Time to press on and keep pounding out these Home Grown vs. Acquired rosters.
Today we look at the San Diego Padres.
For a while the Padres were best known for ugly brown and yellow uniforms that resembled a Taco Bell wrapper.
Odd because for so long they were owned by McDonald's big cheese Ray Kroc.
They are a small market team... about as small as they get. Los Angeles is to the north, desert is to the east, Mexico is to the south and the Pacific is to the west.
And yet they kept their biggest ever star (in terms of fame and waistline) from bolting for greener pastures.
The suffering they've inflicted on their fans is underrated and their bad luck in the World Series has been jaw dropping.
The two times they made the World Series, they faced one of the best American League team of the decade. (The 1984 Tigers and the 1998 Yankees.)
The only World Series title the Padres ever won was in the Gary Coleman film The Kid From Left Field.
Hall of Famers, an MVP and multiple Cy Young Awards (including one I completely forgot about) make this a much more interesting list than I was anticipating.
As always, the rules for the rosters can be found here.
Time to dig up your brown and yellow hats... let's talk PADRES!!!
ALL TIME HOME GROWN PADRES TEAM
Santiago burst onto the baseball scene and had an element of cool about him that was rare for a catcher. Usually the catcher was an immovable lug (a la Rich Gedman) or a hard nose blue collar guy (a la Thurman Munson.)
But Santiago was athletic and had a cannon for an arm and could throw out baserunners while still in the crouch.
Nothing was cooler than that and a better F--- You to the base runner. "I don't even need to stand up to get you."
He could hit too. His 34 game hitting streak is not only a rookie record but also a record for catchers.
When his career hit a slide, he went to San Francisco in the early 2000s and had a boost in his numbers.
STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
John Kruk deserves a better nickname.
He's a big tubby guy with a sweet swing.
He's from West Virginia, lived with a convicted bank robber, loved Sizzler and dressed like a slob.
Are you really telling me there isn't a cool and possibly disgusting story in his life that wouldn't make a better nickname than Krukker?
Shouldn't he have a name like "Spoiled Milk" Kruk?
I think so.
STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
Alomar was one of the great second basemen of all time. He could field, hit, steal bases... he was the whole package.
The Padres traded him away, but give the front office a pass.
It's not like they have ever traded away one of the best infielders of all time before!
Ozzie was so great that if the Padres kept him, they would have had a middle infield of Alomar and Smith from 1988 to 1990 with the Wizard winning the Gold Glove each season.
But a special tip of the hat should go to former Padres promotional director Andy Strasberg.
He found out that Ozzie could do backflips and recommended that he do one before the game.
It became his signature for his beloved Hall of Fame career. Sadly for Padres fans, he was mostly beloved as a Cardinal.
STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
When I get to the Acquired Team, the third base position is so deep that I may have to leave off an All Star, an MVP, a Triple Crown contender or Graig Nettles.
And I guess the Padres need to pick up great third baseman is necessary because they just can't develop one of their own!
If there is a better one than Tucker Ashford, let me know. He started one season and then rode the pine.
In his Wikipedia entry, it says "He helped the Yankees win the 1981 American League Pennant."
That's a bit of a stretch. He played 3 games in late September of 1981. He had no at bats. Safe to say his help was more spiritual.
Hey Padres... develop some third basemen!
(I considered Sean Burroughs... but he was such a let down, I can't imagine many Padres fans will be crying for his exclusion!_
STARTING LEFT FIELDER
Sometimes hyperbole can get the better of us.
Sometimes we simply make unnecessary comparisons to past greatness because we like to feel as if we are witnessing history.
I remember during the 1980s, Jerry Lewis introduced Menudo as "The new Beatles."
I don't recall Menudo's answer to "Sgt. Pepper."
So when Sports Illustrated declared Tony Gwynn the best hitter since Ted Williams, it could be dismissed as hype.
One problem... who could possibly disagree?
As a kid I felt that Rod Carew and later Wade Boggs were the two guys you could just fill in as batting champs at the beginning of the year. They paled in comparison to Tony Gwynn.
And he was an inspiration to guys with guts like myself.
A guy could have his big ole belly hanging over his belt and win 8 batting titles, be a 15 time All Star, win 5 Gold Gloves, smack 3,141 hits, make the Hall of Fame and become the most loved player in the history of a Major League franchise.
OK, so he only played 51 games out of 2,326 in left field and he was a Gold Glove right fielder.
But both Gwynn and Winfield have to start... and let's be frank, Winfield was in better shape.
STARTING CENTER FIELDER
Kevin McReynolds was such a boring white guy baseball player that I am stunned he never played for the Red Sox during the Yawkey years.
He may not have been flashy but he was a good power hitter with underrated defense and put it together for one terrific season in 1986. He hit 26 homers and drove in 96 back when that meant something. He was then sent off to the Mets in a trade that didn't seem to satisfy either side.
STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
Maybe I am one of those people who overrates players from their youth. You know the type... no matter what anyone does on the field, you'll hear some old timer say players used to be better.
"Albert Pujols? Don't give me that! Jimmie Foxx was 100 times better!"
Fans who do that used to drive me nuts.
But then I caught myself doing it.
During the whole Mitchell Report controversy I found myself thinking "You know with all the steroids these guys are pumping in, they still aren't as intimidating as Dave Winfield. And none of them were the athlete Winfield was either. He was drafted by the NBA, the ABA and the NFL and went to the big leagues without spending a day in the minors. Give me Winfield any day of the week over these 'roided guys."
And I realize that someday when I become an old man I am going to drive some young baseball fan crazy with my pining for the past.
If I become that guy, tell me to shut up.
TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
OK, maybe he wasn't worth the first pick overall, but he was still a solid hitter especially with his .291 season in 1976.
And he also had this awesome 1978 Topps Card where it looks like he is saying "HEY!" It always cracked me up when I was a kid. It still does.
THE STARTING ROTATION
On July 28, 1976, Randy Jones threw 10 innings and out dueled Joaquin Andujar for a 2-1 win. At the time it made him 18-4.
He has 2 months to get 12 wins. While not a lock, he had a legit shot at 30 wins.
And this was just a year after finishing second to Tom Seaver for the 1975 Cy Young. It looked like the Padres had a 26 year old ace.
What happened after that? He finished the season 6-10.
While he did indeed win the Cy Young in 1976 but never had a winning season again.
But those two tremendous seasons earned him a spot here.
As of this writing, Peavy is still a member of the San Diego Padres. That's odd because he was supposedly going to the Cubs... and then the Braves... then the Cardinals... then the Astros... and probably to the Mets or Yankees or Red Sox... and he'll probably end up starting the season in San Diego.
The 2007 Cy Young Award winner is a solid strikeout pitcher who takes advantage of Petco Park's generous dimensions.
If he stays in San Diego and wins 15 games, he'll be the Padres all time wins leader.
And he also appeared in this High School Musical video. He's the first player saying "Hey Batter Batter."
I wonder how many takes that took.
Eric Show has won more games than any pitcher in Padres history. He's the only Padres pitcher whose win total in San Diego is in triple digits.
He is also the most enigmatic and ultimately tragic figure in the team's history.
He was a conservative Christian who would ask sports writers how they knew there was a God.
He wanted to save the whales and brought in homeless people to his home for dinner.
He was a fierce competitor best known for sulking on the mound after letting up Pete Rose's single that broke Ty Cobb's record.
He recorded a Christmas Jazz Album. No, really... here it is!
His drug and alcohol problems caught up with him as he died doing drugs in a rehab center.
On June 3, 1995, Expos starter Pedro Martinez threw the game of his life. Through 9 innings he had faced 27 batters... and got all of them out.
In other words the future Red Sox great threw a perfect game.
There was one problem... the Padres had a young stud of their own on the mound in Joey Hamilton.
While he wasn't perfect, he kept the Expos off the board and managed to match Pedro zero for zero each inning. In the end Hamilton pitched 9 innings with no runs, 3 hits and 2 walks.
The Expos would score a run in the 10th and Pedro would let up a lead off single and be relieved by Mel Rojas who recorded the save.
So Pedro got the win, but no perfect game, no shutout, not even a complete game... all because of Joey Hamilton.
Maybe it is appropriate I am using the picture of Benes from the University of Evansville for this entry. As the #1 overall pick, he was supposed to be the next stud ace in the bigs.
He never was... but was a very good pitcher for a while.
A year out of college he went 6-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 10 starts for the 1989 Padres.
In 1991 he got some Cy Young votes as he went 15-11 with a 3.03 ERA and it looked like it was all coming together.
For a miserable 1993 Padres team that lost 101 games, Benes was a 15 game winner and an All Star and the following year led the league in strikeouts. He was later dealt to Seattle and eventually had another Cy Young caliber season in St. Louis.
Come to think of it, when you write it out all like this... he didn't have a bad career at all!
I got excited when I saw Greg Harris was homegrown.
He was a member of the 1984 Padres and threw with both hands.
Then I looked at it again... different Greg Harris.
I wonder how many times he got that. "No, I'm not THAT former Padre Greg Harris. I'm the other one."
When the Padres were doing their firesale in 1993, Harris had wanted a contract extension.
Padres management did the baseball equivalent of sending him to that Turkish prison in Midnight Express:
They traded him to Colorado.
And I'm sure the Rockies thought "Hey! We're getting that guy who pitches with both hands!"
Hawkins was primarily a starter in San Diego. In fact he went 18-8 with a 3.15 ERA over 228 2/3 innings in 1985 and was ultimately overpaid by the Yankees in the late 1980s.
But his career highlight came as a relief pitcher and is the reason he's being saluted here.
In game 2 of the 1984 World Series, with the Padres already down by a game to the mighty Detroit Tigers, starter Ed Whitson got hammered and was pulled in the first inning.
Hawkins came in and pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout 1 hit ball and kept the Tigers at bay until Kurt Bevacqua's three run homer game San Diego the lead for good.
In game 5 facing elimination, Hawkins again had to come in the first inning as Mark Thurmond couldn't give the Padres three outs.
Once again Hawkins kept the Tigers off the board long enough to let the Padres tie the game. But the go ahead run was charged to Hawkins in the 5th inning and the Tigers went on to win the series.
But 1 run in 12 innings of relief in a 5 game series against one of the best teams of the 1980s was nothing to sneeze at.
I had to check to see if this was the same Gary Lucas from Gods and Monsters.
Don't laugh. I didn't know Eric Show recorded a jazz album!
But alas it isn't.
This Lucas was a left handed specialist who had double digit saves three straight years in the early 1980s.
If he is a musician, he isn't accomplished.
A left handed reliever and spot starter, Caldwell made his debut in those beautiful brown and yellow unis in the early 1970s.
He posted 10 saves on the 102 loss Padres squad in 1973.
The Padres knew they had someone good on their staff as they dealt him to San Francisco for legend Willie McCovey. He later became a Cy Young contender and World Series star for the Brewers.
Maybe the Padres should have hung on to him.
I guess we all have unique ways to motivate ourselves before we go to work and sometimes it is tough to judge others and their methods.
Take Scott Sanders.
He struggled as a starter but was making progress as a reliever in 1994. Before a game that year, he was arrested for soliciting an undercover cop as a prostitute.
He pitched the next day and got the save.
Hey, whatever works.
(Thanks to Friar Faithful for that nugget.)
The Padres have a dynamic and crowd pleasing shortstop that they developed!
Guess what they did?
They traded him to St. Louis!!!
WILL THEY EVER LEARN?
What in the name of Ozzie Smith is going on here?
Not to be confused with the Global Warming expert.
If this Fleer Card is any indication, Flannery wouldn't mind some global warming and rising tides.
He had a solid career in San Diego and is now a coach for the Giants.
And guess what? HE'S A MUSICIAN!
Don't believe me?
Richards was a spark plug and always among the league leaders in triples.
Like Benes and Mike Ivie, he was a #1 overall pick who didn't become a superstar but had a nice career anyway.
He is NOT the sax player. After Tim Flannery and Eric Show, I couldn't be too sure!!!
On June 24, 2005, Nady homered in an interleague game with the Mariners.
The next day, he hit a three run homer off of Aaron Sele.
He would homer the next game and the game after that making him the first Padres slugger since Greg Vaughn to homer in 4 straight games.
He drove in 2 runs in game 2 of the 2005 Division Series giving the Padres the slimmest of hopes of actually winning a game.
He wanted a raise and is now a Yankee.
SANDY ALOMAR JR
What am I doing putting a guy with a grand total of 8 games and 20 at bats in a Padres uniform on this list?
Well two reasons.
1) When he was a Padre he was such a highly touted prospect that some people wondered if Benito Santiago should be traded to make room for him.
2) Who else was I supposed to put on there? Seriously, if I missed a great home grown catcher, let me know!
The 1974 Padres looked like they were the foundation of a solid hitting ball club that might contend sooner rather than later. They had young hitters like Mike Ivie, Dave Winfield and Fred Kendall. They had veterans like Willie McCovey and Nate Colbert... and they had 25 year old Johnny Grubb who followed up his sensational rookie year with an All Star campaign his sophomore season.
Well that foundation never turned into a contender, but Grubb was a solid hitter. Not a lot of power nor speed, but a steady and reliable prescience in the line up.
And folks, there is an acoustic bassist named John Grubb.
I looked it up... it's not the same guy.
A solid team whose corner outfielders couldn't be beat.
And imagine a middle infield of Alomar and Ozzie!
Good luck getting one past them!
Well let's look at the acquired team.
Let me say off of the bat that the depth at certain positions is INSANE!
Some would argue that the Padres have had three Hall of Famers at Bullpen closer.
I would argue with the people who argue that... but let's just say there is depth in the pen as well.
ALL TIME PADRES ACQUIRED TEAM
Kennedy was part of the package the Padres got when they dealt off Rollie Fingers and Gene Tenace.
He rewarded San Diego with three All Star berths and a top 10 MVP finish in 1983.
For whatever reason he didn't wear batting gloves. After tying the catchers records for doubles with 40 in 1983, it didn't seem like he needed them.
STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
Truth be told, the Padres have acquired more talented first basemen.
And they've had MVP candidates and home run champs at first.
And Garvey's best years were in Los Angeles.
But truth be told, no player put the Padres more on the map than Garvey. Yeah they had Cy Young winners and future Hall of Famers on the team... but the Padres were just another team on the schedule, just another place to send players and never hear from them again. They only had one winning season before Garvey's arrival and never finished above 4th.
And I remember a young Paul Sullivan living in suburban Massachusetts being surprised when Steve Garvey signed with San Diego. Graig (sic) Nettles and Rich Gossage also arrived in San Diego and suddenly the most anonymous team in the National League looked like a contender.
And when they finally made it to the playoffs, who was the NLCS MVP and hit the huge walk off homer in game 4 to push the series to the limit?
Who finally gave the Padres a memorable moment even for the casual fan?
Don't throw statistics of any other player at me.
First base belongs to Garvey.
STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
Here's a trivia question for you.
Who are the only two Padres to get 200 hits in a season?
OK, I am assuming you got Tony Gwynn.
Did you guess Mark Loretta?
Well I hope you guessed Mark Loretta!!
Why else would I put a question like that for Mark Loretta's entry?
For his three seasons in San Diego, Loretta hit like an All Star and even contended for a batting title. How many people flourish as a hitter in Petco Park?
The trade that sent Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals can't be looked as totally one sided. Templeton was HATED by Cardinals fans and who in turn flipped the bird fans the bird.
And his famous "If I'm starting, I'm not departing" quote was mad when he was a surly Cardinal.
Well Ozzie became the most loved Cardinal since Stan Musial. But Templeton flourished in San Diego and was an All Star, a team leader and a fan favorite.
He was neither as great nor as popular as Ozzie Smith... but who is?
STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
As of this writing, Caminiti is still the only Padre to ever win the National League MVP. He was a Gold Glove winner, a slugger with power from bothh sides of the plate... and of course we now know why.
There is so much depth at the Acquired Third Base position that you could make the argument that I should leave this spot to Nevin or Nettles instead of a known juicer.
But I am not going to throw all of the accomplishments of the Late Ken Caminiti in the garbage.
STARTING LEFT FIELDER
In game 1 of the 1998 World Series, the heavily favored Yanks tagged 2 early runs off of Padres ace Kevin Brown. It looked very early like it was going to be a Yankee sweep... possbly a massacre.
In the third inning Greg Vaughn, who smashed 50 homers in the same summer that McGwire and Sosa chased Roger Maris, launched a 2 run game tying homer.
In the fifth inning, Tony Gwynn hit a go ahead homer and Vaughn followed it with a solo shot of his own. The Padres and more specifically Greg Vaughn were serving notice... they had no intention of being swept.
The Yankees scored 7 in the 7th inning, won the game and swept the series.
But you can't blame Vaughn who tried to send an early message!
STARTING CENTER FIELDER
Steve Finley had an affliction called Bell's Palsy. It means he didn't have complete control of his facial muscles and if I did my half assed research correctly, it affects ones eye sight.
It didn't prevent him from smacking 30 homers with a .298 average and 95 RBIs for the 1996 NL West Champs.
And it didn't prevent him from getting a game tying double off of Greg Maddux in game 3 of the 1998 NLCS.
What I am saying is, he found a way to play with it.
STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
Looking up facts on Brian Giles led to lots of lurid and He Said She Said articles about his girlfriend and tales too unsavory to mention here.
Safe to say his life off of the field is a smidge turbulent these days. And without all the facts, let's focus on his play on the field, shall we?
A terrific hitter, he finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting for the 2005 NL West Champs. He doesn't have the home run power that he showed in the early 2000s (funny, a lot of people's power has dipped since then). But he's still an all around .300 hitter with some pop.
Let's hope he gets his home life in order...
TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
I came sooooooo close to putting Fred McGriff in this spot. The Crime Dog won a home run title and had a terrific OPS his 2 1/2 seasons in San Diego.
But Gonzalez looks like an MVP in the works. He's a Gold Glove winning, home run smacking, run producing machine who looks like he might very well fulfill the promise of being the #1 pick overall.
If he slumps in 2009 or becomes the next Mike Ivie, I'll revise this list and put the Crime Dog here!!
THE STARTING ROTATION
When Gaylord Perry was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991, Commissioner Fay Vincent (remember him?) read his plaque aloud. After noting the 8 teams he played for, Vincent quipped "He couldn't hold a job."
Well San Diego was indeed one of the stops of the former San Francisco star.
He won the 1972 AL Cy Young Award in his first season in Cleveland.
In 1978, he won the NL Cy Young Award in his first season in San Diego.
At the time he was the first person to win the Cy Young in both leagues. Since then, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens have pulled off the trick.
Two seasons after winning the Cy Young, Perry was headed off to the Rangers... and then the Yankees... and then the Braves... and then the Mariners... and then the Royals.
Fay Vincent was right!
It seemed like he was a Padre for longer than a year, didn't it?
He came to San Diego after the post World Series Marlins fire sale and the Padres reaped the rewards.
He went 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA striking out 257 over 257 innings
And after out dueling Randy Johnson and then Tom Glavine, it looked like he was going to have one of those Hershiser type of post seasons... the kind where he just carries the team on his back across the line.
It didn't turn out that way, but Brown translated his brilliant season in San Diego into what was at the time the biggest deal for a pitcher in history... and a cautionary tale for those who want to sign a veteran pitcher to a long term deal!
Someone had to win the NLCS MVP in 1998 and it happened to be Sterling Hitchcock.
It sure looked like it was going to be Kevin Brown after he threw a complete game shut out in game 2 and came out of the bullpen to shut down the Braves in game 5. The only problem is Brown let up Michael Tucker's go ahead homer in game 5, giving Atlanta life.
Hitchcock won both of his starts, and while he only last 5 innings in each start (not exactly domination) he did win the clinching game in Atlanta.
Hitchcock gets the hardware.
He should send a thank you note to Michael Tucker.
When the Padres banished Greg Harris (and old Red Sox friend Bruce Hurst) off to Colorado, they got in exchange Ashby, who had a career ERA in the high 6's.
Let's just say San Diego agreed with him.
He made the 1998 and 1999 All Star teams and his 17-9 record in 1998 helped the Padres make the World Series.
When he left for Atlanta and then L.A., he didn't fare as well.
He finished his career as a Padre and threw a few shutout innings in his second go around in S.D.
Again, it must be the waters of San Diego.
It must make Yankee fans sick to see Kevin Brown, Andy Hawkins and now Ed Whitson be praised here.
But what can I say?
Whitson had a solid win total and a low ERA when he pitched for the 1984 Padres.
Then became the poster child for people who couldn't handle New York, came back to the Padres and by 1989 was a 16 game winner with a sub 3 ERA over 200 innings.
New York isn't for everyone... especially not former Padres pitchers.
The transition from San Diego to New York must be difficult.
From New York to San Diego? I am guessing it is a little bit easier.
For The Goose who had a front row seat to the Bronx Zoo, I am guessing playing for Ray Kroc must have been like a trip to McDonald's.
Gossage signed with the Padres in time for the 1984 season and had one of his best all around years.
Giving manager Dick Williams 102 1/3 innings out of the pen with a 2.90 ERA, with 10 wins and 25 saves for the NL Champs, Gossage finished 5th in the Cy Young vote and got some MVP love as well.
And he pitched the final 2 innings of the clinching game 5 against the Cubs.
In the World Series he let up a backbreaking homer to Kirk Gibson in the finale.
In New York that's all fans would remember.
In San Diego... it's a little more laid back. And probably a lot nicer for the Goose!
Fingers is best remembered with the A's.
He won his Cy Young Award and MVP with the Brewers.
But he was no slouch as a Padre.
In 1977, 1978 and 1980 he was the Rolaids Relief Award winner. He led the league in saves in 1977 and 1978.
These were not the mighty A's nor Harvey's Wallbangers.
He saved 35 in 1977 for a team that only won 69 games.
And he had the good sense to keep his mustache even when Charlie O Finley was no longer paying for it.
I've been harsh on Trevor Hoffman over the last few seasons, but this isn't a time to trash him.
Let's give him some credit.
Hoffman became the closer in 1994 and remained as closer every season through last year (save for 2003 when he missed almost the entire season.)
In that time a few closers got a job and then lost it through injuries or bad performance.
Like Jose Mesa, Mark Wohlers, Troy Percival, Keith Foulke, Todd Jones, Ricky Bottalico, Jeff Shaw, Robb Nen, Eddie Guardado, Billy Koch, Tom Gordon, Kerry Ligtenberg, John Rocker, Bob Wickman, Ugeth Urbina, Dave Veres, Danny Graves, Wayne Gomes, Matt Mantei, Antonio Alfonseca, Mike Jackson, Kaz Sasaki, Armando Benitez, Byung Hyun Kim, Tim Worrell, Latroy Hawkins, Curtis Leskanic, Matt Anderson, Jeff Zimmerman, Joe Borowski, Rocky Biddle, Eric Gagne, Scott Williamson, Shawn Chacon, Derrick Turnbow, Danny Kolb, Danys Baez, Mike MacDougal, Akinori Otsuka and Takashi Saito.
So I give Trevor credit... he has staying power!
Mark Davis won a Cy Young Award.
I bet you forgot that, if you ever knew it.
Do you know who never won a Cy Young Award?
Nolan Ryan and Juan Marichal.
But Davis has one.
He did have a great 1989, saving 44 games and posting a 1.85 ERA over 93 innings...
And he cashed that season into a multimillion dollar deal to go to Kansas City (remember when they used to sign free agents?)
The Royals would have both the NL Cy Young winner and the AL Cy Young winner (Bret Saberhagen.) They would be unstoppable... except that David flopped badly in Kansas City as did Saberhagen and the Royals finished 27 1/2 games behind the A's.
Davis would bounce around the bigs including a return stint with the Padres before hanging them up as probably the most obscure Cy Young winner of all time.
Who saved the only World Series game the Padres ever won?
Not Fingers... not Hoffman... not Gossage... not Davis.
Craig Lefferts is the answer.
In game 2 of the 1984 World Series, after Andy Hawkins' stellar relief job Lefferts came in in the 7th inning with the Padres up by 2.
The lefty threw a 1-2-3 seventh and worked around an Alan Trammell single in the 8th.
With the DH being used in the series, Dick Williams never had to pinch hit for Lefferts. And Williams didn't just do the typical knee jerk reaction of bringing in the closer because its the 9th.
Lefferts threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning and the Padres won their only game of the series.
The Padres would be swept in 1998, so Lefferts would be the only Padre pitcher to know the thrill of closing out a World Series game.
Wonder if it feels better than a trip to Cooperstown or a Cy Young Award.
Another former #1 overall pick that didn't 100% live up to his expectations?
In fact he looked like a bust for the ages after being kicked around from the Astros to the Tigers to the Angels without making much of an impression anywhere.
But when he arrived in San Diego, he found his home run swing. He put together some All Star worthy seasons and topped out in 2001 hitting .306 with 41 homers and 126 RBI.
He eventually got traded away and played for the Rangers, Cubs and Twins his last two seasons.
When he looks back on his career, he'll think "I'll always have San Diego."
Sheffield wanted out of Milwaukee so badly in the early 1990s that he was intentionally making errors to wear out his welcome.
The Brewers finally gave in and shipped him off to San Diego for 1992.
He found happiness and paradise in Southern California. His first year he gave the Triple Crown a legit race. He would finish as the batting champ and had the second highest OPS in the league (not that any knew about OPS back then.)
He would also finished third in the home chase and knock in 100 runs.
He finally found a baseball home!
(He would finish the next season with the Marlins and play for the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees and Tigers.)
He's currently available.
I'm guessing he's not going to Milwaukee.
Ryan Klesko came over from Atlanta in 2000 and brought his power swing with him. He made the All Star Team in 2001 when he hit 30 homers and 113 RBI.
He also was the pitch man for Boot World, a boot store in San Diego. He would say "Tell Them I Sent You!"
I wonder if anyone ever did... and I also wonder if that mattered.
Martinez was a slugging outfielder who came over in one those "so complicated I don't even know who went where" deals involving three teams.
He could hit with a lot of power and was a bit tubby. Some people called him Caramelo Martinez.
His weight took its toll as knee problems slowed him down.
His cousin Edgar took notice and didn't play the field and became possibly the greatest DH in baseball history.
If only Carmelo played in the American League.
I originally had Fred Kendall at this spot but I changed my mind at the last minute.
He was an original Met and an original Padre and has the distinction of being the first ever San Diego Padre selected to the All Star Game.
In 1969 he batted .220 with 4 homers, 333 RBI and an OPS of .587.
I guess he must have called an All Star caliber game.
I feel like I owe Fred McGriff a HUUUUGE apology for leaving him off the list.
And I am sure there will be no shortage of San Diego fans calling me a moron for doing so.
But I felt it was essential to have Nate Colbert on this list.
With all due respect to Chris Cannizzaro, Colbert was the first ever star to wear a Padres uniform.
Twice he slammed 38 homers and in one glorious day on August 1, 1972, he hit five homers.
In the first game of a double header that day, he homered in the first and the seventh, driving in 5 as the Padres won 9-0.
In the second game, he hit a grand slam in the second inning, a two run shot in the 7th and the top of the 9th hit yet another home run for good measure.
Can you imagine if you had him on your fantasy team that day?
5 homers! 13 RBI! IN ONE DAY!!!!
Plus he made those yellow and brown unis look good!
WHO WOULD WIN A HEAD TO HEAD SERIES?
The homegrown team have the two best hitters and the best defense up the middle... but there's a lot of pop on the acquired team. And if you have a lead after the 6th, I think that bullpen can hold a lead!
VERDICT: THE ACQUIRED TEAM WOULD WIN THE SERIES... BUT THE HOME GROWN WOULD SING BETTER!!!
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