Updated 09:16 AM EDT, Sat, Nov 01, 2014
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Tony Gwynn Jr. Loses Dad to Cancer; Tweets Sweet Message

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Tony Gwynn at the 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame induction parade.
(Photo : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tony_Gwynn_2011.jpg)

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. experienced a big blow in his life and career on Monday when he lost his namesake dad, more popularly known in baseball as Mr. Padre, to oral cancer.

Tony Jr. took his emotions and devastation to Twitter saying he not only lost his dad but his best friend and mentor as well.  ''I'm gonna miss u so much pops. I'm gonna do everything in my power to continue to ... Make u proud!'' he added on his tweet.

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He even posted a throwback photo of him and his dad with a couple of roommates during Gwynn Sr.'s last day as a baseball player.

Gwynn Jr. told CSN Philly in an interview that he would always tell his father "I love you."

"For a while that was uncomfortable for me, I don't know why. But since 2010, it hasn't been uncomfortable. It's something I want to make sure I get in because you never know what's going to happen," he added. 

According to a report by Yahoo Sports, Gwynn Sr. is considered to be one of the greatest athletes in San Diego's history. The 54-year-old player died due to oral cancer which was reportedly caused by chewing tobacco. His family and loved ones were beside him during his last minutes.

He was also considered as one of the greatest hitters in the indursty with a record of 3,141 hits, the 18th on the all-time list of a career, Yahoo noted. After retiring from the San Diego Padres, Gwynn Sr. became the head baseball coach at the San Diego State but according to Yahoo had to take a leave for his cancer treatment.

Messages of condolences were also sent by people close to Gwynn and his family. Chair of the board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Jane Forbes Clark noted that the player was "beloved" by so many especially his Hall of Fame family.

"Tony was one of baseball history's most consistent hitters and most affable personalities. He was an icon for San Diego Padres fans, never more evident than on Induction Day of 2007, when tens of thousands of Tony's most appreciative fans filled Cooperstown for his Hall of Fame speech. We extend our deepest sympathies to Alicia and the entire Gwynn family," Clark added.

Meanwhile executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark said that he was deeply saddened when he heard that Gwynn lost his battle against cancer, noting that since his diagnosis, he has showed tenacity against the disease.

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