The Bud Selig Hall of Fame Plaza

This past Tuesday was like any other Tuesday for me. I woke up, ate breakfast, posted about bobbleheads, went to work, occasionally browsed Twitter and then….

…that happened. It hit me like a ton of bricks. On one hand the news of a Padres Hall of Fame getting it’s rightful respect and recognition that it deserves was a good thing. On the other hand, Selig. How dare these guys soil something that I have been campaigning for since I first started blogging back in 2007. I was livid.

As fans, we had no clue Bud Selig was going to be in town. We had no clue there was going to be a special announcement. At that point, myself included, we had no clue what Trevor Hoffman going in to the Padres Hall of Fame even meant. And now they are dropping this on us?

As you can imagine, fan outrage was at an all-time high. The old marketing saying goes, “you’ll never please everyone” but it is also assumed that “you’ll never piss off everyone” and somehow the Padres managed to do that in an instant, which is no easy feat.

Then yesterday Padres President Mike Dee announced that he was going to go on Padres Social Hour and answer the fans questions. I prepared myself for the worst but what happened shocked me. I was actually talked off the ledge.

Now let’s get a couple things out of the way first. If you’ve read any of my past history rants, you’d know that the current Padres Hall of Fame isn’t exactly an “honor”. 3/4th’s of the fans have no clue where it even is and if they somehow have managed to stumble upon it in the past, it’s a huge letdown. I went to the Hall of Fame Bar and Grill a few weeks back and grabbed some pictures. The lockers have sat mostly unchanged since day 1 and noticeably absent was a member of the 1999 inaugural class, Nate Colbert. Add to that the MLB Hall of Fame plaques underneath the batters eye have only seen the light of day a small handful of times since their creation in 2005. The history aspect of this team has been piss poor for years.

In the interview Dee addressed where it would be and what it consisted of. Everyone’s personalized bricks will not be sullied with the Selig name, as the plaza will be the area in between the entrance and the area where the bricks are, right where they had the ceremony. It will be the new home to all the Hall of Fame plaques that are currently hidden beneath the batters eye now. They consist of players or coaches who spent any time in San Diego and are currently in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They currently have 1975 Inductee – Billy Herman (Padre from 78-79 – Coach), 1986 – Willie McCovey (74-76), 1991 – Gaylord Perry (78-79), 1992 – Rollie Fingers (77-80), 2000 – Sparky Anderson (69 – Coach), 2001 – Dave Winfield (73-80) and 2002 – Ozzie Smith (78-81).

My personal opinion is that when these plaques were created in 2005, the team was grasping at straws to fit in with the big boys when it comes to team history. What other team honors someone with a huge bronze plaque for spending 1 year with the team as a 3rd base coach? That’s no knock on Sparky, as he was a damn good manager, but his contributions to the Padres were minor. So naming this area after Bud Selig, who’s contributions to the team were also minor, is not really that big of a deal to me anymore. I also assume the signage will be considerably smaller and stick out a lot less than the enormous banner they unveiled. Regardless of all of this, you’ve got to work with what you have, so you might as well make them visible. Since 2005 Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage, Dick Williams, Rickey Henderson, Roberto Alomar and Greg Maddux have been inducted, so they have some catching up to do on those bronze plaques if they are going to do it right though.

Dee also stated that they will be getting rid of those lockers and creating an actual Padres Hall of Fame. In it, they will honor the Padres Hall of Famers and great moments in team history and be housed where the current Mighty 1090 studios are. Which is where it was originally planned to be based on the original drawings of Petco Park that I unearthed in an old program.

PetcoDrawingPetcoPHOF

Also of note, it will be called plainly the Padres Hall of Fame with no mention of Bud Selig. Hopefully they include a wing for the PCL Padres Hall of Fame as well.

I’m not saying that the Selig thing makes sense, because it doesn’t. All that I am saying is that it’s not that big of a deal to me personally anymore. Yes, there were a million better options for naming options. Yes, Selig treated the Padres, the city of San Diego and the fans like crap for all of his tenure as commissioner. But once I dig through all that dirt, I realize that something good is on the horizon.

Dee admitted that the team should have done a better job of communicating with the fans and I wholeheartedly agree. If they handled things differently by explaining things before hand, or even right away, then the odds are pretty good that there wouldn’t have been as much of an uproar. If you leave people in the dark for too long then the imagination will take you to deep dark places, especially in this day and age. I’m not going to tell you how to be a fan. If you are angry then feel free to keep on being angry. But I’m personally going to take the little bit of bad (Selig) with all of the good (PHOF/Plaques/History). I’ll still always call it the BS Plaza though.

Rick posts as RJ’s Fro at Padres Public every Thursday….unless it’s not Thursday.
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