Alyson Footer

NL, AL batting titles named after Gwynn, Carew

NL, AL batting titles named after Gwynn, Carew

SAN DIEGO -- The American League and National League batting titles have been renamed after two of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history.

In a goosebumps-inducing moment before the AL's 4-2 win over the NL in Tuesday night's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard at Petco Park, MLB announced that the NL batting title will be named after Tony Gwynn and that the AL crown will be named after Rod Carew.

Commissioner Rob Manfred stood at a podium with the newly minted replica trophies, and he was joined on the field by Carew and his family and Gwynn's wife and children. This moment induced the loudest applause from the fans of all of the memorable moments during the pregame ceremony.

"The player with the highest batting average in the American League will now be known as the Rod Carew American League batting champion," Padres Hall of Fame announcer Dick Enberg said. "The player with the highest batting average in the National League will be forever known as the Tony Gwynn National League batting champion.

"Oh, my! Commissioner Manfred has given both families a beautiful replica of these new awards. Fans, let's hear it one more time for two of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn."

Carew, a seven-time AL batting champion, won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1967 and appeared in 18 consecutive All-Star Games. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in '91.

Rod Carew honored at Petco Park

Gwynn, who passed away in 2014, played his entire 20-year career with the Padres, compiling 3,141 hits and a lifetime batting average of .338. The 15-time All-Star was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in '07.

"Rod is one of the most highly decorated players in American League history, who made 18 straight All-Star appearances in his Hall of Fame career," Manfred said. "Tony is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of the National League, and there is no better place to honor him than in San Diego. Major League Baseball is pleased to recognize their extraordinary careers by naming our batting crowns in their honor."

The announcement prompted the Petco Park crowd into frenzied chants of "Tony! Tony!"

Though most of the pregame festivities were joyous, there was some controversy during the Canadian anthem. "Oh, Canada" was performed by The Tenors, a group from Victoria, British Columbia, and a member of the quartet, Remigio Pereira, altered the lyrics to include the phrase "All Lives Matter." Additionally, Pereira held up a small sign containing the controversial three-word phrase.

The political statement caused a stir on social media and prompted the group to send out a tweet condemning the action:

"The Tenors are deeply sorry for the disrespectful and misguided lack of judgment by one member of the group acting as a 'lone wolf' today during the singing of the Canadian national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego.

"The other members of the group are shocked and embarrassed by the actions of Remigio Pereira, who changed the lyrics of our treasured anthem and used this coveted platform to serve his own political views.

"Our sincere apologies and regrets go out to everybody who witnessed this shameful act, to our fellow Canadians, to Major League Baseball, to our friends, families, fans and to all those affected.

"The actions of one member of this group were extremely selfish, and he will not be performing with the Tenors until further notice."

The U.S. national anthem was performed by international pop star Rachel Platten, most known for her smash hit, "Fight Song."

Tuesday's pregame events in San Diego also paid homage to Padres history and to the city's strong military presence. The ceremony began with 275 Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing marching on the field holding the American flag. Two-hundred members of the U.S. Navy from the USS Theodore Roosevelt circled the field in recognition of the Navy tradition of "manning the rails" as a ship comes back to port.

The Joint Services Color Guard completed the trifecta, lining the outfield near the other military arms.

Following introductions of the AL and NL reserves, the starters assembled along the baselines, accompanied by young fans from local San Diego community groups. The kids were paired with one player each and wore T-shirts bearing the names and uniform numbers of their respective All-Stars.

Following the Carew and Gwynn trophy announcement, the familiar first notes of AC/DC's "Hells Bells" played over the loudspeaker, while the Petco Park scoreboard lit up with "Trevor Time." This was a familiar scene during Trevor Hoffman's tenure with the Padres, during which he established himself as the greatest closer in club history and one of the best in baseball history.

Hoffman delivers the game ball

Hoffman emerged from the bullpen and took the long walk to the mound to deliver the game ball, pointing and waving to all parts of the ballpark along the way. He also joined the crowd in clapping to the beat of "Hells Bells," his signature song the Padres played each time he emerged from the bullpen to close out a game.

Platten sings national anthem

Six U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Flight Team aircrafts completed the flyover in a winged formation, and the ceremony ended with 2015-16 Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year Whitney Stewart yelling "Play Ball!"

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.