Tony Gwynn Jr. makes emotional return to Phillies


Tony Gwynn Jr. acknowledges the warm welcome for his return Tuesday night. (Mitchell Leff / Getty Images)

Tony Gwynn Jr. returned from the bereavement list and in his first at-bat Tuesday night, Philadelphia Phillies gave him a classy welcome.

Gwynn, whose father died of oral cancer eight days ago, stepped to the plate and received a standing ovation in his first at-bat since June 13, with Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepping to the mound to give Gwynn a moment alone at the plate.

“Needless to say, it was pretty awesome,” Gwynn Jr. said in an emotional postgame interview (via CBSPhilly.com). “Made the at-bat a little more difficult, had to fight the emotion and the tears and stuff like that.”

Gwynn Jr. noted that the expression by fans was “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.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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