He torched just about every pitcher he faced. The last player to finish his career with a higher average was Ted Williams' .344 mark. And my wife allowed me to go kind of chase my dreams. I told the people of San Diego when I left to come to Cooperstown, they were going to be standing up here with me, so I hope they are just as nervous as I am, because this is a tremendous honor to be here today.
J.D. 1984 was really a good year for us, for the Padres. And the rest of my family, and that's you guys, that's the fans. For the first Hall of Fame to see this many people, riding on the bus I was listening to the other Hall of Famers on the bus that they couldn't remember a time seeing this many people, so for us four guys to come here for the first time on induction weekend and see so many people here, we cannot begin to say thank you enough. I started out in Walla Walla, Washington, which is the Northwest League which is A ball; got off to a pretty good start. As a kid growing up, my brothers and I watched baseball all the time, played it all the time in our back yard, and for us, I don't think any of us thought that hitting a fig or hitting a sock ball or hitting a wad of tape was going to turn into this. John Junior and Jennifer, I know you're here somewhere today too, thank you. Only Ty Cobb, who won 12, all before 1920, had more. The whole time I thought I was going to be an Astro and out of the blue, the Padres called me in the morning wanting to know what my middle name was. I said, "Yes." She and my dad told me it was something I might want to fall back on.”. I can’t think of anyone who hits me harder.
Gwynn's .334 career second-half batting average is the third best in the last 50 years. Thank you very much. Thank you. The Padres and the Angels, we shared complexes and I heard earlier in the day Rod Carew was going to come out and speak to the Angel players, and because I was a Padre I wasn't allowed and so what I did was I kind of hid and listened to his whole spiel on how to bunt to the Angel guys, which by the way, Rod, I don't think any of those guys were listening to you like I was. He batted .403/.439/.500 in Game 2 of 162. Greg Maddux once said of Gwynn: “He’s easily the toughest hitter for me. This is great, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to get to this point, you've got to get to this point to get to the next point, but to me hitting a 3,000 was going to kind of get me where I needed to go. • Gwynn owns all-time Padres records for batting average, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, RBIs, walks, stolen bases and games played. Gwynn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007. • If Gwynn’s 20-year career were split into two careers, 10 seasons apiece, he would rank first and second in franchise history in runs, hits, total bases and doubles. And later on in 1992 at the all star game I had a chance to sit down with Ted Williams, and I've got to tell you the reason why he made such a huge impact in my career I think is that growing up my father talked about Ted Williams all the time, he had two guys, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson. He handles the pitch away as well as anybody, and he’s able to stay inside the ball when the pitch is in. I worked hard in the game because I had to. Being a son of a major league player is sometimes a difficult thing, but you guys have always handled it great.
One thing I learned about Ozzie that year at the all star game was that if I made any more all star games, I wanted my locker to be next to his and the reason why, because he laughed. In fact, he added 37.9 percent to the Padres' win probability that day. Because I need my notes here because I'm going to struggle.
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