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Tony Gwynn lived with cancer for 4 years

Padres fans at Gaslamp Ball were with Tony Gwynn through his entire battle with cancer. Here is a timeline of their coverage, memories, and commentary on San Diego's favorite player.

Donald Miralle

Our friends and colleagues at our San Diego Padres fan site Gaslamp Ball followed Tony Gwynn's battle with cancer since it began. As cancer always is, Gwynn's case was difficult to make sense of emotionally, and the Gaslamp writers struggled to come to terms with the suffering of a local hero whose battle with mortality may have been at least partially self-inflicted. What does a hero owe his community? What does he owe himself? These were topics debated in the Gaslamp community, and while the debates may in the end have been unresolvable, the questions came from the heart. A timeline of their coverage and deliberations:

July 29, 2007: Tony Gwynn Enters The Baseball Hall of Fame
VIDEO: Tony Gwynn makes his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

October 11, 2010: Tony the Gwynn has the Cancer

As someone who has always loved Tony, my heart sank when I read that he had been diagnosed with cancer. It's been hard watching as his health has declined over the past decade. Though it's very possible that this cancer diagnosis is not related to chewing tobacco, Gwynn thinks it might be.

It's disappointing that someone that has had two previous surgeries to remove tumors has continued to chew tobacco, but we all have our vices and tobacco is said to be extremely difficult to quit. It just shows that someone can be disciplined in one area of their life, in this case hitting and baseball, can be undisciplined when it comes to another, like their health.

January 15, 2011: The Strasburg 5K with Tony Gwynn

As promised Tony Gwynn was in attendance. To my knowledge it was his first public appearance since his diagnosis and treatment for salivary gland cancer. Eight weeks of radiation, chemotherapy, stress and back pains understandably have taken their toll on him. Gwynn sat in a folding chair as fans recognized and approached him. Most wanted their picture made in the company with the Gwynn.

He obliged each of them, struggling to his feet, wincing with what I interpreted as discomfort. With their pictures now saved to their memory card, some embraced him or shared kind words while others just left. Again Gwynn slowly sunk into his chair accepting quick respite before he was once again asked to stand and pose.

In his chair his gaze fell upon the ground, perhaps hoping that if he avoided eye contact he might be able to rest a few moments longer. He seemed tired and his infectious laugh was noticeably absent.

April 21, 2011: Tony Gwynn does not believe chewing tobacco should be banned in MLB

You'd think that Tony Gwynn would condemn the use of chewing tobacco and push Major League Baseball to make it a banned substance after contracting cancer last year. You'd be wrong.

February 17, 2012: The Lesson Learned from Tony Gwynn

...At the same time, when you play with fire, you get burned. Tony has said as much about his health and his habit in the past. But beyond that, Tony is a role model and getting paid to be a coach and mentor to kids... If it's part of his job is telling these kids right way to play a game, then it's his responsibility to tell kids the wrong way to play the game also. And Tony Gwynn didn't do that.

February 13, 2014: Tony Gwynn continues to receive cancer treatment but also to coach

It's amazing to me that even when Gwynn is struck with adversity, he relates it to baseball and uses it as a teaching tool for his players.

April 18, 2014: Tony Gwynn continues battle with cancer, now out indefinitely as coach of SDSU baseball

Apparently Gwynn is no longer able to coach full time at San Diego State University. He is now out indefinitely.

April 22, 2014: Tony Gwynn says he's doing good despite cancer treatment

I want to believe he's doing good, but I know just how serious this particular form of cancer can be and Gwynn has been fighting it off for quite some time. Gwynn says that he honestly doesn't know when or if he'll be back before the SDSU regular season ends in 4 weeks. He's missed the last 19 games in order to regain his strength.

April 25, 2014: Tony Gwynn Jr. says his dad's fight with cancer is "going his way right now"
LISTEN: Los Angeles radio host David Vassegh asked Tony Gwynn Jr. about his father's health.

May 9, 2014: Tony Gwynn Birthday Card: A detective story
There's a baseball card of Tony Gwynn signing a Tony Gwynn baseball card and Gaslamp Ball celebrated Tony Gwynn's last birthday by investigating it.

June 16, 2014: Tony Gwynn has passed away

Please join our friends at Gaslamp Ball in their memories of Tony Gwynn.