San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn was best known for his-out-of-this-world ability to hit for contact and avoid striking out. But one statistic in particular takes things to a whole new level.
The pitcher that Gwynn faced the most in his career? Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, whom he went up against 107 times. Not only did Gwynn hit .415 against him, but Maddux literally never got him to strike out one single time.
#Padres Tony Gwynn faced Greg Maddux a total of 107 times, more than any other pitcher during his career. He batted .415 and never struck out.— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) May 10, 2018
Hitters in this era of baseball are so concerned about launch angle that they strike out more than just about any other time period in the history of the sport, but Gwynn luckily played a different type of game. His hitting philosophy was nice and simple: swing at strikes, hit the ball. Someone like Joey Gallo could learn a ton from that approach.
Gwynn collected 3,141 hits in his Hall of Fame career, batting a ridiculous .338 for his 20-year tenure, playing in San Diego every year until his retirement back in 2001.
21 years ago today, Greg Maddux threw a 76-pitch complete game …— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) July 23, 2018
He didn’t get into a single 3-ball count.
Maddux is widely recognized as one of the greatest pitchers of all time in his own right. Winning 355 games in his career, he owned a 3.16 career ERA with 3,371 strikeouts in 5008.1 innings pitched. That Gwynn could pull off that kind of success against someone like the Mad Dog is truly amazing.