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.”
Tony Gwynn just broke down talking about his dad and the support he got tonight from the fans. "That's why guys want to play here."
— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) June 25, 2014