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Sibling Rivalry Becomes a Divisional Rivalry, Too

Times Staff Writer

At 12:30 Monday afternoon, Tony Gwynn called Chris Gwynn.

Tony: “You drafted yet?”

Chris: “Yeah.”

Tony: “Who?”

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Chris: “You’ll never guess.”

Tony: “Dodgers.”

Chris: “Yeah, the Dodgers.”

The improbable happened. Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and Chris Gwynn of the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone from sibling rivalry to rivalry.

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“He knows people here won’t like him anymore,” Tony Gwynn said Monday.

Actually, Tony Gwynn is glad for Chris Gwynn. Someday, if his brother makes it to the big leagues, it will be an exciting time for them and their parents.

“I’m happy,” Tony said. “I just wish it were somebody else other than the Dodgers. Talk about ironic. My parents got to feel like the two luckiest people. I’m with the Padres; he’s with the Dodgers. Only 120 miles in between, and we’ll play 18 times.

“Every time we go to L.A., and every time he comes here, it’ll be hectic . . . But the thing that’s kind of scary is the (Dodger) organization. They have so many guys who can play. They wait five, six years. You can be the right man in the right spot like I was here or you could go down and get buried.

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“It’s dog eat dog. You have to bust your tail and put the numbers up.”

It wasn’t totally unexpected. On Sunday night, Chris Gwynn had a hunch and a hope it would be the Dodgers. He had thought much about draft day. Tony says he had traded in his college aluminum bat for a wooden one.

“People always said he’d be a better hitter than me,” Tony said. “And here’s his chance to prove it. Before, I couldn’t say anything because he wasn’t drafted. But now I can. He’ll have to prove it now.”


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