Everyone knows that Tony Gwynn ranks right up there with Ichiro, Rose and Williams as the greatest natural hitters of the past 100 years. Oft-overlooked is Mr. Padre's impressive legacy in the field. A 5-time Gold Glove winner, Gwynn led all N.L. right fielders in 1986 with 337 putouts, 19 assists and a .989 fielding percentage—which essentially matched his lifetime fielding percentage over a 20-season career.
Gwynn's original 1986 Gold Glove Award sold at auction in 2016 for over $40,000. There are two known extra examples that Gwynn himself had made and received. One of those was auctioned by the San Diego Hall of Champions in 2017, and the other is proudly presented for the first time here. According to our consignor, a well-respected former Padres executive, it was bestowed upon him by Gwynn to settle up for a friendly bet between them. So the story goes, our consignor told Gwynn in the spring of 1986 about a previous bet he had made back in the spring of 1980 with Ozzie Smith, that if Smith won his first Gold Glove as predicted by our consignor, then he would hand it over as a gift. "Upon hearing my story," the Padres exec recounts, "Gwynn cackled that infectious, endearing laugh of his...Smiling as usual Gwynn shook my hand and said, 'deal'...That year, Tony won the first of his five Gold Gloves. And...he paid up in full."
The elaborate, ornate showpiece features a gold-painted Gwynn-model glove atop a portrait plaque flanked by matching gold-painted baseballs, with a second plaque running along the two-tiered wooden base. NM condition. LOA from aforementioned former Padres executive.