Effort to rename part of freeway after San Diego Padres great Tony Gwynn gaining momentum

POWAY, Calif. - A major thoroughfare that runs from San Diego into Poway could soon be named in honor of baseball great Tony Gwynn.

City officials are working with Caltrans and state lawmakers to rename a section of the Ted Williams Parkway.

Exit 19 off Interstate 15 could soon be changed to add Padres No. 19, Tony Gwynn. The plan is to rename a 2.4 mile stretch of the road east of I-15 into Poway. The west side will remain Ted Williams Parkway.

A freeway sign would not be the only honor Williams and Gwynn have shared. The baseball legends appeared together at the 1999 All-Star Game.

Poway Mayor Don Higginson says the city is excited to pay tribute to a man who helped local schools and gave back to the community.

"He donated time and money and baseball bats and you can name it," Higginson said.

A spokesman for Assemblyman Brian Maienschein's office says they are looking into legislation to make the tribute a reality. Caltrans will take inventory of the number of signs and the cost to change them.

A local businessman who helped rename the North City parkway after Williams has volunteered to help raise money to pay for the project.

Residents 10News spoke with say the tribute will touch drivers both young and old.

"We've learned about him ever since we were younger and of course we watched him when we were younger, so I think it will be a great way to honor his legacy," said Claire Garvais.

Brad Garvais added, "I think that's an outstanding idea. Tony Gwynn has a far stronger connection to San Diego, in my opinion, than Ted Williams did."

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