The Evolution of the San Diego Padres

December 26, 2010

San Diego Padres is a National League baseball team situated in San Diego California. They form part of the Western Division. They got their name from the 1936 PCL team in San Diego. That team won the PCL pennant in 1937.

The major league team, Padres, was among the four new franchises of the Major League Baseball in 1969. The other three teams were Seattle Pilots, Kansas City Royals, and the Montreal Expos. C. Arnholt Smith first owned the Padres. He was a businessman who happened to own the PCL team back in the days.

Just like most of the newly formed teams, the Padres struggled in their initial seasons. They were one of the weakest teams in the Western Division.

In 1974, there were speculations that the team will move to Washington. The rumor began when news of Joseph Danzansky purchase of the team came out. The plan did not push through when Smith had a change of heart and sold the team to Ray Kroc instead.

They had quite a few interesting athletes in the 70s, including future Hall of Famer, Dave Winfield. Winfield was a star player, both in basketball and baseball in his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. Here he enjoyed a full scholarship. He was a great basketball player. He helped led UM win the Big Ten championship in 1972. Aside from the Padres, other teams of different sports drafted him. The NBA and ABA drafted him, and even the National Football League saw his potential.

Winfield played for the Padres from 1973 until 1980. While with the team, he helped the Padres improve their standings. Randy Jones also played a part. He was a left-handed pitcher for the San Diego Padres. In 1976, he won the coveted Cy Young Award. More talented players came into play including Rollie Fingers and Ozzie Smith.

Although their lineup showed a lot of promise, the team was not able to sustain it. Their losing season in 1979 led to the firing of team manager, Roger Craig. Aside from that, their top player, Winfield left the team for the Yankees.

In 1984, team owner, Ray Kroc died. His widow, Joan Kroc, became the owner of the team. Although it was a sad start for the Padres, they were able to see light. With the leadership of manager, Dick Williams, they were able to win their very first Division title. One of the star players who made this happen was Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn who joined the team in 1982.

They set off to win the National League Championship Series after facing the Chicago Cubs. The Padres were down two games and many thought that they had a slim chance to win the pennant. However, they won the remaining three games in the jack Murphy Stadium. Unfortunately, they lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers.

They won their next National League Championship Title in 1998. This time they defeated the Atlanta Braves. They lost the World Series to the New York Yankees though.

Rick Grantham is an expert on sports equipment, specially on San Diego Padres Merchandise for more information on Major League Baseball Team Stores, visit BooYah Village.

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