Thanks to Padres Member Charisma, I had the opportunity to catch a special preview of the Tony Gwynn documentary “MLB Network Presents: Mr. Padre” last Friday night at SDSU’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
From the press release:
Mr. Padre tells the story of the life, career, and untimely death of Gwynn, a lovable superstar and the greatest hitter of his generation. The hour-long documentary chronicles Gwynn’s unwavering dedication to become the best complete player he could be, from his late shift to baseball in college to his pioneering use of video to further perfect his natural hitting ability and the enormous effort he put into becoming a Gold Glove defender.
The documentary included interviews with former teammates (Tim Flannery and John Kruk), coaches (Bruce Bochy and former SDSU head coach Jim Dietz), Padres broadcasters and media members (Ted Leitner and Bill Center), fellow Hall of Famers (Tony LaRussa and Mike Schmidt), and Gwynn family members (wife Alicia, son Tony Jr., and brother Chris).
SDSU alum and current Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg features prominently as someone who grew up idolizing Gwynn and was fortunate enough to then be coached by him at SDSU.
“If it wasn’t for Coach Gwynn, would I have gone on to get drafted after my junior year? Probably not. He was like a second father to me.” – Strasburg
Essentially, the documentary is cut into four parts: Gwynn’s high school and college days, his MLB career, his post-playing career, and his untimely death. Gwynn’s unique relationship with fellow San Diego baseball legend Ted Williams is also featured.
After the screening, emcee Mark Grant was joined on stage by Gwynn’s longtime agent John Boggs and Tony Jr. The audience then was allowed to ask questions and comment on their own memories of Gwynn.
The documentary could have been 19 hours, it was that good. As someone who grew up with Tony being a huge part of most of my Padres memories, the documentary brought out a lot for me. Most of them good, some a little sad, but all cherished.
Judge for yourself. MLB Network will be airing the one-hour documentary this evening, January 30th, at 5pm PST and again at 9pm PST. I recommend setting your DVR so you can watch it again and again. And again and again and again.
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