*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

When the last out of the World Series is recorded, although there is only one champion, every ball club feels optimistic about their chances for the upcoming season. With the exception of the two new entries in the American League (Seattle and Toronto), the new year brought visions of World Series shares to everyone, including the Padres.

No team had improved themselves in the off-season as much as San Diego. With the addition of Gene Tenace, Rollie Fingers, and George Hendrick, and the emergence of rookies Bob Shirley, Bill Almon, Mike Champion, and Gene Richards, there were those who felt the Padres were finally ready to challenge the Dodgers and the Reds in the Western Division.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

As the clock ticked off the final minutes of 1975, not only did it signal the end of another year, but it signaled the end of the current contract between the players and the owners. At the stroke of midnight, the agreement that had brought an end to the strike of 1972 would expire. The current negotiations, which had been progressing at their usual snail’s pace, were about to include a new issue that would shake the very foundation of the game.

Pitchers Andy Messersmith of the Dodgers and Dave McNally of the Expos had played the entire 1975 season with unsigned contracts. Although McNally had decided to retire, Messersmith declared himself a free agent and requested that the player’s association use him as a test case for the reserve clause in the current contract talks.

The same arbitrator who declared Catfish Hunter a free agent at the beginning of 1975, also declared that Messersmith was free to negotiate with any of the 24 major league teams.

Understandably, the owners were furious over the ruling. In addition to taking the matter to court, they announced that spring training camps would remain closed until a new contract was signed, just as they had done in 1972, the players began working out in local parks and ball fields.

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by Dennis Lawson

As the news ticker scrolled along the bottomHmrp8cC - Imgur of the living room television screen, the name “Gwynn” caught my eye. The date was June 16th, 2014, and Tony Gwynn had just passed after a prolonged fight with salivary gland cancer. My immediate reaction was a rather lengthy string of profanities uttered with cancer the obvious target of my invectives. I wasn’t so much mourning for myself as I was feeling a strong sense of empathy for baseball fans in the foreign land of San Diego. While baseball as a whole lost something that day, Padres fans lost Mr. Padre, and they were cheated out of what could have been 20, or 25, or maybe even 30 more years of embracing their sports icon. Both Gwynn and the fans were robbed.

They had lost their Stan Musial.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

In the business of baseball, success is equated with money. If you’ve got it, you win; if you don’t, you lose. For six years, the Padres were run on a shoestring budget and consequently lost 608 games. With Ray Kroc, money was no object. He had lots of it, and he didn’t mind spending it. But Kroc was an impatient man. Used to success, he felt uncomfortable with a losing baseball team. He wanted to see results, and he wanted to see them quickly. It was Buzzie Bavasi’s job to improve the team, and if he didn’t, his job would be in jeopardy.

As the new year began, San Diego had an opportunity to spend some of Kroc’s cash. Pitcher Catfish Hunter of the Oakland A’s had been declared a free agent because A’s owner Charlie Finley failed to pay $50,000 owed to Hunter as stipulated in his contract. Citing breach of contract, Hunter announced that he would play for the team that made him the best offer. Catfish was in a position to get just about anything that he wanted. Over the past five seasons he had won 106 games, and in 1974 he led the A’s to their third consecutive World Championship while posting a 25-12 record and winning the Cy Young Award.

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by Nacho Padre

To start, I’d like to say thank you to all those who inspired me directly, indirectly and inadvertently to write this piece. I dedicate this piece to my children that one day they come to love the game as much as I do.

My name is Nacho Padre. I have been a baseball player since the age of 5, played on teams through college and ended with a high school coaching stint. After I left my hometown at age 12, most of my exposure to the game came in the North County town of Vista. Pony League, High School and Mira Costa were the infields I dug out picks. El Camino High School was the field I gave back a few years transferring any hitting and infield defensive skills I could offer to local aspiring players. It was not until the opening weeks of Petco that I discovered my fan capabilities. The first few games of that inaugural season I quickly noticed visiting fans berating, humiliating and down right verbally blasting our Padre players and their fans. As someone who was baseball cultured, taught, and coached with the hitting and overall game spirit of the late, great Tony Gwynn during the 80’s and 90’s, I simply couldn’t bear it and here I was in our brand new stadium with sparkling new turf and the visiting fans were wasting no time to piss on it. So having just received a Nacho Libre movie promotional mask promotional giveaway, and still possessing my baseball infield loud voice, I instinctively donned the mask and from my new favorite RF/CF spot in section 135/137 began to commit to improving my fan status to a diehard, home town, family respected heckler. After 10 years of watching the Right Field Mission and Petco Park fan base grow, I offer to all, in my opinion, the actions necessary to be a Championship Fan.

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FAN on FAN Action: Sermon from The Mission

by Corey Menotti

jieLRzfVI am always struck by the manner in which American fans brand themselves with sporting swag. I myself wear Padres gear in some form everyday. I have some personal rules that I abide by; part style, part shibboleth, part superstition. For example; I do not purchase a jersey with a Friar’s name on it unless they have retired. But for the most part I don these togs because I identify with my club, my squad or my town in a very real and tangible way.

Recent discussions with similarly situated individuals have made me ponder the entire hierarchy of fandom and idolatry as it relates to the 2015 Season.

I get why we identify with players, teams and regions towards which we gravitate; proximity, admiration, even a dabble of mild envy i suspect. Like most humans we have a need to identify with champions, so we seek them out in our choice of teams or players.

But why do we also foster animosity towards other devotees of the same ilk?

What would posses us to look at other club fanatics and enthusiasts in a harsh or even disagreeable light? What is the purpose of fabricating a hierarchy amongst ourselves, the fanbase?

I am baffled.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

He didn’t exactly ride into town on a white horse with his six-shooter and his trusted companion. Instead, he flew in on his private jet with his checkbook and his lawyers. If it wasn’t for the fact that some people had actually seen Ray Kroc, they would swear that Buzzie Bavasi made him up. The city of San Diego could search the world over and not find a more perfect owner for the Padres.

Not only was the Chicago businessman crazy about baseball, but he was very wealthy. Kroc was the founder, chairman, and largest stockholder of the McDonald’s Corporation, a hamburger empire that, in 1974, would gross $2 billion. His net worth was estimated at $500 million.
When the National League owners voted down Marjorie Everett, several potential buyers stepped forward. There was Houston financier Reuben Askanase, a personal friend of Bavasi and Walter O’Malley. He offered to purchase the team if no one else could. There was also a local group headed by Malin Burnham and Bob Golden. But they could never get the financing in order to make a viable offer.

Then there was Ray Kroc. One day while sitting in his Chicago apartment reading about the plight of the Padres, he turned to his wife and asked, “Honey, what would you think if I bought the Padres?” “I would say”, she answered,” that you are nuts.” Although it wasn’t the answer he was looking for, he had already made up his mind. He flew into San Diego with his lawyers to look over the teams financial records. Satisfied with what he saw, Kroc got together with the city and worked out a new lease for the use of the stadium.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

In spite of the announcement that the team would still be in San Diego in 1973, there were still those who felt it was only a matter of time before poor attendance forced the Padres to move. As devoted as C.Arnholt Smith appeared to be, he was still a businessman, and businessmen don’t enjoy losing large sums of money year after year. Whatever the future held for the team, management could not afford to sit around and wait for something to happen. A new season was approaching, and with it came the hope of better times.

In the winter free agent draft, the Padres, choosing third, selected 20 year old Dave Wehrmeister, a right-handed pitcher from LaGrange, Illinois. The number one pick in the draft was Arizona State infielder Alan Bannister, taken by the Phillies.

As spring training approached, the enigmatic Mike Ivie announced that he would make a bid for the #1 catching spot. After marrying his childhood sweetheart and seeing a psychologist in the off season, Ivie declared that he had matured and put all of his problems behind him.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

Did you ever have one of those days? You get up in the morning with everything planned out. You’re excited to take on the challenge that lies before you and come out like a champ. Then something happens that you didn’t anticipate, a couple of things go wrong, and before you know it, the day is shot. All you want to do his crawl back into bed and start all over.

For the Padres, 1972 was a lot like that. It started off great. Some personnel changes; in the front office, in the radio booth, and down on the field convinced the fans that Buzzie Bavasi was sincere in his efforts to keep the team in San Diego. Talk of moving to Washington, D.C. had all but subsided. Fan interest was at an all-time high, as were season ticket sales, and the community as a whole was rallying around the team like never before.

The club even got some new uniforms. They were double-knits, which made them quite comfortable, especially on those hot summer days, and they were colorful. Boy were they colorful. The Padres called them mission gold, but to everyone else, they appeared more yellow than gold. An apt description might be mustard yellow. One thing everyone did agree on was that they were bright. Jokes would abound all season long–peacocks, hot dogs, etc., but it was an effort to change the Padre image for the coming season, so mission gold it would be.

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*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.

By Joe Furtado:

There was reason for optimism as the 1971 baseball season approached. Attendance had increased more than 130,000 fans from 1969, and the Padres put the National League on notice that offensively, they were a force to be reckoned with. They had played good ball in September and the current mound corps, although still very young, had a full season of ex-perience under their belts. The future looked bright.

In the winter free agent draft held in January, the Padres had the first pick. With it they chose a 20 year old third base prospect from Pearland,Texas, by the name of Dave Hilton. They also drafted a left handed hitting outfielder named John Grubb. The radio trio of Jerry Gross, Duke Snider, and Frank Sims was pared down to two when Sims was named the Director of Radio and Television Operations. It was also announced that KCST, Channel 39 would televise 22 road games in 1971, including all the games in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Duke Snider and Channel 39 sports director Bob Chandler would do the TV commentary.

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