Back in the Mid-to-late 90’s, a man frequented my wife’s coffeeshop in the winter, but never in the summer. He was quiet and usually had a Pacers or Colts hat with a hoodie. No one knew who he was, but I did. He knew I knew and said “Let’s keep it between us.” It was Tony Gwynn who had a home in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers. I was not sure why he lived here, but he seemed to love the snow. In an article memorializing Tony, David Woods of The Indianapolis Star gave more insight into his life in Indiana:
Tony Gwynn loved people, and he loved baseball. In that order.
He even loved snow.
Longtime friend Max Siegel, chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based USA Track & Field, was formerly Gwynn’s agent. Gwynn, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, owned an off-season home in Fishers for more than a decade and was a supporter of the Indiana Pacers and Fever. Siegel said Gwynn would “get really angry” by winter phone calls because he didn’t want to be interrupted shoveling snow.
“He had never seen snow before,” Siegel said.
Baseball won’t soon see a left-handed hitter like Gwynn, who died of cancer Monday. He was 54.
Gwynn bought a home in Fishers in the mid-1990s after frequent trips to Indianapolis with the church group of his wife, Alicia. Alicia Gwynn owned sportswear company Steady Play, which was based in Fishers when she lived here, and Studio 815, a recording operation in Indianapolis. The 2006 asking price for the 4,500-square-foot home near Hawthorns Golf and Country Club was $725,000.
“I like it here. The pace is a lot slower than on the West Coast,” he said in a 2002 interview. “It’s a place I felt comfortable with. Before I played in the 1998 World Series, I’d go around town and nobody would recognize me.”
Here’s the rest of the story.
Tony Gwynn was a wonderful man and by all accounts, so is his son, Tony Gwynn, Jr. I wish them both Godspeed!