30 June 2016
San Diego, CA (June 30, 2016) — After nearly two years of planning, a permanent monument to the greatest sports-figure in San Diego history is about to open its doors. On Friday, July 8, the official Tony Gwynn Museum will debut to the public at Miramar’s AleSmith Brewing Company. The event was planned to sync with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend festivities, which are taking place in San Diego from July 8-12, to offer baseball fans who will be in town for the corresponding MLB All-Star Game the opportunity to pay homage to one of the sports all-time greatest players, heroes and ambassadors.
Installed in the northwest corner of AleSmith’s tasting room (the largest on the West Coast at 25,000 square feet), the Tony Gwynn Museum will house a rotating stock of more than 300 individual pieces of memorabilia collected by Tony’s widow, Alicia Gwynn, over the course of four-plus decades. To date, these historical items had been stored at the Gwynns’ private residence, but it was important to the family that they be showcased in a public-forum for Tony’s fans to be able to see and appreciate. That was where AleSmith came in.
“We first met the Gwynns in 2014 when Tony asked us to brew him a signature hoppy pale ale,” says AleSmith owner & CEO Peter Zien. “From our first meeting, my wife & I really connected with the Gwynns and, over the following months of designing what would become San Diego Pale Ale .394, we grew into each other’s extended family. When Alicia mentioned she was looking for a site to house a museum to honor the great man shortly after his passing, we felt humbled and privileged to offer up space at our headquarters.”
“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,” says Alicia. “For us, it’s as much about Tony as the people who loved him. The Gwynn family would like to express our most heartfelt gratitude for the incredible love & support our friends and neighbors both near and far have provided us, both when Tony was alive and since his passing. 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 enjoy for decades to come.”
The exterior of the Tony Gwynn Museum was designed with a stadium aesthetic. Steele girders tower their way to the tasting room’s high-ceiling, connected by glass panes up top and a tiles at the base comprised of bricks (that will be) engraved with the names of Tony Gwynn Museum “Founders” who contributed funds toward this product via a Generosity.com campaign held earlier this year. The names of other Founders will also be engraved on tiles making up an art piece on the museum’s west wall in the shape of Tony’s iconic batting-stance.
The museum’s initial array of memorabilia will offer items spanning Mr. Padre’s entire life, from his childhood to his college days at San Diego State University, to his 20 years with the Friars, to his final days coaching baseball at his alma mater. Those items will be housed in display-cases that will (eventually) be equipped with interactive displays to teach visitors more about San Diego’s favorite son. In the future, memorabilia will be shifted in thematically via exhibits focused on specific portions of Tony’s career (e.g., Chasing 3,000 Hits, The World Series Years, etc.).
Admission to the Tony Gwynn Museum will be free-of-charge, though guests are encouraged to make a donation to the Tony & Alicia Gwynn (TAG) Foundation, a non-profit organization working to assist underprivileged youth in a variety of ways including clothing and food donations, educational and scholarship assistance, and removal of obstacles to career opportunities. The museum will be open the same days and times as AleSmith’s tasting room—11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays. AleSmith Brewing Co. is located at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street), San Diego, CA 92126.