PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eight days after his father Tony Gwynn passed away, Tony Gwynn Jr. returned to the lineup. In the bottom of the eighth inning he was called upon to pinch-hit, with the Phillies ahead 7-4 over the Marlins. What happened next was special, as Phillies fans rose their feet and fans began to give Gwynn Jr. a standing ovation. It kept getting louder.
“Needless to say, it was pretty awesome,” Gwynn Jr. said. “Made the at-bat a little more difficult, had to fight the emotion and the tears and stuff like that.
Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in a classy move, walked to the mound allowing the moment to breath. Gwynn Jr. appreciated all of it.
“But that’s why guys who play here like to play here,” Gwynn Jr. said after the game. “When things are going well or regardless of whether they’re going bad or good, I think the fans stay behind us. Much appreciated by the Gwynn family.”
“It was really hard,” he said. “Really hard. I was fortunate enough to get two balls to regroup a little bit, but I’ve never been through anything like that before.
“Under these circumstances, it was even tougher, but like I said it was much appreciated.”