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.
I Tweet. I book the Face.

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  • SingingFriar

    Here’s the thing though: this should have been done properly a long time ago. It’s not like the team needed financial assistance to get it done, so they had to name the plaza after a sponsor (National University HOF Plaza would even be easier to stomach).

    I suppose one could argue that this was in lieu of a financial contribution to a Selig charity (the Angels gave $25k), but that seems pretty twisted, and if that’s the case it’s a pretty sad commentary on ownership’s financial means.

    The problem is how insulting naming a part of the ballpark after Selig is to the fans and THEN having the temerity to insult the fans by saying, “you wanted more history, here it is! Bud saved baseball in San Diego,” all of which is pure bullshit. Padres fans are smarter than Mike Dee thinks.

    • SDPads1

      I agree it should have been done a long time ago. However that’s no fault to the current group who have been on the job for roughly 2 years now. They’ve been fixing and upgrading a lot of things that were neglected during the Moores/Moorad era. Granted the Moores/Moorad era happened thanks to Selig.

  • Lance N Fogel

    Thanks for the insight and clarification. I have been trying to follow the uproar, but came in at the middle when all that was being said was invective and apoplectic comments.

  • darklighter

    I’m glad that Selig Plaza is separate from the Padres HoF, but the fact that people conflated them at all is entirely on the Padres. The sign and the announcement both seemed to indicate otherwise. What I’m more angry about right now is Dee’s patronizing and insulting interview on Padres Social Hour yesterday.

    • SDPads1

      Yeah, not the best/most accurate description of Selig.

    • Sydalish

      “What I’m more angry about right now is Dee’s patronizing and insulting interview on Padres Social Hour yesterday.” <<<< THIS is what pushed me over the edge. I'm definitely happy that the Padres HOF will (supposedly) get the presentation it deserves and I'll never stop loving my team. I've been a fan of Padres since the womb, but I won't be giving them a dime anytime soon. Not after that.

  • Tom Waits

    Alderson was tone-deaf toward the fans, but that Dee interview was worse. Sandy gave off the vibe of “We know better than you, shut up.” Dee tried to jolly people along with bullcrap revisionism of Selig’s importance to San Diego.

  • Sac Bunt Chris

    Dee’s appearance was great in that it explained what the Selig plaza actually is, and now we know it’s a lot less of a big deal than we originally thought. I flipped out mostly because I thought the Padres HOF was going to be named after him.

    But Dee’s defense of Selig was pretty bothersome. It came down to:

    1) Selig helped the Fowler group buy the team

    Ok, so he did, but why would fans care about that? Selig also allowed the franchise to wallow in its own crapulence for years. Although I guess the current leadership isn’t so concerned with that since most didn’t have to live through it the way fans did. Also, it’s not like Fowler’s ownership has been something fans have much of a reason to look back on with nostalgia right now.

    2) Selig did great things to help build Petco, but for some reason nobody can say what those things actually are. To quote Dee:

    “It’s impossible to understand what has taken place behind the curtain, unless you were behind the curtain and knew the role Commissioner Selig played.

    I hope fans understand the point of view that without commissioner Selig, I really have questions as to whether or not the Padres would be playing in San Diego today…”

    It’s impossible to understand? Is it? Can you at least try? Dee had 20 minutes on the show to explain what those things were, was that not enough time?

    • He had an hour on Sileo’s “show” this morning. Didn’t explain anything. Maybe Selig’s role was so important, a mere hour & a half of explanation wouldn’t do it justice?

    • paul

      ‘Behind the curtain’ That’s just condescending bull****.

  • Robby Deming

    The litany of PR disasters that should have been easy wins under Dee is breathtaking. How nuts is it that people are pissed about this stuff than the on-field product.

    Just to recap, here are all of the easily avoidable disasters Dee has wrought in his tenure:

    The PA announcer debacle
    Brining in Agler and jettisoning Masur
    Dismissing the passion behind brown jerseys
    Drafting Manziel
    Naming a piece of the park after someone who literally never cared about this team

    The upgrades to the park have been nice, But overall, his tenure has been a dumpster fire. And the stupidest part is that it’s all self-inflicted.