News Release


DATE: July 26, 2007

CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108 



SAN DIEGO — The hometown of San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn is excited about the hitter’s induction into National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York this weekend— even the buildings are sporting the jersey of beloved Number 19.

As a sea of Gywnn fans watched from the ground, San Diego County officials hoisted a giant version of Gwynn’s 1984 jersey onto to the tower of the historic County Administration Center Wednesday afternoon. More than a few fans said the 1930s-era building on San Diego Bay never looked better.

The four-story tribute was organized by Vice Chairman Greg Cox and Supervisor Dianne Jacob, and underwritten by Cox Communications and Channel 4 San Diego. The design and installation were coordinated by Y3K Grafix of Temecula.

“Our company loves to celebrate the things that make San Diego great and Tony Gwynn is at the top of that list” said Bill Geppert, Vice President and General Manager of Cox Communications. “We tip out ball caps to Mr. Padre and congratulate him on his big day.”

“For 20 years, Tony Gwynn thrilled and delighted San Diegans,” said Vice Chairman Greg Cox. “Today, we get to return the favor. By hanging that big old number 19 on the side of the County Center, we pay tribute to one of our favorite hometown legends.”

“On and off the field, Tony Gwynn is a San Diegan of elite distinction,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Tony’s work ethic, attitude and commitment to community are second to none. San Diego is lucky to have Tony as a regional role model.”

Made from 700 feet of wind-resistant mesh, the jersey is 35 feet tall and measures 30 feet wide from sleeve to sleeve. The total cost of fabrication, installation and removal was $7,500. The jersey will remain on the tower at least until Gwynn returns to San Diego from Cooperstown.

The jersey unveiling ceremony took on a distinct ballpark feel when County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard led the crowd in a spirited rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Fans enjoyed Cracker Jack donated by the Neighborhood Market Association and the Frito Lay.