Gwynn Makes Cancer Return to Cheers

By Michael Gehlken
|  Friday, Feb 18, 2011  |  Updated 5:13 PM PDT
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Gwynn Makes Cancer Return to Cheers

Tony Gwynn’s body has been out of sorts for sometime.

The Padres Hall of Famer and San Diego State baseball head coach was diagnosed with parotid cancer last September.

He underwent two months of five-per-week chemotherapy treatment. He endured a weekly regiment of radiation that ended two months ago. Two weeks ago, he had back surgery.

On Friday afternoon, Gwynn was finally back.

The 50-year-old icon returned to the Aztecs' baseball stadium for their season opener against Winthrop. The team lost 14-9, Gwynn exchanged the lineup card and watched the game from the dugout, earning a warm applause before the game's start from the home crowd.

Gwynn smiled and waved to fans while returning to the dugout. He admitted earlier this week his his body is far from full strength yet.

“Today’s a good day,” Gwynn told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Two days ago was a bad day. I just couldn’t do anything. The (doctors) told me. ‘Do what you can do.’ So that’s kind of the premise that I’m going by. The days I feel like I can do what I want to do, I’m going to do it.

“I’m kind of limited in what I can do right now. Throwing batting practice and hitting fungoes — that’s not going to happen. But I can sit on the bench and coach and cheer. I think I can do that.”

On Friday, to the joy of many, Gwynn did.

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