Tony Gwynn is going back to the World Series, and he's taking a whole new cast of San Diego Padres with him.
Gwynn is the only player left from the 1984 Padres team that rallied from two down in the best-of-5 NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs for the franchise's first pennant. He made the final out as the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in five games, and has been trying to get back ever since.
"This is a great day for us," he said. "We really stepped up."
Gwynn, 38, has never been to Yankee Stadium, but the Padres' team bus circled it twice this year when the driver gt lost trying to get them from Shea Stadium to the airport.
Gwynn was coming off his first batting title in 1984, and he's since won seven more to tie Honus Wagner's NL record of eight. He had 148 hits this season to push his career total to 2,928.
Gwynn was bothered by nagging injuries this season and hit .321, which would be great for most major leaguers but sub-par for Gwynn, a lifetime .339 hitter.
The sweet-swinging lefty has often said that he'd give back all those batting titles for another chance to win a World Series ring, and now he's got it in the twilight of his career.
Gwynn's 1984 teammates included Goose Gossage, Steve Garvey and Graig Nettles. Others on that team were Bruce Bochy, now the manager; Tim Flannery, now the third base coach; and Greg Booker, the bullpen coach.
Kevin Brown is going back for the second consecutive year, and Jim Leyritz gets to face the team he helped steer toward the '96 World Series championship with his dramatic homer off Atlanta's Mark Wohlers in Game 4.
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