of his biggest decisions was the hiring of Lash as director of player personnel and former ESPN writer John Hollinger as vice-president of basketball operations. The first season went well as the Grizzlies reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Then Grizzlies decided not to bring back coach Lionel Hollins, instead promotting Dave Joerger to head coach. cheap china jerseys
. Under the first-year coach, the Grizzlies went 50-32 and reached the playoffs for the fourth straight season. But Memphis lost in seven games to Oklahoma City in the opening round of the playoffs. Under Joerger, the Grizzlies struggled at the start of the season going 10-15. He also lost centre Marc Gasol 23 games with a sprained left knee, and guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen also missed games with injuries. Joerger wound up using 17 different starting lineups with Levien and the front office making a variety of moves bringing in Courtney Lee, James Johnson from the D-League and Beno Udrih off waivers. The Grizzlies had to win the final five games of the regular season to earn the No. 7 seed. But guard Nick Calathes was suspended for 20 games for violating the leagues anti-drug policy by testing positive for tamoxifen, Memphis was blown out with a chance to close out the Thunder on its own court in Game 6 and then Zach Randolph was suspended for Game 7. Memphis has some big decisions to make this off-season. Randolph has a player option for next season at more than $16 million, and Gasol has two more seasons left on his contract. "Wow," Allen wrote on Twitter. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys
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