Gwynn grew up in Long Beach, played and coached baseball at San Diego State University and spent his 20 years in Major League Baseball with the Padres. He retired in 2001 as the most popular player in team — and perhaps city — history, and died of cancer 13 years later.
Others who will be inducted at a ceremony in Sacramento are actors Harrison Ford and George Takei, author and human rights advocate Isabelle Allende, ex-first California first lady and media personality Maria Shriver, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Tower Records founder Russ Solomon and artist Corita Kent.
“These individuals exemplify the unique and boundless creativity of California,” Gov. Jerry Brown said when the honorees were announced. “Their work has enriched the lives of others and remains an inspiration to all Californians.”
Honorees, and family members of posthumous inductees, will receive the Spirit of California award at the ceremony. An exhibition of artifacts highlighting their lives and achievements will open Thursday at the California Museum.
Previous inductees with San Diego connections include astronauts Ellen Ochoa and Sally Ride, philanthropist Joan Kroc, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel and Jonas Salk, who developed the first effective polio vaccine.
— City News Service
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