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Tony Gwynn Mural Rises Above San Diego’s East Village

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Partial complete "Mr. Padres" mural as seen from a roof in East Village on July 18th, 2014

Artist Saratoga Sake explains the work he has to finish on the mural, July 18th, 2014

"Mr. Padres" mural as viewed from the street, July 18th 2014

Some San Diego artists are honoring San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn with a mural outside a gym in the East Village. A trio of artists known as the Wild Style Technicians created the “Mr. Padre” mural entirely with spray paint.

Artist Saratoga Sake says he was inspired by paintings done in other cities to honor local heroes. He says San Diego needed the same thing for Gwynn, a Hall of Fame outfielder known for community involvement as well as his eight batting titles.

“He’s such a huge icon. If you go to New York City, you see portraits of, like, Biggie Smalls. San Diego needs an icon that we can paint murals for,” Sake explained. Sake himself grew up a New York Yankees fan, but says Gwynn transcended sports as a pillar of the community.

The artists chose a vintage look for the mural, choosing a color scheme from the late 1970s, early 1980s.

The mural is on the side of the Und1sputed Gym at 16th and K Streets, just a few blocks away from Petco Park.

Click here for more coverage from KPBS on the death of Tony Gwynn.

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