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Gwynn and Rocker

Tony Gwynn winds down a 20 year career with the Padres while John Rocker maintains his role as a poster boy for ignorance and stupidity. Here's a look at Heroes and Zeros from the baseball world.

Hero
After 20 years playing baseball, Tony Gwynn has announced that he'll be retiring after the 2001 season. Tony ends his career with more than 3,100 career hits and eight batting titles. But what's most remarkable about Tony's career is that he's played all of his 20 seasons with one team - the San Diego Padres. These days, players are always bolting to where the biggest pile of cash is without showing any loyalty to teams or their fans (Hello, A-Rod, T-Mac and Grant Hill.)

Tony easily could've had more money and fame by going somewhere like New York or Boston but Tony decided to stay in San Diego - the city where he grew up and went to college. In 1994, Tony and his wife formed the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation - a charity that supports more than 20 different charities, including a shelter for abused children and the YMCA. In honor of his community work, Tony entered the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1999. That year he also received the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award for being the player who best combines sportsmanship and community involvement with excellence on the field. After the 2001 season, Tony plans to coach baseball at San Diego State University.

Zero
Another shining moment for everyone's favorite loud mouth - John Rocker. After being traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Cleveland Indians in mid-June, Rocker entered bashing his former teammates. He called all-star third baseman, Chipper Jones, "white trash" and said Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were all "golden boys" who got special treatment from the Braves. Who is John Rocker to call anyone "white trash?" This guy is as trashy as they come. He grew up in the sticks of Georgia and was suspended during the 2000 season for his hateful comments towards blacks, gays, asians and just about every group of people you can think of. Rocker may be one of the best left-handed relief pitchers but the Braves did the right thing by sending him packing.

For more Heroes & Zeros, click here.
Do you know an athlete who's a hero or a zero? your Heroes and Zeros ideas to Kidzworld.

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