Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has joined movie producer Thomas Tull’s attempt to buy the San Diego Padres. Gwynn claimed on Monday that he is not yet sure what his role will be other than offering advice to Tull and his fellow investors, but he has decided to back that particular group’s bid to buy the team.
Gwynn reportedly met with Tull in San Diego last week and has spoken to him several times since. Tull is the chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment and is one at at least five people interested in buying the Padres from current owner John Moores.
The 52-year-old Gwynn spent his entire 20-year career with the Padres and is currently the head baseball coach at San Diego State. He had the following to say about Tull:
“I’m throwing my hat in with Thomas. I think he’s the right guy. I’m the coach at San Diego State and plan on continuing that. But I really liked what he had to say. I’m excited. And believe me, it takes a lot to get me excited. He definitely has some ideas about what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. The biggest thing is, he wants to win. He ain’t getting this to say he has the club. He wants to win.”
Gwynn is a beloved figure in San Diego and his blessing is a big step for Tull. The 15-time All-Star finished his career with 3,141 hits and eight National League batting titles. His number has been retired by the Padres and the franchise erected a bronze statue of Gwynn just beyond Petco Park’s outfield in 2007.
Tull is already a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers but has ties to San Diego. Legendary Entertainment has produced big-time box office winners like “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” both “Hangover” movies and “300.”
The Padres are almost certain to be sold at some point this summer. Gwynn’s support could help Tull in his pursuit of the franchise.