San Diego mourns loss of Tony Gwynn

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SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer ordered flags in San Diego flown at half staff Monday and Tuesday to honor Padres legend Tony Gwynn, who died Monday after a long fight with salivary gland cancer.

” The only thing greater than Tony’s love for baseball was his love for San Diego,” Faulconer said in a statement. “Our city is a little darker today without him but immeasurably better because of him. Our hearts and prayers are with Tony’s family today. I ask San Diegans to join me in remembering Tony Gwynn’s legacy.”

Praise for Gwynn came pouring in from city leaders and sports figures after news of his passing was announced by the Padres and Major League Baseball on Twitter.

City Council President Todd Gloria said, “Tony Gwynn was an outstanding baseball player, family man and human being. Our city is better because of him and he will be sorely missed.”

Councilman Scott Sherman called it a “very sad day for our city.”

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Tony Gwynn’s family,” he said.

Chargers President Dean Spanos said the city lost someone very special.

“Tony was an icon and one of San Diego’s greatest sports legends,” Spanos said. “He was beloved by so many for his passion for life, his generosity and, of course, his laugh. I will always remember his laugh. He represented the Padres, San Diego and Major League Baseball to the highest standard.”

Spanos said he canceled the Charger’s “Thank You San Diego” campaign Monday out of respect for Gwynn’s passing.

Marshall Faulk, the football Hall of Fame running back who played at San Diego State, said on Twitter, “RIP….Tony Gwynn. Thank you for your friendship. Aztec Legend!!!”

Dodgers owner and Lakers basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson wrote, “My friend Tony Gwynn had one of the sweetest swings in MLB history and he was one of the nicest men on the planet!”

Gwynn also played basketball, starring as a point guard for the Aztecs in college. He was drafted by the then-San Diego Clippers on the same day he was chosen by the Padres.

Memorial services were pending.