Monday, the Padres announced that Trevor Hoffman would be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame before the game against the Dodgers on August 30th.
A couple of thoughts crossed my mind.
- They retired his number in 2011. You would think that would have been a more opportune time to do it, what with everyone already being there for that ceremony and all.
- Everyone else (with the exceptions of Steve Garvey – who isn’t in the Padres Hall of Fame, and Nate Colbert – who hasn’t had his number retired) has been named to the Padres Hall of Fame first or at least had their number retired at the same time.
Then I had one more thought.
Why don’t the Padres do an Alumni Weekend every year?
Yeah, they have had throwback days and reunions of the 1984 and 1998 teams. But I’m talking about an annual event. Something that would become a tradition, which this club is sorely lacking in.
I came up with some ideas on how the Padres could do it and what they could do. It wouldn’t involve much more than they’re doing now.
Padres Hall of Fame
The first thing, the Padres should announce who they are inducting into their Hall of Fame early in the year. Not a month before. Then schedule an entire weekend to honor the inductees, both new and old. Preferably the weekend before or after the Baseball Hall of Fame holds their ceremony. That would give the fans who remember seeing Tony Gwynn in his heyday or Randy Jones in his Cy Young year something to look forward to. And help keep the memory of their accomplishments alive in the memories of fans too young to have witnessed them in person.
All due respect to the Padres and Hoffman, but announcing it a month before seems like it is thrown together at the last minute. Take the time to do it right.
And invite all of the players who were on those teams to come and be honored as well. Because, as an example, Hoffman would not have had 53 saves in 1998 without Kevin Brown, Steve Finley, and Greg Vaughn.
Wear throwback jerseys from the years the inductees played for that entire weekend — even on Sunday. In the case of Hoffman, the 1998 jerseys would make a fitting tribute to both Hoffman and the 1998 team. At the time of their inductions, they could have worn 1984 jerseys for Gwynn and 1976 jerseys for Jones. That would have been cool.
One thing I noticed on 1984 Throwback Weekend this year was the fact that the Padres still wore their camo uniforms on Sunday. I get it. But this is supposed to be an entire weekend, right? There are other ways they can still honor the military at the same time, like…
Alumni Softball Game
Hold an Alumni Softball Game on that Sunday against or with members of the military. It could be either before or after the game and wouldn’t need to be a full game. Three innings will do quite nicely. Every one wears a camo uniform during the softball game. Then you’re honoring both the alumni players & coaches and the military in one memorable event.
I know, I know. You’re thinking. there goes Padres Public with the bobbleheads again. We get enough of this from RJ’s Fro!
Hear me out.
Give away bobbleheads of the Padres Hall of Fame inductees during one game that weekend. If there are multiple inductees, do like they did with the 1984 jerseys and give out multiple bobbleheads, while encouraging people to trade with one another if they don’t get the one they wanted upon entering the gate. If, for some reason, there isn’t a Padres Hall of Fame inductee some years, give away a current player or a Hall of Famer that has never had a giveaway bobblehead (Colbert, Gwynn, Coleman, Williams, etc.).*
I guarantee that if you do it right, San Diego will come out to the ballpark for bobbleheads. And they won’t have to worry about planning for the possibility of the player being traded. Well, not normally.
*This is where I put in my plea for a Ray Kroc bobblehead, sponsored by McDonald’s.
There you go. I not only gave the Padres a million dollar idea, I managed to solve a couple of problems with their promotional schedule at the same time.
All for free, mind you. I really should bill the Padres for the hours I spent on this.
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