Last Updated: November 28, 2023
Info
Category:
Richest AthletesBaseball Players
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Birthdate:
May 9, 1960 - Jun 16, 2014 (54 years old)
Birthplace:
Los Angeles
Gender:
Male
Height:
6 ft (1.83 m)
Profession:
Baseball player
Nationality:
United States of America
­čĺ░ Compare Tony Gwynn's Net Worth

What was Tony Gwynn's Net Worth and Salary?

Tony Gwynn was a professional baseball player who had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death in 2014. Tony Gwynn played his entire MLB career with the San Diego Padres from 1982 to 2001. One of the greatest and most consistent hitters in the history of baseball, he won a National League-record-tying eight batting titles, as well as seven Silver Slugger Awards. Gwynn also won five Gold Glove Awards, and played in the only two World Series appearances in Padres franchise history. Tragically, Tony Gwynn died on June 16, 2014 at the age of 54. He had been battling cancer of the salivary gland.

Bankruptcy & Home Foreclosure

In 1987 Tony filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, citing poor business and investment management. At the time he was just a few seasons into his career. He had $1.147 million in liabilities and assets of $690,000. He owed $45,000 in back taxes.

In 1991 Tony bought a newly-built 7,000 square foot mansion set on two acres in Poway, California. Unfortunately, in the years following his death Tony's family struggled to maintain the property. In 2014, four years after his death, the home slipped into foreclosure. At that point the family owed $2.5 million on the property, which was valued at only $2 million. In 2018 the home was offered in a foreclosure auction but did not get any offers. The home sat vacant for years, leading to neighbor complaints that squatters had taken residence in the home. In December 2019 the bank accepted $1.429 million.

Contracts, Salary and Career Earnings

During his career Tony Gwynn earned $47 million in total salary. His highest-paid season was 2000, when he earned $6.3 million. Earning $6.3 million in 2000 is the same as earning $12 million in today's dollars. His biggest contract in terms of average annual salary was his 2-year $10.6 million deal which covered the 1999-2000 seasons.

Early Life and High School

Tony Gwynn was born on May 9, 1960 in Los Angeles, California to Vendella and Charles. He grew up with his older brother Charles Jr. and his younger brother Chris, with whom he played baseball in the family's backyard. As a teenager, Gwynn attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where he played both baseball and basketball. In his junior year, he helped lead Poly's basketball team to a 30-1 record and the Southern Section 4A title.

Collegiate Career

Gwynn received a number of scholarship offers to play college basketball, but none to play college baseball. He ultimately chose to attend San Diego State University, where he played four seasons of basketball and three of baseball. Gwynn excelled in both sports at SDSU; he was a two-time All-American outfielder in baseball and set multiple school records for assists on the basketball team.

Minor League Career

In the 1981 MLB draft, Gwynn was chosen in the third round with the 58th overall pick by the San Diego Padres. The same day, he was chosen by the San Diego Clippers in the 10th round of the NBA draft. Gwynn elected to go with the Padres in what he called a "practical" decision. He began his professional baseball career in the minors with San Diego's Class A affiliate the Walla Walla Padres, with which he batted .331 in 42 games. Gwynn finished the 1981 season with the Class AA Amarillo Gold Sox. For the season, he earned the Northwest League MVP Award. Gwynn began the 1982 season with the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders before being promoted to the majors in July.

San Diego Padres, 1982-1991

Gwynn made his MLB debut for the Padres on July 19, 1982 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He finished his rookie season batting .289 in 54 games. Gwynn began the 1983 season on the disabled list, missing the first two months of the season. Although he struggled upon his return, he began using video recordings to review his at-bats, helping him improve his game. Gwynn finished his shortened season with a .309 batting average; he also recorded a Padres-record 25-game hitting streak. In 1984, Gwynn broke the franchise record for single-season hits, with 213, and won his first of eight NL batting titles and his first of seven Silver Slugger Awards. The Padres went on to win their first NL pennant and make their first World Series appearance. Ultimately, the team lost the championship to the Detroit Tigers. The next season, Gwynn batted .317. In the 1986 season, he played a career-high 160 games and tied for an NL-leading 107 runs, and finished the season with a .329 batting average. Gwynn claimed his second Silver Slugger Award and his first of five Gold Glove Awards.

Despite his serious financial problems in 1987, Gwynn remained at the top of his game on the field. In addition to setting multiple Padres batting records, winning his second batting title, and claiming consecutive Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards, he led the league in WAR and was second in stolen bases. Gwynn won another batting title in 1988; his .313 average that season was the lowest to win a title in NL history. Also that season, he reached 1,000 career hits. With a .336 batting average in 1989, Gwynn claimed another batting title, making him the first NL player to win three consecutive batting titles since Stan Musial did it from 1950 to 1952. Following that terrific season, Gwynn had a rough time in 1990 as he became distraught over accusations by his teammates that he cared more about his batting average than winning games. He finished the season batting .309, but also managed a then-career high of 72 RBI. In the 1991 season, Gwynn batted .317. He also passed Gene Richards as the franchise all-time leader in steals and triples, and claimed his fifth and final Gold Glove.

Tony Gwynn

Donald Miralle/ Getty Images

San Diego Padres, 1992-2001

In 1992, Gwynn batted .317 for the second straight year, and ended the season on the disabled list for the third year in a row. The following season, he batted .358 as the Padres lost 101 games. Despite the season-ending MLB strike, Gwynn had one of his greatest years in 1994, batting a career-high .394 for the highest average in the NL since Bill Terry in 1930. He subsequently won his fifth batting title and his fifth Silver Slugger Award. With a .368 average in 1995, Gwynn once again won the NL batting title and Silver Slugger Award. In 1996, the Padres made it to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years; however, Gwynn was beset by injuries throughout the year. The Padres were ultimately swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in the opening round. Gwynn bounced back in 1997 to record career highs of 17 home runs and 119 RBI. With a .372 average and a league-leading, new Padres record of 220 hits, he claimed his seventh and final Silver Slugger Award and his eighth and final batting title.

In the 1998 season, Gwynn batted .321 and helped the Padres win their second NL pennant with a franchise-record 98 wins. Making it to the World Series for the second time in history, the Padres were swept by the New York Yankees. Due to injuries, Gwynn missed much of the first half of the 1999 season. After he returned, he recorded his 3,000th career hit. Gwynn saw limited playing time again in 2000 due to persistent knee injuries; he finished with a .323 average. In 2001, after becoming a free agent for the first time in his career, Gwynn re-signed with the Padres on a one-year contract. Once again, however, his season was impeded by knee problems, limiting his time on the field to just 17 games. Still, he managed to finish the season batting .324, his 19th consecutive season batting at least .300. Gwynn officially retired at the end of the season.

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Post-Playing Career

Following his MLB retirement, Gwynn became the head baseball coach at his alma mater SDSU. In his 12 seasons as coach of the Aztecs from 2003 to 2014, he led the team to a 363-363 record, three Mountain West Conference championships, and three NCAA tournament appearances. Gwynn also worked as a sportscaster, doing analysis for ESPN, TBS, and Channel 4 San Diego.

Personal Life and Death

With his wife Alicia, Gwynn has a daughter named Anisha and a son named Tony Jr. Anisha is an R&B singer, while Tony Jr. is a former MLB player who played from 2006 to 2014.

In 2010, Gwynn was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer. Due to an operation to remove lymph nodes and tumors, his face was partially paralyzed. He later underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and was declared cancer-free. Gwynn had additional surgery in 2012. On June 16, 2014, he passed away while in hospital in Poway, California from complications from his cancer.

Altria Lawsuit

In May 2016, Tony's family filed a lawsuit against tobacco giant Altria Group Inc, previously known as Philip Morris, and other defendants. The lawsuit claimed that Gwynn was a victim of a misleading marketing scheme targeted at African-Americans while attending college at San Diego State University in 1977. These events led him to a lifetime addiction to smokeless tobacco, until his death in 2014. The lawsuit details public records from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in 1998, which describe the "graduation pleasure process" by which users are lured into addiction through free samples. In September 2018 the Gwynn family reached an undisclosed settlement with the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Altria.

Tony Gwynn Career Earnings

  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (2001-02)
    $2 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (2000-01)
    $6.3 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1999-00)
    $4.4 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1998-99)
    $4.1 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1997-98)
    $4.6 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1996-97)
    $4.3 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1995-96)
    $4.7 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1994-95)
    $3.6 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1993-94)
    $4.3 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1992-93)
    $2 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1991-92)
    $2.2 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1990-91)
    $1.1 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1989-90)
    $1.1 Million
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1988-89)
    $840 Thousand
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1987-88)
    $765 Thousand
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1986-87)
    $540 Thousand
  • San┬áDiego┬áPadres (1985-86)
    $440 Thousand
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