‘He was the man’: New City Heights mural pays homage to Padres legend Tony Gwynn

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SAN DIEGO – A new mural of Mr. Padre has popped up in City Heights.

Chula Vista artists Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona of Ground Floor Murals painted the image of late Padres’ legend Tony Gwynn. The mural, located on the side of an MMA gym on University Avenue between Marlborough Avenue and 42nd Street, appears to depict Gwynn from the 1987 season in which he posted a league-leading .370 batting average in 157 games.

“Literally as a kid, my dad was a huge fan, so I was a huge fan,” Jimenez said. “I had all of his cards, had the signature. He was like my super hero as a kid. My dad, the same thing. He was the man.”

The Hall of Famer won eight National League batting titles in his 20-year career, recording a .338 career batting average. In the time since the mural was finished, it drew the attention of the Padres, who said in a Friday tweet, “#MrPadre would be proud.”

“We just want to paint the town,” Ditona said. “We want to do murals. We love art and we love the community and we’re trying to give back what we have.”

Jimenez and Ditona were contacted for the mural by William Corrales, who volunteers for Love City Heights, a group which works to beautify City Heights with art.

To date, Love City Heights is responsible for more than two dozen local murals, Corrales said.

“That’s a blessing that we hooked up with these artists,” Corrales said. “Because Tony Gwynn means a lot to me and I know it does for the city.”

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