Gwynn Reaches 3,000-Hit Milestone
MONTREAL (AP) _ Tony Gwynn has worn a lot of different uniform designs and color schemes on his way to joining the 3,000-hit club. Most important to him, they’ve all been uniforms of the San Diego Padres.
``Joining the 3,000-hit club as a member of one team and one team only, that has a nice ring to it as far as I’m concerned,″ Gwynn said.
With a base hit in his first at-bat Friday night Gwynn became the 22nd major leaguer to reach 3,000 hits, and just the eighth player to record all of them with one major league team.
He finished the night with four hits as the Padres beat the Montreal Expos 12-10.
Gwynn took care of the milestone hit in his first at-bat as he reached down and golfed a soft line drive past second base on a 1-2 pitch from Dan Smith, a rookie making his 11th career start.
Gwynn’s teammates raced from the dugout to congratulate him, and first base umpire Kerwin Danley _ Gwynn’s college teammate at San Diego State _ gave him a hug.
The ball and the first base bag were taken out of play, with one or both likely to end up in the Hall of Fame.
``The relief that you feel is the first thing that hits you,″ Gwynn said. ``Then I was starting to get emotional.″
Fireworks, usually reserved for Expos’ home runs, were set off as soon as the hit dropped in, and Gwynn’s mother, Vendella, celebrating her 64th birthday, came onto the field and embraced her son.
Gwynn became the first NL player since the Cardinals’ Lou Brock in 1979 to reach 3,000 hits.
He reached the milestone in front of 13,540 fans _ more than 30,000 fewer than watched him get his 2,999th hit Thursday in St. Louis when Mark McGwire hit his 500th and 501st homer.