The headline is not a question, it’s a statement. Recently, baseball legend and San Diego icon Tony Gwynn died at the age of 54. At his memorial service everyone said the same thing, he was an amazing person. Most didn’t even mention his baseball accomplishments (which were astounding) but instead focused on the man himself. He made a mark on the game of baseball, but more importantly, on the people he met.
One story that epitomizes the man Gwynn was involves a kid who asked Padres players as they passed by in spring training for a baseball–all but one player ignored the boy. If you guessed it was Tony Gwynn, you are right. He told the boy to wait there and he would be right back. He returned with a signed baseball and two other players who took a minute to talk to the fan and sign autographs. Tony Gwynn made memories like that for many people.
Tony Gwynn, Jr. lived three doors down from me for several years and I interviewed Tony Gwynn senior more than once. I was a fan . . . and so were so many others. However, he made me feel like I was a friend, even though I only knew him through his son and my role in the media. When I think of him I have a warm feeling inside because as busy as he was, he never said no to an interview request and he never “mailed it in” when we spoke on air or for an article.
What will your legacy be? What will people say about you when you are gone? (What do you want them to say?) What stories will they tell about you? I know I think about this all the time (listen to the songs on my solo CD and you will wonder if that’s all I think about.) My goal is to create magic moments with people they will never forget–and it doesn’t take much to be memorable. My goal is to spend a little time each day using online (social media and e-mail) and offline (personal interactions and snail mail) to make someone’s day. How about you?