Monday, Feb 1, 16
San Diego, California (February 1, 2016) — This month marks the beginning of a multi-tiered fundraising initiative to construct an enduring shrine to one of San Diego’s and Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players, ambassadors, humanitarians and all-around heroes in the form of the Tony Gwynn Memorial Museum. Stocked with more than 300 pieces of memorabilia spanning “Mr. Padre’s” Little League years, playing and coaching tenures at San Diego State University, and an entire Hall of Fame career spent with the San Diego Padres, the museum is currently under construction with a projected debut date preceding the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will take place in America’s Finest City in July.
The future site of the museum will be inside AleSmith Brewing Co. at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street) in San Diego’s Miramar area. AleSmith owners Peter and Vicky Zien first met the Gwynns in 2014 when collaborating to brew a special beer per Tony’s specifications—San Diego Pale Ale .394. Since then, the Gwynns have grown into an extended part of the AleSmith family. When Alicia mentioned the idea of erecting a monument to house mementos from Tony’s playing days, the Ziens immediately volunteered space at their facility. Architects were consulted, designs were drawn and finalized, and now, work is underway to bring the Tony Gwynn Memorial Museum to life.
“Like so many San Diegans, the Ziens have been extremely supportive since Tony’s passing. It brings to light just how much my husband meant to this community, making it so fitting that his life, times and memory will have a permanent home in the heart of San Diego at a place where his fans can pay tribute and remember so many wonderful memories,” said Alicia Gwynn. “For us, it’s as much about Tony as the people who loved him, and we’ve come up with opportunities for his fans to be a part of the museum in meaningful, lasting ways.”
Fans will provide the foundation of this project, literally. Similar to Tony’s statue at the San Diego Padres’ home stadium, Petco Park, supporters will have the opportunity to purchase bricks with their names engraved on them. Those bricks will then be laid as the permanent flooring within the museum. Additionally, an artistic, mosaic-style silhouette of Tony in his iconic batting stance will grace the west wall of the museum. Each tile within the mosaic will be engraved with the names of project supporters. Both bricks and tiles will be available for purchase beginning Friday, February 5, at a special kick-off event taking place at AleSmith’s tasting room from 4 to 10 p.m. The event is free and will feature speeches from Alicia Gwynn and Tony Gwynn, Jr., an auction including signed Tony Gwynn memorabilia and items donated from local businesses, rare and special AleSmith beers, food from the Gwynn Gourmet truck and more.
The February 5 event will coincide with the launch of two online fundraising initiatives, web-based auctions of the items up for bid at the physical event as well as a crowdfunding campaign taking place on Indiegogo’s new non-profit-based platform, Generosity. The latter will allow fans to contribute funds to the museum project in return for rewards at different levels, including a special-edition Tony Gwynn baseball card produced by Topps, a variety of apparel items indicating “founder”-status for donators, hard-hat tours of the museum during construction, admission to the completed museum ahead of the public, VIP status at museum events and more. For a full list of rewards, visit the campaign page.
The Generosity fundraiser will run for 60 days. Prior to its close, another special event will be held at AleSmith’s tasting room on Sunday, April 3, offering fans a sneak-peek of the progress being made at the construction site as well as more specialty beers and other yet-to-be-announced surprises.
Saturday, June 18 will welcome the second annual Mr. Padre 5.5K. Scheduled each year on Father’s Day weekend, this event starts and ends at AleSmith. The route has yet to be determined, but will guide participants through the many backroads of the Miramar area before providing a suds-soaked post-race rally with plenty of San Diego Pale Ale .394 for all to enjoy. Last year’s inaugural Mr. Padre 5.5K featured many runners and walkers whose entry fees helped construction of the Tony Gwynn Memorial Museum. This year’s edition is expected to raise even more and provide a number of added fun features. Interested parties can register to take part in the Mr. Padre 5.5K online.
One hundred percent of proceeds from all of the aforementioned activities will be contributed to the construction of the Tony Gwynn Memorial Museum and the expedited schedule necessary to ensure it is open in time for baseball fans from far and wide to visit and enjoy this brick-and-mortar tribute to one of the game’s most universally beloved figures while they are in San Diego for this momentous event.
“The Gwynn family would like to express our most heartfelt gratitude for the incredible love and support our friends and neighbors both near and far have provided us, both when Tony was alive and since his passing,” said Alicia Gwynn. “It meant the world to my husband and all of us, and we are so excited to say thank-you in some small way by offering access to Tony’s memorabilia in a permanent home all his own for fans to see and appreciate for decades to come.”