Ghost Post: BigBaldMark – Why Don’t the Padres Honor Their History?

Here at Padres Public, we welcome just about anyone to submit ideas for Guest Posts (See what I did there in the title?). Media types. Other Padres bloggers.

Even San Francisco Giants fans.

My brother, Mark (@BigBaldMark) — who clearly is a much better writer than I am — is the latest to join our list of guest writers. He has his own blog, BigBaldMark’s BigBaldWorld, where he writes about whatever strikes his fancy. Sometimes it’s the Giants. Sometimes it’s Disney.

And sometimes it’s actually the Padres.

This is one of those times. Enjoy!


Why Don’t the Padres Honor Their History?

Five years ago this past Monday (May 13, 2008), former San Francisco Giants pitcher Shawn Estes won his 100th career game as a member of the San Diego Padres. Estes would win only one more game that year. His best year was easily 1997 (with the Giants, of course), when he went 19-5 with a 3.18 ERA, striking out 181 in 201 innings. That year, Estes made his only All-Star Game appearance (he took the loss for the NL after giving up 2 runs in 1 inning). In 2011, the Giants honored Estes with a plaque on their Wall of Fame. But this isn’t a post about my fandom of Shawn Estes.

Anytime I see that a pitcher who notches his 100th career win, I think of Eric Show. Show pitched for the San Diego Padres from 1981 to 1990, and having grown up in San Diego, I saw Eric Show pitch many times for the Padres. In his 11-year career, Show won 101 games. 100 of those wins were with the Padres; with a career high of 16 in 1988 (he won 15 games in ’83 and again in ’84). Show had a career low ERA of 2.64 in 1982, and finished 8th in the Rookie of the Year ballot that year. He never made an All-Star team, but finished in the Top 10 in the National League in wins three times (’83, ’84, ’88). Show also threw 13 complete games in 1988, 3rd most in the NL.

Eric Show might be most remembered for giving up Pete Rose’s 4192nd hit on September 11, 1985. The image of Show sitting on the mound while baseball honored the new “Hit King” is forever etched into my mind. Two years later, after Andre Dawson had homered in 3 of his previous 5 plate appearances against the Padres, Show hit Dawson on his left cheekbone, starting a bench clearing brawl with the Cubs.

Show retired after playing the 1991 season with Oakland, where he went 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA, finishing his career with a 101-93 career record. On March 16, 1994, Eric Show passed away from a drug overdose while in a rehab center east of San Diego.

Almost 25 years after he last pitched for San Diego, Eric Show is still the Padres leader with 100 career wins. Randy Jones, who last pitched for the Padres in 1980, is tied for second with Jake Peavy (traded to the White Sox in 2009) with 92. Trevor Hoffman, the man who is second in Major League history with 601 career saves, is 10th on the Padres all-time win list with 54.

As a San Diego native and a baseball fan, I’ve wondered for a long time when this particular record will fall. Sure, the Padres have had their ups and downs, but it amazes me that they only have 1 guy in their history to reach 100 wins. It’s safe to assume that Jake Peavy would have broken that record if he had not been traded (even with his health issues), since he’s won 32 games in 5 years with the White Sox. Now, in that trade, the Padres did get Clayton Richard, who is currently 20th on the Padres all-time win list with 38 wins (Which is not a good reason to wear your jersey backwards. If you don’t understand the reference, don’t worry about it. You don’t want to know the story). What are the chances that Richard gets another 62+ wins with San Diego, though? Tim Stauffer is the next active Padres pitcher on that list with 23 wins, but he only made one start in 2012 before needing elbow surgery.

If you can answer this question, you’re a better person than I am: Why don’t the Padres honor/acknowledge Eric Show and his 100 wins as a member of the Padres?

I may be a Giants fan (this is well documented), but it’s also been documented that I’ve followed the Padres for most of my life. The Padres have won five National League West Division titles, and been to two World Series. One of the greatest hitters to ever play the game justifiably has a statue just outside the ballpark, not to mention that the address for Petco Park is 19 Tony Gwynn Drive. They have a “Hall of Fame” (6 “lockers” in one of the bars in the ballpark). During every Sunday home game, the team honors the local military, with recruits from Marine Corp Recruiting Depot—San Diego in attendance (there was a time when the Naval Training Center was still in use that Navy and Marine recruits would be in attendance. Those games at Jack Murphy Stadium were awesome). Under the right field stands at Petco Park, the Padres honor all former Major League players who served in the military (it’s a longer list than you might think), and they have a statue of Jerry Coleman—former second baseman for the Yankees, former Padres manager, current Padres announcer, and Hall of Famer—honoring his service as a Marine Corp pilot during World War II and the Korean War, as well as his years with the Padres organization. It’s been reported that there are several plaques in center field, just in front of the batters eye at Petco honoring something or someone in Padres history, but since the public can’t access that area, I cannot confirm this.

At what point will the Padres honor more players, milestones, and records from their history? They do know that they can recognize players without retiring a number or building a statue, right? Surely there is a place in or around that ballpark where they can put up a plaque for Eric Show or Ken Caminiti or Ed Whitson or Dave Dravecky or Benito Santiago or Nate Colbert or Clay Kirby or Gary Templeton or Ozzie Smith or Tim Flannery or Jack McKeon or Bob Chandler or Jack Murphy or Ray and Joan Kroc, or any other number of players, managers, announcers, or members of the organization. If the Giants can give out a bobblehead honoring Joe Dimaggio’s time with the San Francisco Seals, why can’t the Padres do something…anything…recognizing Ted Williams’ time with the PCL Padres (and the fact that “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” grew up in San Diego. Pretty sure Tony Gwynn would give his stamp of approval, since they were friends).

The Padres may not have the history of the Yankees, Cardinals, or Giants, but they do have a history nonetheless  They don’t have to get into a debate about uniform colors or payroll or past trades or ballpark dimensions. They do, however, owe their fans some sort of public acknowledgement of the players who have come through the organization—the players who made these people Padres fans for life.




Follow me on Twitter at @GhostofRAK, where I venture dangerously close to failing the Miller Test on a daily basis.

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  • Jeremy_Nash

    I’ve wondered the same myself for years. Why not litter the park with plaques honoring all the different players/teams of their history? If they did, I’ll be sure to wear my Nate Colbert jersey backwards next time I’m at Petco.

  • With Show, I think at least some of the problem is what happened away from the field. Not just his drug history (unfortunately not at all rare for Padre alumni: see Cammy, Wiggins and a certain lefty who should have known better than to try crossing the border with it) but also there are still plenty who want to ignore the Bircher stuff.

    • So, you are not volunteering to hand out flyers at the Del Mar Fair, I take it?

  • Great article. It captures my thought exactly regarding the organization and it’s past. It wouldn’t be hard to correct some of this stuff but for some reason, ownership and upper management continue to have their heads up their asses in various ways.

  • GoldenBoy

    Good post. And I’m extremely sorry that the many years of Barry Bonds b.s. didn’t make you realize the errors in your ways. I was enamored with Will Clark as a kid too, but becoming a Giants fan for life after that?! Makes me want to lose both my lunch and dinner. And after what happened in 2010?!!?!! Absolutely disgusting. Major chunks being blown right now.

    • 2 words: Ken Caminiti. 2 more words: Yazmani Grandal. And what happened in 2010? Jonathan Sanchez beat Mat Latos in game 162, and the Giants went on to win the World Series. Just think of what may have happened if not for that monstrous losing streak in August. THAT’S what you got out of this post? C’mon, man. Get over it.

      • Choosing the Giants over the Padres is like choosing Blane over Ducky.

      • Huh? So the Padres are the nerdy, unpopular best friend? I don’t like that analogy.

      • GoldenBoy

        Your post was great and you were spot on. I could write a manifesto about Padres ownership blunders, past & present. But the fans of opposing teams who live or grew up in SD are much more of a problem than a clueless ownership. That 10 game 2010 losing streak started at a Petco packed with Phillies fans (who live in SD). This Is A Major Problem. And Ken Caminiti didn’t break Hank Aaron’s HR record. Grandal didn’t get a batting title, playing a major contribution to a team making the playoffs, and winning the World Series. And 2010 was not a “magical season” for the Giants, as SF fans like to claim, it was a magical year for the Padres. I’m happy for you Giants fans, but please, stop showing up to our ballpark and have some respect for a fanbase that is Actually Tortured.

      • I have no idea what’s going on. All I know is this exchange has nothing to do with what this guest post was about.

      • GoldenBoy

        He referred to a blog he wrote, explaining why he was a Giants fan. I was largely commenting on that. Speaking for myself, I’m tired of tolerating these people, who are either from San Diego or live in SD, and are fans of another team (most likely a Major Market team). I bet you anything this guy is a big Chargers fan, and yet he’s also a big Giants fan. How convenient. I’m tired of these people. This is a major problem in San Diego, and these people seriously disrespect the Padres.

      • Why are you so angry? Did a girl break your heart at some point and she happened to be a Giants fan? I like the Giants. You like the Padres. It happens. Get over it. Move on.

      • GoldenBoy

        It angers me that a Giants fan from San Diego is telling us what’s wrong with the Padres organization. The mere fact that you are from San Diego and are a Giants fan angers me even more, largely because this is a huge problem in SD, and many people (including Padres ownership) are very complacent about it. So by not responding to my guess, is it safe to say that you’re a Chargers fan?

      • I hate to break it to you, but this “problem” isn’t exclusive to San Diego. It’s a part of sports that every fan base deals with–some more than others. Maybe instead of being so angry at fans of other teams, you should spend some energy trying to get actual Padres fans to show up to Petco for games. The lack of attendance just might be a bigger issue. I’ll gladly respond to any questions/comments/concerns regarding the content of my post, but since this isn’t my website, there isn’t any need to get into anything else. Have a great day!

      • GoldenBoy

        Sure, having fans of other teams is a reality for every city, but it’s at the monumental level of being a problem in San Diego. You can’t deny that the phenomenon is much more drastic here. The fact that there are tons of San Diegan fans of teams like the Giants, Phillies, Mets etc is a huge problem for the Padres, and it only escalates the other problem of there not being enough Padres fans in San Diego, fairweather fans, etc. It really is an avalanche effect, and it’s only getting worse. I’m tired of being complacent. And by now I’ll assume you are a Chargers fan. I called that, and I rest my case.

  • Geoff Young

    Thanks, Mark, for the thoughtful post. The fact that the Padres virtually ignore anything that happened before 1984 (and they don’t even reference that very often these days) bothers me. Why should the citizens of San Diego feel connected to this franchise if the franchise doesn’t feel connected to itself?

    • Thank you, sir. It was good to see you last night, too.

  • As these post don’t have a “like” button let this be my “like.” Would love to see some more nods to history in the ballpark. As both educational (I was born in 1980 so pretty much anything pre-1987 feels like it happened in another dimension) and simply as a historical reference. Not that he holds any records (that I’m aware of) but would love to see Bip Roberts honored some way. Maybe a bobblehead night. Whatever. I guess what I’m saying is I love me some Bip.

    BTW, I’ll take Giants fans over Dodgers fans any day. Thanks for the post.

  • VM David

    Good stuff, spot on, and it matters not one bit that it’s coming from a Giants fan.

  • Very good article and I agree with Geoff. As a fan since 1972, I can’t stand the fact that they ignore that period of their history. It’s time for the Padres to build are area honoring their history at Petco Park.