SAN DIEGO -- There were two certainties about Tony Gwynn: He could hit a baseball like few other major leaguers, and he was going to laugh. John Franklin-Myers Jersey . Gwynn was a craftsman at the plate, whose sweet left-handed swing made him one of baseballs greatest hitters. The Hall of Famer died Monday of oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. He was 54. Any knowledgeable fan can recite Gwynns key stats. He had 3,141 hits -- 18th on the all-time list -- a career .338 average and won eight batting titles to tie Honus Wagners NL record. There was far more to the man. In a rarity in pro sports, Gwynn played his whole career with the Padres, choosing to stay in the city where he was a two-sport college star rather than leaving for bigger paychecks elsewhere. He was loyal, generous and approachable. He smiled a lot. It didnt take much to get him to laugh his hearty laugh. Gwynn loved San Diego. San Diego loved "Mr. Padre" right back. His death left even casual fans grieving. "Our city is a little darker today without him, but immeasurably better because of him," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. Five things to remember about Gwynn: HIS CRAFT: After spending parts of just two seasons in the minors, he made his big league debut on July 19, 1982. Gwynn had two hits that night. After Gwynn doubled, career hits leader Pete Rose, who been trailing the play, said to him: "Hey, kid, what are you trying to do, catch me in one night?" On Monday, Rose recalled Gwynns work ethic and his pioneering use of video to study his at-bats after every game. "Every day you went to the ballpark in San Diego and we used to go 2:30 or 3 oclock, Tony would be out there hitting, religiously, every day," Rose said. "Fifty-four years old is way too young." THE LAUGH: Former Padres teammate Tim Flannery recalls Gwynn as "always laughing, always talking, always happy." It didnt take much for Gwynn to cackle or break into a horse laugh. "He had a work ethic unlike anybody else, and had a childlike demeanour of playing the game just because he loved it so much," said Flannery, third base coach for the San Francisco Giants. THE 5.5 HOLE: Gwynn loved to hit the other way, through the hole between third base and shortstop. "All I keep thinking of when I think of Tony Gwynn is that line drive base hit to left field, or the one-hopper in the hole at shortstop to left field," Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said. "He hit the ball wherever it was pitched, and he was just a genius with the bat, without a doubt." SAN DIEGO STATE: Gwynn had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma mater. He called it his dream job, one he began right after retiring from the Padres following the 2001 season. He coached his son, Tony Jr., whos with the Philadelphia Phillies. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gwynn played point guard for the SDSU basketball team -- he still holds the game, season and career record for assists -- and in the outfield on the baseball team. He was drafted by both the Padres (third round) and San Diego Clippers (10th round) on the same day in 1981. As much as he loved basketball, baseball was his future. Texas Augie Garrido, the winningest college baseball coach, said at the College World Series on Monday that he tried to recruit Gwynn when he was coaching at Cal State Fullerton, but told him he wouldnt be able to play baseball and basketball. Because baseball would be well underway by the time basketball ended, "Youd have to be one hell of a baseball player to be break into the lineup," Garrido recalled telling Gwynn. "He decided to go to San Diego State. After he won his seventh batting title at Dodger Stadium on the last day of the season, he broke that story to the LA Times. He didnt leave out one bit of information about how stupid I was. Thats why my recruiting genius is limited," said Garrido, who added he and Gwynn had a good relationship. TERRIFIC TONY: Gwynn struck out only 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats. He played in San Diegos only two World Series -- batting a combined .371 -- and was a 15-time All-Star. He had a home run in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series off fellow San Diegan David Wells and scored the winning run in the 1994 All-Star Game despite a bum knee. Gwynn never hit below .309 in a full season. He spread his batting titles from 1984, when he batted .351, to 1997, when he hit .372. Gwynn was hitting .394 when a players strike ended the 1994 season, denying him a shot at becoming the first player to hit .400 since San Diego native Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. John Franklin-Myers Rams Jersey . - The Green Bay Packers got back to work on Friday without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. John Kelly Rams Jersey . -- Quarterback Josh Johnson has returned to the San Francisco 49ers and his former college coach, Jim Harbaugh. http://www.ramsauthenticshop.com/Youth-Brian-Allen-Rams-Jersey/ .C. -- With a chance to start over and maybe drive in any series he wanted, Juan Pablo Montoya thought long and hard about what mattered most at this stage of his career.ATLANTA - No LeBron James. No Al Horford.Late decisions by Cleveland and Atlanta to hold out the two stars could have led to a letdown, but Paul Millsap made sure the Hawks were tough down the stretch.Millsap scored 26 points and took over for Atlanta in the fourth quarter to help hold off a Cleveland comeback and the Hawks beat the short-handed Cavaliers 109-101 on Tuesday night.James, celebrating his 30th birthday, was held out with a sore left knee. Cavaliers forward Shawn Marion was held out with a left ankle sprain.Horford left the court with an upset stomach only minutes before tipoff.Hearing the news that James wont be in uniform can be disappointing — even for the opposing team.Different guys arent playing, guys on our team arent playing, guys for them arent playing, said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Its just human nature, as much as you want to fight it, it can be hard. We dont want to lower our expectations ... but it wasnt a pretty game.The Hawks led by 17 points early in the second half but had to hold off a comeback by Cleveland, which had 35 points and nine assists from Kyrie Irving.I had to be aggressive; we had some guys down, Irving said. I just kept shooting. ... We gave ourselves a chance to win. We just couldnt get over the hump.Irving made 13 of 27 shots from the field.I just thought Kyrie played his heart out, said Cavaliers coach David Blatt. I cant say enough about that kid. I just think the world of that kid.After a jam by Tristan Thompson cut the Atlanta lead to 93-90, Millsap scored Atlantas next eight points. Millsap had 10 points in the fourth quarter.Thats what we expect out of him, said Atlanta guard Jeff Teague of Millsap.Teague had 23 points and 11 assists, and Kyle Korver sank five 3-pointers while scoring 19 points.Thompson had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.The Cavaliers have lost three of four. Before thee game, Blatt addressed speculation of unrest on the team. John Kelly Jersey. I didnt feel a necessity to talk to the guys about that because thats simply not the case, Blatt said. And just because things are reported or said, it doesnt mean that theyre true.We have a very good group. Close knit. Guys are engaged, guys are listening. We went through a couple of tough games. A few short games ago we were 18-10 and looking good.James status is day to day.Obviously, we want to get him right, Blatt said after James was pulled from the starting lineup about 90 minutes before the game.James also was held out of Clevelands Dec. 11 game at Oklahoma City with soreness in the knee.___TIP-INSCavaliers: G Matthew Dellavedova had six points in his fourth start of the season. ... Irving had eight turnovers. Irvings 27 shots from the field set a season high. ... The Cavaliers shot only 34.1 per cent from the field in the first half and made only 6 of 21 shots (28.6) in the second quarter.Hawks: C Pero Antic had five points in his first start of the season. ... Millsap blocked three shots. ... Shelvin Mack, who set a career high with 24 points in Atlantas 127-98 win at Cleveland on Dec. 17, did not play. ... Two players were assigned to NBA Development League teams — guard John Jenkins to Idaho Stampede and centre Adreian Payne to Austin.LOVE LOSTCavaliers forward Kevin Love had seven points and seven rebounds, making only one of eight shots from the field, before leaving the game in the third quarter with tightness in his back. Love said he had a similar problem once before and was fine the following day.STAR GAZINGJames wore a grey suit as he watched the game from the bench. He shared a hug and laugh with singer Usher, who had a front-row seat near the Cavaliers bench, during a timeout.UP NEXTCavaliers: Host Milwaukee on Wednesday.Hawks: At Utah on Friday. NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2020 Wholesale NFL Gear China Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys China ' ' '