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Danny Talks To Tony

Danny and Tony Gwynn
Danny and Tony Gwynn
Tony retired from baseball after the 2001 season. Danny has still hasn't made retirement plans.
Tony retired from baseball after the 2001 season. Danny has still hasn't made retirement plans.

Meet Danny Stricker. He's one of the youngest sports writers around who's hung with some of San Diego's most famous athletes, including Tony Gwynn and Chargers' head coach, Mike Riley.

Danny started writing when he noticed the San Diego Beacon didn't have a kids page in it. So he called them up and asked if he could do a kids page for their paper and they said yes. He says any kids interested in writing should write about what interests them and never give up. His favorite sport to watch is baseball and his favorite players are Ricky Henderson and Tony Gwynn. Danny recently talked to Tony and here's what he had to say.

Danny: What's one thing you do that makes you successful?
Tony: Good old-fashioned hard work. This is a game you can never master, so what you try to do is organize yourself so that you can do the things that you have to on a daily basis. When I came up in the big leagues, I could hit the ball fine but everything else I didn't do that well. I wasn't a good fielder, wasn't a good thrower, wasn't a good baserunner. I learned to organize my time so I could spend time in all those areas. So that's why I say it just boils down to plain old-fashioned hard work.

Danny: Did your brothers used to pound on you when you were a kid?
Tony: Well, I was the middle child and early on yeah, I got pounded on. I was the one that got blamed for everything; whenever a lamp got broke I was the guy that got blamed. But in our house, after I was about ten we all got along. We weren't competitive against each other, we just tried to help each other, but early on, yeah, I got pounded on. I got pounded on a lot!

Danny: Did you have any jobs when you were a kid?
Tony: I had one job when I was 13 years old. I was what we called a "park coordinator." I would teach arts and crafts to the kids who came to the park and teach them how to play softball. We had a softball team and we played in our park league. We got to the championship game and we lost.

Danny: What is the best way to be a better hitter?
Tony: The best way to be a better hitter is to know yourself. No matter what level you're talking about, a lot of guys in the game don't know themselves as hitters. When things go wrong they don't know how to fix it. Know what you do well, know what things you need to work on, and then you're going to have to work on both of them.

If you'd like to read more of this interview or to check out the other people Danny has interviewed, head to Danny's official site.

Related stories:
World Series Words.
World Series Preview.
Baseball Bits.

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