The Padres HATE History?

Welcome to my 7th Annual “Padres Hate History” post. I say it every year and yet it constantly falls on deaf ears for one reason or another. Fingers crossed this is the last one?

Why do I say this? Because it’s true. Consistently year in and year out this team completely ignores its past for some reason. Granted they don’t have as rich of a history as teams like the Yankees, Red Sox or Cardinals, however they do have A HISTORY and that’s important when it comes to any team. As a fan you should know about Nate Colberts amazing day in 1972 where he hit 5 home runs with 13 RBI’s in a double header. You should know about the infamous Padres and Braves brawl of 1984 (and shirtless Ed Whitson). You should know about Eric Owens stealing home in 1999. These are fun factoids!

I also say every year, that I’ve been to a lot of ballparks and I’m consistently amazed at how well done those teams honor their history. When you walk around AT&T Park in San Francisco you’ll see that players such as Marvin Benard and Jason Schmidt are honored on their Wall of Fame. YES! A team with as rich of a history as the Giants actually honor players that may not be Hall of Fame players, but they were important to their organization. Craziness, right?

Not proof enough for you? OK, I’ve laid out some evidence down below. Read on!

Exhibit A

Here’s the link to the Padres website. Click on it and find the History section in under 5 minutes. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Oh good, you’re back. Did you find it? It was kind of tricky right? Spoiler Alert: it’s with the NEWS section under RELATED LINKS. Sure, that makes perfect sense, right? Now if you frequent the Padres site often, you may have passed the test with flying colors. Although as someone who frequents the site often, even I sometimes forget where to find it. But I now give you….

Exhibit B

Now that you found it, just start clicking around the history page.

“Awesome! I love history I can’t wait! They have a page with all the Team Award winners! That’s something that you really can’t find anywhere, like Baseball Reference. I can’t wait to click on that….oh…….god….”

It appears to be a link to a Corey Brock article from 2011 talking about the Padres awards? Awards that I had no clue even existed and definitely don’t exist anymore. Then you scroll down and see a badly formatted table that lists the past actual Team Award winners…..up until 2008? That’s embarrassing. There are no signs of the MiLB Team Awards either. Ugh.

The rest of the history page is a mish-mosh of things, some well done and others not so well done. Dick Williams (and Greg Maddux but they get a pass on him) is completely MIA on the Hall of Fame page.

Another note: Having (accidentally) stumbled upon the history page years ago, I can confirm that it hasn’t ever been redesigned. In fact they even have the old “Home Plate Wave” logo displayed on the page still. Yikes.

Exhibit C

The Padres created their Hall of Fame in 1999. That year they inducted Nate Colbert, Randy Jones and Ray Kroc. All three were extremely well deserved. In 2000 the Padres inducted Dave Winfield. Another well deserved honoree and just in time for him to make his decision on what hat to wear on his National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque *cough cough*. In 2001 Buzzie Bavasi and Jerry Coleman were inducted. Once again, both are fantastic choices. In 2002 they wasted no time in honoring Tony Gwynn, a season after his retirement. This is kind of no brainer, right? Then there was radio silence. Had they forgotten about their Hall of Fame?

Finally, after 6 seasons of not a single peep about the Padres Hall of Fame, Dick Williams was inducted in 2009. All was right in the world once again. However 4 seasons later there hasn’t been a single member inducted.

When it comes to the honor hierarchy: Padres Hall of Fame is the bottom of the barrel, Retired Number is the next step up and then statues are reserved for the extra special. There are numerous ex-Padres that are Padres Hall of Fame worthy. Steve Garvey is worthy, however he somehow skipped that level and jumped right to the Retired Number. Another worthy player to skip the first step is Trevor Hoffman. Broadcasters Ted Leitner and Bob Chandler are definitely worthy. It’s a travesty that the San Diego Chicken isn’t in yet. What about players such as Garry Templeton, Eric Show or Gene Richards? All of them had long careers with the Padres and all played an important part in their history.

When the question of where exactly the Padres Hall of Famers are honored was brought up on Twitter recently, many people, including Mr. Padre (Blogger) himself Geoff Young, had no clue where to find anything. Well I’ll tell you where. There are some lockers in the Padres Hall of Fame Bar and Grill displaying some items from each members career. However, I can’t recall if Dick Williams ever got a locker. Thrilling, right?

On the topic of Hall of Fame, some may know that there are plaques that sit in front of the batters eye out in center field. Those people also know that they are consistently blocked off and covered so the world can’t enjoy their true beauty. Those are actually plaques for every player to wear a Padres uniform who is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame up to 2005. So there is no Roberto Alomar, Rickey Henderson, Goose Gossage, Dick Williams or even Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman to be found. Move those plaques somewhere and get up to date on the players already. It’s completely ridiculous.

Exhibit D

The promotional schedules. Other teams do a fantastic job of balancing the past with the present when it comes to their giveaway items. Are you in Cleveland? Grab yourself a Kenny Lofton bobblehead one day and then a Michael Bourn shirsey the next. Kids love bobbleheads and the parents will have a grand time telling them about Lofton’s quick feet and slick glove leading them to the World Series in 1995, while they are wearing the shirsey promoting the current member Bourn out to dinner. I can’t recall when the last Padres item was given away, that featured a player from the past. 2003 with the Winfield, Jones & Chicken bobbleheads? Maybe. There’s only so much Clayton Richard giveaways that one can take. Mix it up a bit.

I’ll end it here, because sadly I can keep going all day. This is a huge problem and is essentially part of the reason why there are so few Padres fans. Yeah it would help if the team did well on the field, but there are many other facets that draw in the fans and the history is one of them and the Padres do a terrible job in this department.

To try and pick up the Padres slack a bit, I have created a History page that you can find at the top of the site. I have had one of these at every single incarnation of RJ’s Fro, so I thought it would be fitting to continue that tradition here at Padres Public. I will make additions to it whenever I get the chance, but for now the complete Padres Team Awards, Retired Numbers and Padres Hall of Fame members have been added. Enjoy!

Rick posts as RJ’s Fro at Padres Public every Thursday….unless it’s not Thursday.
I Tweet. I book the Face. I have even plussed the Google once or twice.

You are encouraged to comment using an exisitng Twitter, Facebook, or Google account. Upvote comments you find helpful, and only downvote comments that do not belong. The downvote is not a 'disagree' button.

  • Tim Stoops

    I think you and I are very alike. I love the team’s history. The Padres lack of care led me to starting a website project where I have a page dedicated to every player ever to play in a regular season game for San Diego. It’s ridiculously unfinished. I haven’t touched it in a while, and looking at it right now there’s a lot I’m embarrassed about. It felt important to me though, to remember all these Padres, since the actual team seems to care so little about them. Together, the fans have memories of all of those guys. It would be great if the Padres showed they remember too. Thanks for the great article. I hope this one works.

    • SDPads1

      Thanks Tim! Whats the link to the site? I’d love to check it out.

      • Tim Stoops

        I use Weebly to put it together, which I like to call “paint-by-numbers”
        web-developing. I have no skill at all when it comes to actual

        Ok, disclaimer aside, here it is On the seasons page, only the buttons for
        the 1997 through 2013 seasons link to something. Of all the Padres, the
        Pat Neshek page represents the completed vision I was going for.

  • GoldenBoy

    Right on! I too love my Padres history. The Major League team has been around 45 years. That’s a hell of a long time, with quite a lot of history. And when you factor in the PCL, the Padres have been in San Diego for 78 years! That’s technically longer than the SF Giants, LA Dodgers, Oakland A’s, etc. Time for the team to step up in this dept. & start respecting their own franchise.

    • SDPads1

      Yeah once you factor in the PCL Padres and it makes things even more of a no brainer. Such an awesome history!

      • Tim Stoops

        Have you seen the “First Padres” documentary about the PCL Padres? I tried searching this site to see if it had there was an article about it. The DVD showed up as a Christmas present for me last month and I watched it the other night. I really enjoyed it.

      • SDPads1

        Yeah it was fantastic. It was pre-Padres Public though, so you’ll find mentions of it on our old sites.

      • Tim Stoops

        I figured that’s what it must have been. The pictures of the old parks were fantastic. It floored my wife that her favorite shopping mall was built where an old ballpark was.

  • Michelle Rose

    I think this might be a good place to also note that in the SoCal-version-of-Waynes-World sketch that aired on SNL this past week, of the half-dozen or so background people who were wearing Padres hats, ALL of them were variations on one of the brown/brown-and-gold color schemes.

    • SDPads1

      A whopping 5 throwback Padres hats in that skit! That was so awesome.

      • VM David

        Also worth noting that the Chargers hat was also a throwback.

      • SDPads1

        And a possible San Diego Clippers hat on Jonah Hill.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        This SD Clippers hat:

        And of particular interest to me, that prop surfboard has Akamai on it–whom I used to work for. Where the hell did they get that? There’s an autograph on it, but can’t read it.

      • SDPads1

        It appears to say “Mahalo From Big Bang”. Does that ring a bell?

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Yeah, I thought it said something like that as well. Mahalo makes sense, but Big Bang? No bells for Big Bang.

        But hey, yes, the history thing! If they’d just turn the candy company building into a proper hall, and put Jerry’s statue as part of the entry (officially welcoming you, as he was always welcoming everyone to Padres baseball), we’d have a start. Mike Dee could buy back some of the goodwill he’s spent with his recent changes by such an act.

      • Sac Bunt Melvin

        Didn’t someone say the building was recently leased to an unrelated company for office space?

      • SDPads1

        I believe it was Dave from Tenth and Island, who said that Bumble Bee Tuna leased it for around 12 years.

      • Yup. It was Dave.

        Disappointing, to say the least.

      • Tim Stoops

        Agree Ghost. It’s really disappointing. I’ve had the pleasure of going through the Reds Hall of Fame before a Reds game and it is incredible. There’s permanent fixtures like trophy rooms and the plaque room. They also have an exhibit that lasts for one year, making a trip to the HOF a different experience every year. Last year it was a piece of autographed memorabilia (ball, card, etc) from almost every Reds player since 1920. Wow. I know this is too much Reds on PadresPublic, but my point is that you leave the HOF thinking “Heck freaking yeah! The Reds are awesome!” even if you’re a loyal Padres fan. I wish the Padres had something comparable at Petco Park.

        The candy factory building is much more visually appealing than the modern building that houses the Reds HOF. It’s a shame that a building which ties in so well to Petco and the Western Metal Building is going to used for non-Padres purposes.

      • SDPads1

        On one hand I’m happy that it’s not going to sit vacant anymore. On the other hand the thing (Padres Hall of Fame) that EVERYONE wanted, and the original purpose for the building, will not be going into that space.

        Apparently there were some major costs associated with it getting up to speed (usable). Bumble Bee is paying those costs and are locked in for the next 12 years. After that hopefully the Padres will then utilize it themselves….but damn, 12 years is a long time away.

  • randiego2

    Rick, I’ll add a few names to your list: Clay Kirby, Steve Arlin, Cito Gaston, and Alan Wiggins (I love that you had The Chief, Gene Richards in there). Heck, we can even add Luke Easter and Ted Williams, just for fun.

    Btw, I listened to that whole Nate Colbert doubleheader on the radio. I was 10.

    • SDPads1

      I love those names! All of them are definitely worthy!

      How cool was it to hear those games? I would have been in awe.

    • Change the Padres

      And from my generation: Benito Santiago, Brian Giles, Adrian Gonzalez, Jake Peavy, Nevin, Caminiti, Klesko, Finley, Khalil. You could even honor single season heroics, in addition to the award winners, like Greg Vaughn’s ’98, Sheffield’s ’92, .394, etc.

      It’d also be cool to have displays the All-Star games that were hosted here. Did you know that All-Star game logos were invented by the Padres? (Andy Strasberg had a big hand in that)

  • Sac Bunt Melvin

    I would guess the deal with the guys who played for the Padres in the HOF is that the team no longer thinks they’re a good idea. Which I agree with. People who spent most of their career with other teams and went in the hall of fame don’t necessarily deserve plaques at Petco. I wouldn’t expect the Brewers to give Trevor a plaque, for example. I’d imagine the Padres cover them up to avoid being disrespectful but don’t really want people to know about them.

    • SDPads1

      If they don’t want people knowing about them, then why do they promote it under ballpark attractions on their site? Take them down and move on if they don’t think it’s a good idea. There’s a great chance that the players who have plaques don’t even know they are there.

      It’s just another incomplete project to the ballpark otherwise.

      • Sac Bunt Melvin

        Good point, didn’t know they promoted them on the site. I’d imagine the disconnect between the team and MLBAM is what makes the website so weird.

  • Maybe the new Director of the Content Department will sort it out?

  • Randy Pender ( NoShame267 )

    Awesome article and so true it makes my head hurt . Please keep up the good work , I have a new favorite ( bookmark ) ……