Gwynn was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009 when a tumor was removed from his right cheek. Despite having the cancer initially removed, the disease returned to his salivary gland in 2012. He had suffered from extreme changes in body weight as a result of the radiation and chemotherapy treatments that he had undergone. Gwynn had long claimed that his illness was the result of using chewing tobacco through out his playing career.
"Mr. Padre" as he was affectionately known, was an all-time great. He won eight National League batting titles and collected 3,141 hits over the course of his brilliant career. He owned an incredible .338 batting average over the course of twenty seasons, all with the San Diego Padres.
After retiring from baseball in 2001, he was hired as the head coach for San Diego State University, where he had played both baseball and basketball as a student. Gywnn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
He leaves behind his wife Alicia, son Tony Jr. and daughter Anisha.