When it comes to sports, San Diego is a city of superstars. Let’s remember some of our favorites with this look at four of San Diego’s most beloved sports figures of all time.
Affectionately known as Mr. Padre, the late Tony Gwynn spent his entire 20-year career with San Diego. He finished with a .338 batting average and 3,141 hits, all the while endearing himself to the city of San Diego with his affable personality. After his retirement in 2001, he went on to coach the San Diego State baseball team for 12 seasons before succumbing to salivary gland cancer in 2014.
One of the most electrifying running backs we’ve ever seen, LaDainian Tomlinson was a beast for the franchise formerly known as the San Diego (Super) Chargers. The first-ballot Hall of Famer, who spent nine of his 11 seasons with the Chargers, finished his career with 13,684 rushing yards, 18.456 all-purpose yards, and 162 total touchdowns.
Few have had as much of an impact on their sport as Tony Hawk. Turning pro by the time he turned 14, the native San Diegan went on to win more than 70 events and, most notably, was the first skateboarder to land a 900. Hawk’s influence extends far beyond the competitive realm, though. With a wildly popular video game franchise, countless product and gear lines, a respectable acting career, and a philanthropic spirit, his legacy is without rival.
This Hall of Fame outfielder is widely considered one of baseball’s best hitters ever – and it all started in San Diego, where he spent his formative years refining the skills that drove him to superstardom with the Boston Red Sox. Williams’ resumé is hard to top – 19 All-Star selections, two MVP awards, two Triple Crowns, a career .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and six American League batting titles. And, perhaps most impressively, he was the last MLB player to bat over .400 for a full season, hitting .406 in 1941.
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