San Diego Padres
1936-1968: The San Diego Padres have a rich and glorious history in the Pacific Coast League. It was with the Padres that Ted Williams began his pro career in that inaugural 1936 season. When it came time for San Diego to get a Major League franchise, it was natural to take the Padres name and legacy.
1969: The Padres make their Major League debut on April 8th with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros in front of 23,370 fans at San Diego Stadium. Winning games did not come regularly in that first season, as the Padres finished with a 52-110 record. The expansion Padres finished not only 41 games out of first but also 29 games out of fifth. First baseman Nate Colbert, with 24 home runs, provided San Diego’s brightest ray of hope and would prove to be one of the Padres’ standout performers through their early years.
1970: The Padres struggle in front of an empty stadium, finishing in last place again, and barely avoid another 100-loss season, with a 63-99 record.
1971: The Padres continue to toil finishing in last place again with an awful 61-101 record.
1972: During an August 1st Double Header in Atlanta, 1B Nate Colbert hits five home runs and drives in 13 runs against the Braves. The RBI total establishes a double-header record that still stands today, while the five home runs tied Stan Musial’s 1954 twin-bill mark Colbert would go to finish the season with 111 RBI becoming the first Padre to drive in 100 runs in a season. The Padres would still finish in last place with a 58-95 record.
1973: Fearing he would choose Basketball or Football over Baseball, the Padres sign draft pick Dave Winfield, and bring him directly to the majors, without him playing a single inning of minor league ball. Winfield would go to have a Hall of Fame career smacking over 400 home runs, and delivering more than 3,000 hits. Despite the debut of the Future Hall of Famer, the Padres again finish in last place with a 60-102 record.
1974: Big league baseball was not an instant hit in San Diego, attendance barely topped a 500,000 in the Padres’ first year, and though it rose a little over the next few seasons, the increase was not enough to make the club viable. Owner C. Arnholt Smith decided early in 1974 to sell the franchise to a buyer who planned to move the team to Washington, DC. New uniforms had been manufactured, and the club’s files were packed for the move. However, the founder of McDonald’s fast-food empire and longtime baseball fan Ray Kroc stepped in with an offer to buy the Padres for cash and keeping them in San Diego. Though Kroc’s 1974 Padres finished last with the same 60-102 record they had posted the year before, his sense of showmanship drew spectators. Home attendance shot up 76 %, rising above a million for the first time.
1975: Randy Jones captures the League ERA title while becoming the first Padre to win 20 games in a season. The Padres would climb out of last place for the first time by finishing in fourth place with a 71-91 record.
1976: Two years after losing a league-high 22 games, Lefty Starter Randy Jones wins a league-high 22 games while posting a 2.74 ERA, which was good enough to earn him Cy Young Award. He would not be the only Padre to take home hardware rookie pitcher Butch Metzger earned a split of the National League Rookie of the Year with Pat Zachary of the Cincinnati Reds. However, the Padres would still finish with a losing record, placing fifth with a 73-89 record.
1977: The Padres continue to struggle to finish in fifth place with a horrid record of 69-93.
1978: Gaylord Perry wins a league-high 21 games en-route to the National League Cy Young. Perry, who won the award six years earlier with Cleveland, would become the first player to win the honor in both leagues. Perry’s pitching along with bat of Dave Winfield who hit .308 and drove in 97 runs and the spectacular plays at Short Stop by Rookie Ozzie Smith would spur the Padres to an 84-78 record earning them their first plus .500 season in franchise history.
1979: After the positives of their first winning season, the Padres take a big step backward, falling back into third place with a horrible record of 69-93.
1980: The Padres become the first National League club with three players having 50 stolen base seasons (Gene Richards 61; Ozzie Smith 57; and Jerry Mumphrey 52), as they lead the majors with 239. However, the Padres Managed by long time broadcaster Jerry Coleman would finish in last place with a 73-89 record.
1981: After finishing in last place in both parts of the strike-interrupted split season with a combined record of 41-69, while Manager Frank Howard is fired after just one season and replaced by Dick Williams.
1982: Homegrown Legend Tony Gwynn makes his major league debut on July 19th, collecting two hits against the Philadelphia Phillies. Under the stern of Dick Williams, the Padres would show significant improvement, finishing in fourth place with a .500, 81-81 record.
1983: Steve Garvey acquired by the Padres in the offseason dislocates his left thumb in a July 29th home plate collision vs. Atlanta, snapping his National League record streak of 1,027 consecutive games played, which is also the third-longest in major league history. The Padres would go on to duplicate their fourth-place .500 season of the previous season.
1984: Six years after the San Diego’s first winning season, the Padres recorded a second winning season with a new blend of experience and youth, as the team soared to new heights. Sparked by recently acquired veterans Steve Garvey at first, Craig Nettles at third, and Goose Gossage in the bullpen, and by a bevy of young stars like batting champ Tony Gwynn and hard-hitting OF Kevin McReynolds, the Padres moved into first place to stay in early June. Despite only playing .500 in the final two months, the Padres won the National League Western Division title by 12 games with a 92-70 record. Sadly, Ray Kroc, the man who saved the franchise ten years earlier was not around to see it, after passing away on January 14th, the team would wear his initials on their sleeves for the next few seasons. The Padres enter the NLCS as heavy underdogs to the Chicago Cubs. In fact, after the first two games, the Pads look overmatched losing 13-0, and 4-2. If the Padres were going to win the series, they would have to win the final three games. Fortunately, they were to be played at Jack Murphy Stadium. The Padres used seven runs in the fifth and sixth Innings come from behind to win Game 3. In Game 4, Steve Garvey led the charge going 4-for-5, including a game-winning two-run homer in the ninth inning to force a fifth and decisive game. The Padres fell behind early again in Game 5 but capitalized on Cubs’ mistakes to stage a four-run seventh Inning rally and earn a trip to their first World Series. However, in the World Series, the Padres were simply overmatched by a great Detroit Tigers team that steamrolled its way through the American League all year. The Padres would manage to win Game 2 at frenzied Jack Murphy Stadium thanks to Kurt Bevacqua’s three-run Homer, but in the end, the Tigers were too strong taking the series in five games.
1985: Seven Padres and Manager Dick Williams lead the National League to a 6-1 win over the American League in the All-Star Game at Minneapolis. Padres Pitcher LaMarr Hoyt is even named the game’s MVP. However, the Padres would fade in the second half and finish in third place with an 83-79 record. Following the season, Manager Dick Williams would be replaced by Steve Boros.
1986: The Padres continue to fall in the standings landing in fourth place with a record of 74-88, as Manager Steve Boros is fired after just one season.
1987: Benito Santiago closes his first big league campaign with a club and Major League rookie record-setting 34-game hitting streak, which is also the longest by a catcher. Santiago would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in a unanimous vote. Despite Benny’s spectacular debut, the Padres lost 97 games finishing last for the ninth time in the club’s 19-year history.
1988: After a slow start, manager Larry Bowa is replaced by Jack McKeon, giving the team its fourth manager in four years. The move would work, as the team would play solid baseball down the stretch, finishing in third place with an 83-78 record.
1989: After meandering through the most of the season around the .500 mark, the Padres go 29-10 in the last six weeks to get back into the pennant race, but finish, three games behind the San Francisco Giants with an 89-73 record. Tony Gwynn records six hits in his final eight at-bats to capture his fourth National League batting title. At the same time, Mark Davis notches a team record 44 saves, one shy of the National League Record, en route to winning the Cy Young Award.
1990: The Padres are sold to a 15-member investment group headed by Hollywood Produce Tom Werner. The team would struggle in a year of transition, changing their Manager and General Manager, and finishing tied for fourth place with a 75-87 record. The Padres also are involved in a controversy when Comedienne Roseanne performs the National Anthem before a Padres game.
1991: The Padres and Toronto Blue Jays pull off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in baseball history before the season. The Padres would ship away outfielder Joe Carter, and 2B Roberto Alomar, in exchange for shortstop Tony Fernandez, and 1B Fred McGriff. On August 13th and 14th, McGriff becomes the fourth player in National League history to blast grand slams in consecutive games. The new players would help the Padres finish in 3rd place with an 84-78 record.
1992: Gary Sheffield leads the National League with a .330 batting average, and Fred McGriff wins the home run crown with 35 round-trippers. Despite the spectacular league-leading performances, the Padres finished a distant third with an 82-80 record.
1993: In a nightmarish 101-loss last-place season that sees the Padres trade fan favorites Gary Sheffield, and Fred McGriff, Tony Gwynn remains a Padre and seems to get better with age. In a game on August 4th, Gwynn records a career-high six hits vs. the San Francisco Giants. It is his fourth game of the season with five or more hits, tying a major league record held by Wee Willie Keeler (1897), Ty Cobb (1922), and Stan Musial (1948).
1994: In a season that cut short on August 12th by a player’s strike, the Padres 47-70 record was the worst in the majors. San Diego still had reason to cheer, thanks to the hitting of Tony Gwynn, whose .394 batting average was the best in the National League since Bill Terry’s .401 in 1930. Many believe Gwynn might have had a shot a batting .400 if the season been allowed to continue.
1995: The Padres are sold to John Moores and Larry Lucchino. In a move that singled, the team would spend money to compete the Padres acquire Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley in a blockbuster multi-player trade with Houston Astros. Caminiti becomes the first player in baseball history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game three times in a season, the first two come on consecutive nights. The Padres hit nine grand slams, and to tie the National League mark set in 1929 by the Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, Tony Gwynn wins his sixth batting title with a .368 average. With all the impressive offensive help, the Padres are the most improved team in the National League, finishing with a 70-74 record.
1996: In a magical season lead by Ken Caminiti, who sets club records with 40 home runs and 130 RBI and becomes the fourth player to win the National League MVP in a unanimous vote, the Padres with the National League Western Division title with a 91-71 record. Bruce Bochy becomes the first Padre to win the manager of the Year Award, while Tony Gwynn hits .353 to win his 7th batting title. During the season, the Padres make baseball history in Monterrey, Mexico, by hosting the New York Mets in La Primera Serie. The first major league regular-season games played outside the United States or Canada on the weekend of August 16-18th. The Padres would take two of the three games in the series. However, the magical season ends quickly in the NLDS as the Padres are swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in three straight.
1997: On April 1st, in front of the first Opening Day sellout crowd since 1985, the Padres explode for an 11-run sixth inning en route to a 12-5 win over the New York Mets. The inning established a 20th Century record for runs scored in an inning on Opening Day. Chris Gomez, Rickey Henderson, and Quilvio Veras slugged consecutive home runs to highlight the inning. During the season, the Padres have to hit the road again while renovations are made to the newly renamed Qualcomm Stadium. The Padres host the St. Louis Cardinals in the Padres Paradise Series at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Padres, would end up dropping two of the three games. The season would also be a disappointment for the Padres, who struggle all season and finish in last place with a 76-86 record. However, Tony Gwynn bats .372 to win his eighth batting title, tying Honus Wagner’s National League record.
1998: Like a yo-yo, the Padres rise to the top of the division again led by Trevor Hoffman who ties a National League record with 53 saves in 54 chances, the second-most in baseball history. Meanwhile, Greg Vaughn slugs a club-record 50 home runs and drives in 119 runs. The Padres win a club record 98 games en-route to their second division title in three years. The Padres get off to a good start in the NLDS thanks to Kevin Brown, who fans a Division Series-record 16 to outduel Randy Johnson for a 2-1 series-opening win against the Houston Astros. The Padres would go onto win the series defeating the Big Unit twice in four games. In the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, the Padres race out to three games to none lead. The Braves would go on to win the next two games at Qualcomm to send the series back to Atlanta. Sterling Hitchcock would shut down the Braves for the second time in the series to win the NLCS MVP and send the Padres on to a World Series matchup against the New York Yankees. The Padres find themselves in the same position as 1984, overmatched. This time the Padres face a Yankees team who won a record 125 regular and post-season games. The Yankees would go on to sweep the Padres, but Tony Gwynn would bat .500 (8-for-16) with a homer and three RBI in the series.
1999: Three years after playing the first series in Mexico, the Padres open the season in Monterey Mexico with an 8-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. While the Padres struggled to a fourth Place 74-88 season, Tony Gwynn becomes the 22nd player in history to reach 3,000 career hits with a first-inning single to right-center on a 1-2 pitch from Montreal’s Dan Smith at Olympic Stadium on August 6th. He would go on to finish the milestone night 4-for-5, igniting a 12-10 win.
2000: Trevor Hoffman ties Major League marks with his 3rd straight 40-save season and his sixth consecutive 30-save campaign. However, the Padres would struggle with an injury-plagued season to finish in fourth place with a 76-86 record.
2001: The end of an era comes for the Padres as Tony Gwynn retires after 20 seasons in San Diego. Injuries would only allow Gwynn to pinch-hit in the final months of his career, but he would still manage to hit .324, collecting 33 hits in 102 at Bats. Gwynn would finish his career with 3,141 hits, and an impressive .338 average. While Gwynn was finishing his career, the Padres brought in Rickey Henderson to chase some of baseball’s most elite career records. Henderson would quickly walk his way into history by breaking the career walks record held by Babe Ruth on April 29th. However, the record Henderson eyed was the all-time runs scored record held by Ty Cobb. In the final weekend of the season, Henderson would smack a home run to score his 2,248 runs to break the record. One day, Henderson would make history again by collecting his 3,000th hit on the final day of the regular season. With two future Hall of Famers making history, the Padres would finish in third place with a record of 79-83.
2002: The Padres season would get off to a rough start before it even begins as rising star Mike Darr is killed after drinking and driving early in Spring Training. When the season started, things would not get any better as the Padres are hampered by injuries all season on the way to finishing in last place with an awful 66-96 record.
2003: The Padres entered their final season in Qualcomm Stadium in a hole as their top hitter Phil Nevin and ace closer Trevor Hoffman began the season with injuries that would see them miss most of the season. Without those two key players, the Padres found themselves in last place again where they would remain. On the way to finishing in last place with a 64-98 record, the Padres positioned themselves to contend with the opening of Petco Park in 2004 as they acquired Brian Giles from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trade deadline. In 29 games with the Padres Giles would hit .298, as Nevin returned in played well in the last two months of the season.
2004: After construction delays, the Padres finally got to move into their new downtown ballpark as Petco Park opened its gates for the first time on April 8th as the Padres edged the San Francisco Giants 4-3. From the start, Padres’ pitchers loved Petco as the heavy sea air made hitting home runs difficult. It would often leave their top hitters frustrated, particularly Ryan Klesko, who had a career-low nine home runs. The Padres would get off to a good start and led the National League Western Division early thanks to a 16-9 start. Mediocre play over the next two months would allow the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers to catch up as the teams battled most of the season for the division title. As the season wore on the Padres Petco, frustration became a strain on the as they managed only a 42-39 home record, while winning a National League West best 45 games on the road. The losses at home would be too much to overcome as down the stretch. The Padres would fade out of the race, finishing in third place with a record of 87-75.
2005: With the return of Woody Williams, the Padres had one of the top pitching staffs in the National League and were considered a top contender for the National League Western Division, as the San Francisco Giants played most of the season without Barry Bonds. The Padres would struggle out of the gate posting an 11-13 record for April. May would be a different story as the Padres caught fire, winning 22 of 28 games to springboard to the top of the National League West. As their starting pitching led Jake Peavy and Adam Eaton were giving the Padres good starts while Trevor Hoffman was resurgent in the bullpen saving 43 games. However, the Padres hitters were still stymied and frustrated by Petco Park as no players managed to hit 20 homers or drive in more than 83 RBI. After a great May, the Padres suffered through a June swoon losing 12 of their first 15 games. However, fortunately, the rest of the West struggled as well, and the Padres did not lose any ground. At the All-Star Break, the Padres were in first place with a 48-41 record; when the break was over, the Padres went into a sudden tailspin losing 13 of their next 16 to fall below .500. However, with the rest of the West also below .500, the Padres would hold on to first place. That would be the story the rest of the year as the Padres hovered around .500, but with nobody in the weakly National League West above .500, they were first place. In the September stretch drive, the Giants got Bonds back but never quite made a move. The Arizona Diamondbacks kept it close but never really made that move either as the Padres with a mediocre 82-80 record became the worst team in the history of baseball to finish in first place. They would have ended in fifth place, illustrating how bad their record was had they been in the National League East. When the playoffs began, the Padres facing the St. Louis Cardinals who had won 100 games were quickly exposed as they were swept in three straight games while being outscored 21-11 along the way.
2006: Coming off a division title, the Padres hoped to continue to be the best in the West as they added Mike Piazza to bolster the offense. The Padres stumbled out of the gate with seven losses in their first ten games. During April, Piazza would make a little history hitting his 400th career home run, as the Padres finished the month with a disappointing 9-15 record. The Padres would turn things around in May as they won 14 of 15 games to reclaim first place in the National League West. The Padres would be at or near the top of the division, as the National League West was the picture of parody with all five teams at one point being in first. At one point, all five teams were in last, and the difference was whether a team was on a long winning streak or a long losing streak. At the end of the season, the battle for the West came down to a battle between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, with both also having the safety net of the Wild Card. Head to head against the Dodgers; the Padres were dominant, winning 14 of 19 games. This would end up being the difference maker as both teams finished with an 88-74 record, and since both qualified for the playoffs, the Padres won the National League Western Division by a tiebreaker. Down the stretch, the Padres who had the lowest ERA in the National League at 3.87 made some history as Trevor Hoffman became the All-Time leader in saves when he broke Lee Smith’s record of 478 saves, as he closed out a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park on September 24th. In the playoffs, the Padres faced the St. Louis Cardinals for the second year in a row. This time the Padres had the home-field advantage as the Cardinals ended the season in a tailspin. However, when Jake Peavy struggled in Game 1 as the Padres lost 1-0, the Padres were immediately behind the eight-ball. The Padres bats struggled again in Game 2 as they were blanked 2-0. As the series shifted to St. Louis in Game 3, the Padres bounced back behind a solid allowed just four hits in six and two-thirds innings as the Padres won 3-1. It would be a brief reprise as the Cardinals closed the series out with a 6-2 win in Game 4. Following the season, the Padres would see a host of changes as Manager Bruce Bochy with an opportunity to negotiate with other teams left to manage the San Francisco Giants.
2007: With new Manager Bud Black the Padres continued to build their team around pitching as they had one of the better bullpens in baseball thanks to a breakout year from Heath Bell, while Jake Peavy continued to anchor a reliable starting staff that now featured 300-game winner Greg Maddux, who signed a Free Agent Deal in the offseason. Peavy was strong from the start of the season as he kept the Padres in the thick of the race all season as he won the National League pitching triple crown with a 19-6 record, with an ERA of 2.54, and 240 strikeouts, as he captured his first Cy Young award. At the same time, Chris Young continued to frustrate batters as he opposing hitters managed to bat just .192 against him. In the bullpen, Trevor Hoffman continued to collect the milestones as he became the first reliever to collect 500 career saves when he closed out a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 6th. Heading into the final week of the season, the Padres were part of a jumbled group of teams that could win the Wild Card, even as they were chasing the Arizona Diamondbacks for the Divisional Championship. On the next to last day of the regular season, the Padres needed just a win over the Milwaukee Brewers to assure at least a Wild Card berth. Leading 3-2 with Hoffman on the mound, the Padres were struck away from clinching when the all-time leading closer suddenly faltered as he gave a game-tying triple to Tony Gwynn Jr son of the legendary Padre. The Brewers would go on to win the game 4-3 in 11 Innings. The Padres would also drop the season finale as the Colorado Rockies won their final two games for 13 wins in their last 14 games to force a tie for the National League Wild Card at 89-73. The day after the regular season ended, the Padres and Rockies faced off in a one-game tiebreaker. Despite playing on the road, the Padres had confidence as Jake Peavy was on the mound. The Padres ace was unusually shaky as the Padres fell behind 3-0 early. Lead by a Grand Slam from Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres took a 5-3 lead in the third inning. However, Peavy continued to struggle as the Rockies retook the lead in the sixth inning. Trailing 6-5 in the eighth, the Padres rallied again, tying the game on a double by Brian Giles. From there, it was turned over to the bullpen as the tiebreaker needed extra innings. In the 13th Inning the Padres struck first as Scott Hairston led off with a home run against Jorge Julio, the Padres would add another run as they turned over an 8-6 lead to Trevor Hoffman. However, the legendary closer did not have it, as he gave up back-to-back doubles to lead off the bottom of the 13th inning, as the Rockies cut the lead to one. Then Hoffman continued to struggle as Matt Holliday hit a triple to tie the game and put the winning run at third with nobody out. After intentionally walking Todd Helton, Jamey Carroll hit a fly ball to shallow right. Still, it would be deep enough, as Holiday beat Brian Giles throw to score the winning run for the Rockies and end the Padres season in the most heartbreaking of fashion.
2008: After their heartbreaking loss in 2007, the Padres got off a terrible start as they posted a 10-17 record. One frustrating loss early in the season came on April 17th, when the Padres were beaten by the Colorado Rockies 2-1 in a game at Petco Park that needed 22 innings to break a 1-1 tie. The inability to score runs was behind the Padres’ struggles as they continued to get solid pitching from Jake Peavy, who posted a 2.85 ERA but only managed a 10-11 record with poor run support. The inability to score runs would be the hallmark for the Padres all season, as ranked at or near the bottom in of the National League in almost every critical offensive category, including a league-worst 637 runs. The Padres spent most of the season at the bottom of the National League Western Division, finishing the season with an awful 63-99 record. The season would mark the end of an era, as the Padres looking to cut payroll did not re-sign Closer Trevor Hoffman at the end of the season. Hoffman made history with the Padres, becoming one of baseball’s best relievers of all-time as he set the all-time saves record, and become the first player ever to record 500 saves while spending 16 seasons in a Padres uniform.
2009: Following a 99 loss season, the Padres were focused on rebuilding as they looked to cut payroll and pick up prospects. They even had ace Jake Peavy on the trading block as the season began. The Padres started the season strong despite the swirling trade rumors as they won nine of their first 12 games, including winning two of three against the New York Mets in the first series at Citi Field, and three of four on the road against the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. However, it would not last as the Padres ended April with an 11-11 record. The Padres continued to play .500 baseball in May, as they posted a record of 17-17, along the way the Padres were bitten by the injury bug as Jake Peavy strained tendon in the back of his ankle on May 22nd. It would be the last start Peavy would make in a Padres uniform as he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter at the trade deadline, before coming off the disabled list. One day earlier, the Padres acquired Tony Gwynn Jr. from the Milwaukee Brewers for Jody Gerut. Gwynn scored the winning run in a 3-2 win over the San Francisco Giants in his first game as a Padre. Injuries would also claim Chris Young, as the Padres managed just 17 total wins over the next two months. However, the Padres would avoid finishing in last place as they finished the season on a strong note, posting a 17-9 record in September as they finished in fourth place with a record of 75-87.
2010: When the season began, expectations were low for the Padres, as most experts picked them to finish in last place. Rumors surrounded star 1B Adrian Gonzalez who most expected to be traded at some point during the season, as the Padres were expected to continue to rebuild. However, as the season began, the Padres played strong baseball, starting with their home opener on April 12th when they slammed the Atlanta Braves 17-2. Despite losing the next two games to the Braves, the Padres had solid opening homestand, winning eight straight to start the year 11-6, as they ended April in first place with a 15-8 record. The Padres continued to play strong baseball in May, as they spent the entire month in first place posting a 16-12 record. One reason behind the Padres strong play was their pitching, highlighted by Mat Latos, who had a breakout season with a 14-10 record and a solid 2.92 ERA. On May 13th Latos flirted with history, throwing a complete game one-hit shutout as the Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0. Despite struggling in attendance and having one of the lowest payrolls in MLB, the Padres led the Western Division most of the first half and into July, as they were writing one of the best baseball stories. Hoping to improve their offense, the Padres picked up Ryan Ludwick in a three-team deal with the St. Louis Cardinals that also involved the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline. As August arrived, the Padres continued to stand atop the NL West, as their lead grew to a season-high six and a half games on August 25th, as they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for their 76th win of the season, topping their 2009 win total. Their next win would not come until September 6th, as they lost ten games in a row. Over the losing streak, their lead went from six and a half to one game over the Giants. The Padres would get back on track with a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but after losing three of four to the Giants at Petco Park, their division lead was all gone. Over the next two weeks, the Padres and Giants would battle for the division lead, as both teams kept an eye out for the Wild Card. As the final week of the season began, the Padres lost three of their last four games at Petco Park to the Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, the Giants moved in a position to win the division. Heading into the final series in San Francisco, the Padres trailed the Giants by three games and were two games out of the Wild Card. With Clayton Richard and Tim Stauffer pitching well, the Padres won the first two games and entered the final day of the season needing a win to guarantee a playoff. They were also tied for the Wild Card with the Atlanta Braves. However, the Padres were shutdown by Jonathan Sanchez and lost the game 3-0, as the Giants won the division and went on to win the World Series. The loss was even more costly as the Braves won earlier in the day and beat the Padres out for the Wild Card by one game. The Padres season would end with a 90-72 record, that was far better than anyone could have realistically expected, but the end was still disappointing. Despite the September struggles, Bud Black would be named Manager of the Year. Following the season, the long-rumored deal sending Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox became a reality as they received four prospects in return.
2011: After their late-season slump cost them a division title, the Padres had a winter of change. The Padres completed the long-rumored deal sending Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox for a package that included Pitcher Chris Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Raymond Fuentes, and 2B Eric Patterson. The Padres also acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Florida Marlins for relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. The Padres started the season, with a 5-3 win in 11 innings on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals, as Cameron Maybin drove home the winning run in his first game with the Padres. Earning the save in the opening day win was Heath Bell, who saved his first seven games of the season, tying Trevor Hoffman’s club record 41 straight saves without blowing a lead. However, Bell and the Padres did not have many save opportunities early in the season, as the Padres found themselves in last place with a terrible 9-17 record. The Padres would play better in May, as they played .500 ball at 14-14, as Bell notched his 100th career save. However, it would be a lost season in San Diego as the Padres would finish in last place with a disappointing record of 71-91. Heath Bell was the lone bright spot saving 43 games before departing as a free agent to sign with the Miami Marlins following the season. The Padres would get solid pitching most of the season, as their staff ERA 3.42 was third-best in the National League. The Padres bats were as silent as a church mouse, as they ranked last in almost every vital offense category, including average at .237 and home runs at 91. Ryan Ludwick, a player, traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31st, was the only Padre to reach double digits with 11 homers.
2012: The Padres were for sale as the team began with Jeff Moorad pulling out of plans to purchase the team from John Moores. The team would eventually be sold for $800 million to a group headed by local beer distributor Ron Fowler which included four heirs to the O’Malley family, who owned the Dodgers for five decades. To say the Padres got off to a slow start would be an understatement as they dropped eight of their first ten games on the way to posting a record of 7-17 in April. After a 10-18 record in May, the Padres were the worst team in baseball by the start of summer, holding an awful record of 24-46 on June 20th. However, in July, the Padres would begin to turn things around as they posted winning records in July and August to climb out of last place. They would go on to finish the season with a record of 76-86 enough to finish in fourth place in the National League Western Division. Helping to spark the Padres’ second-half surge was Chase Headley, who, after being discussed in deals at the trade deadline was named Player of the Month in August and September, as he batted .313 with 19 homers, 44 runs scored and 63 RBI. Headley finished the season with an average of .286, along with 31 homers and a National League-best 115 RBI. He was not the only league leader in San Diego, as SS Everth Cabrera became the first Padre to lead the NL in stolen bases with 44. The Padres pitching staff was led by Clayton Richard and Edison Volquez who posted records of 14-14 and 11-11. At the same time, 22-year-old prospect Casey Kelly acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez looked strong in winning his Major League debut against the Atlanta Braves, earning a 3-0 win on August 27.
2013: After a strong second half, the Padres looked to get off to a strong start as they began the season on the road against the New York Mets. However, they lost five of their first six games, before coming home to host the Los Angeles Dodgers in their home opener. The Padres would beat the Dodgers 9-3, but again lost five of six on their first homestand, as frustration boiled over with Carlos Quintana charging the mound and igniting a bench-clearing brawl against Zach Grienke and the Dodgers. A week later, the Padres would post a terrible 5-15 record in their first 20 games despite sweeping the Dodgers on the road a week later. As April came to an end, the Padres began to play better as they swept the San Francisco Giants at Peco Park and ended the month with a record of 10-16. The Padres continued their strong play into May as they posted a record of 15-13. In June, their surge continued as they climbed above .500 by starting the month with 11 wins in 16 games. However, the Pads would not stay over .500 long, as they suffered a ten-game losing streak heading into July, a week later, they would be No-Hit by Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park, as they finished the first half with a record of 42-54. The Padres would win just ten games in July and struggle just as badly in August. However, they would play well in September and finish the season in a third-place tie with the Giants at 76-86. Rookie Jedd Gyorko would lead the Padres in home runs with 23 and 63 RBI, as runs often come at a premium.
2014: The San Diego Padres were stuck in a rut, with consecutive 76-86 finishes. Before the season began, the Padres were suffering some heartache as longtime announcer Jerry Coleman died at the age of 89 on January 5th, following a fall at his home. The Padres season would start on a positive note as they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 at Petco Field in a Sunday Night nationally televised game. However, it would be the only day during the entire season the Padres would be over .500 as they lost six of their next seven games and finished April in fourth place with a record of 13-16. The Padres were strong at home from the start of the season, winning 48 games at Petco Park, the most since the stadium opened in 2004. The Padres 48-33 home record was tied for third-best overall in franchise history. After finishing May with a record of 26-30, the Padres would suffer through a terrible June swoon, as they lost 10-of-11 games and posted an overall record of 10-17. Making the month even more intolerable was the passing of the greatest Padre of them all, Tony Gwynn. Gwynn, who was the best hitter in the last three decades, played his entire career with the Padres with dignity and class. Unfortunately, like many ballplayers, Tony Gwynn had the habit of chewing tobacco while he played. The tobacco would lead Gwynn to get cancerous tumors on his salivary gland. Treatments sadly left Gwynn, physically deformed as he fought with the same class he played, before passing away at the age of 54 on June 16th. The month also would see the Padres dismiss General Manager Josh Byrnes on June 22nd. Byrnes would eventually be replaced by A.J. Preller. With a change in General Managers the Padres began to overhaul their roster, the Padres would deal Catch Nick Hundley to the Baltimore Orioles on May 24th, getting Troy Patton in return. Closer Huston Street, who saved 24 games in the first half and was named an All-Star, would be sent to the Los Angeles Angels after the break, along with Trevor Gott in exchange for Taylor Lindsey, Jose Rondon, R. J. Alvarez, and Elliot Morris. At the trade deadline, the Padres would deal Chase Headley to the New York Yankees, getting Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula in return. Despite the deals, the Padres had a strong August, winning 9-of-their-first-11 games. The Padres would relish the role of spoiler and end the season, back where it started plus one as they posted 77-85 and finished in third place in the National League West.
2015: After a string of mediocre seasons, the San Diego Padres looked to make a big move up the Western Division standings as they went on an off-season spending spree. The Padres would acquire an all-new outfield picking up Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Wil Myers in spate deals with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays. The Padres also made moves to bolster their pitching staff signing James Shields from the Kansas City Royals. The Padre’s wheeling and dealing would continue right up to the eve of the regular season as the acquired Closer Craig Kimbrel from the Braves along with Melvin Upton, sending Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin, along with prospects Matt Wisler, Jordan Paroubeck, and a draft pick to Atlanta in return. The deals would be a significant gamble for San Diego as the Padres dealt away seven of its top 11 prospects in a rush to make the team better right away. Through the first two and a half months, the results were mixed, to say the least, as the Padres hovered near .500. On June 14th, following a 12 inning loss to the Dodgers at Petco Park, changes were made in a look to shake things up as Manager Bud Black was fired with the Padres holding a record of 32-33. Dave Roberts would serve one game as manager losing to the Oakland Athletics 9-1 before Pat Murphy, manager of the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas, took over for the remainder of the season. Under Murphy, the Padres would do no better finishing in fourth place with a record of 74-88. One of the season’s bright spots came on August 14th, when Matt Kemp got the Padres’ first cycle during a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Padres entering the year were the only team in MLB to never have a No-Hitter or have a player hit for the cycle. Kemp had a solid season in San Diego, hitting .265 with 23 home runs and a team-best 100 RBI, while Justin Upton had a team-best 26 homers with 81 RBI and a .251 average, despite getting off to a slow start. Will Meyers, though, missed most of the season due to a bone spur and hit just eight home runs with 60 RBI. James Shields would be the Padres’ most reliable pitcher posting a record of 13-7 with an ERA of 3.91. The rest of the rotation, however, was a major disappointment as Andrew Cashner posted a record of 6-16 with an ERA of 4.34, while Ian Kennedy struggled to post a record of 9-15 with an ERA of 4.28. With the Padres trailing more often than not, Craig Kimbrel only managed to save 39 games.
2016: After an off-season fire sale, it was clear the San Diego Padres were going into a rebuild mode under new Manager Andy Green. Things got off to an embarrassing start as the Padres began the season with a 15-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Field. The Dodgers would go on to sweep the series, outscoring the Padres 25-0 in the three games. Wins would be hard to come by for the first two months in San Diego as they were among the worst teams in baseball at 20-33. The Padres played their best baseball over the next two months as they hosted the 87th All-Star Game, won by the American League 4-2. Drew Pomeranz was one of two players representing the Padres, posting an 8-7 record with a 2.47 ERA. Before the second half began, Pomeranz was gone, traded to the Boston Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza. The trade will turnout controversial as it was discovered that Padres general manager A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days for keeping two sets of medical records for players; one internal and one for league use, after Pomeranz reported to Boston with an undisclosed injury. The other hometown All-Star was Wil Meyers, who led the Padres with 28 home runs and 94 RBI. After the break, there was not much to cheer about as the Padres finished in last place with a record of 68-94. Along the way, the Padres continued to remake their farm system dealing Matt Kemp, who was the team’s leading hitter before the deal with 23 homers and 69 RBI.
2017: Not much was expected out of the San Diego Padres entering the season, as they were a rebuilding team with promising prospects in the minors that were still at least a year away from making an impact in the majors. It did not take long for the losses to begin mounting in San Diego, as the Padres dropped five of their first 15 games, and sat 15-30 through on May 21st. The Padres would end May winning seven of ten games as they began showing signs of life as they played .500 over a 50-game stretch in June and July. The Padres would end up finishing fourth in the National League West with a record of 71-91, marking a slight three-game improvement over 2016. Will Meyers was the Padres power source with 30 home runs and 74 RBI. Meanwhile, on the mound, Jhoulys Chacin led the way with a record of 13-10 and an ERA of 3.89.
2018: The San Diego Padres looked to tale the next step coming off a 71-91 season. GM A.J. Preller got to work and made a significant signing in February by getting 1B Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract, the largest in franchise history. This meant that the previous highest-paid player, Wil Myers, was to put away his first base glove and head back to the outfield. Fans hoped more lineup strength and a position change might be beneficial at the plate as Myers was coming off a poor year. The Padres had also compiled the best farm system in major leagues according to many baseball outlets. This was the year that those prospects, headlined by Franmil Reyes and Luis Urias, would have the chance to finally get to the big leagues and give San Diego some hope. Unfortunately, this was not the year to provide them with any hope. The Padres opened their 50th season of franchise history by getting swept by the Milwaukee Brewers. The series set the tone for the season as San Diego finished March and April 10-20, digging themselves in a large hole early. San Diego played better baseball in May to improve to 25-33 on the season, but June was another long month as they went 12-15. The Padres had the worst record in the National League at the All-Star break at 40-59. In July, things hit rock bottom as San Diego only won five out of 25 games. One of these losses came on July 7th at the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 20-5. Wil Myers went yard three times, giving the Padres their best achievement of the season by being the only team in MLB history to lose by double digits but have a player hit three home runs. Although they finished the last two months stronger, going 24-28 in August and September, the Padres finished in last place with a disappointing record of 66-96. It was an underwhelming year across the board, especially for the faces of the rebuild, Hosmer, and Myers. Hosmer finished the season playing in 157 games while going .253 with 18 homers and 69 RBI. While Myers spent half of the season on the DL playing only 83 games and hitting .253 with 11 HRs and 39 RBI.
Written by Kyle Mullin and Aaron Gershon
2019: The San Diego Padres celebrated its 50th Anniversary. There was a strong sense of optimism going into 2019 spring training amongst the Padres organization. This was the year OF Wil Myers and 1B Eric Hosmer were supposed to put it together along with the host of talent from a developing, top-class minor league system to get the rebuild back on track. Rights as spring training games were getting underway; GM A.J. Preller sped the rebuild as he signed Manny Machado to a ten-year, $300 million contract, breaking the record for the largest free-agent contract in American sports history (until broken by Bryce Harper two weeks later). Machado was a once in a generation free agent and was a symbol to Padres fans that GM A.J. Preller and ownership were dead serious about being successful. Another spring training storyline that delighted the Padres was the prolific play of prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. There was a debate of keeping him in the minors long enough to gain an extra year of control, but he proved to be the best shortstop in the organization and was named the starter. Between, this left side of the infield, Hosmer, Myers, sluggers Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes in the outfield, and prospects Luis Urias and Chris Paddack, the San Diego Padres were building a team that looked like a contender. The question marks they had left was a thin, inexperienced rotation and lack of quality in the bullpen. Opening day against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park was the fastest sellout the Padres have ever had. The fans’ dedication was rewarded through the first month of the season as they held a record of 17-13 as April came to an end. Tatis Jr. and Machado were both getting it done at the plate and in the field. A memorable moment for the organization occurred on May 3rd when the Los Angeles Dodgers came to Petco Park to start the season series. In his first at-bat versus the team that acquired him for their 2018 World Series loss, Machado homered off Clayton Kershaw. Although the Padres dropped the first two games, they won the final game of the series in the bottom of the ninth when Hunter Renfroe hit a walk-off grand slam to give San Diego a Cinco de Mayo celebration. The rest of the first half was average for the team finishing at the All-Star Break at 45-45. Any signs of hope for a playoff run were quickly dismantled as the team fell apart after the mid-summer classic. The Padres finished the month of July by going 5-12, and nothing was going right. On July 31st, San Diego was the third piece in a blockbuster three-team trade that saw Trevor Bauer go to the Cincinnati Reds and Yasiel Puig to the Cleveland Indians. In this trade, Franmil Reyes, the players’ and fans’ favorite clubhouse personality, was sent to Cleveland in exchange for top prospect Taylor Trammell. To add on to the depressing second half, Fernando Tatis Jr. injured his back in early August, causing him to be shut down for the rest of the season. The downward spiral continued as San Diego went 13-15 in August and 7-20 in September. The only thing that got fans to crack a smile was that Manager Andy Green was fired on September 21st, days before the season ended. The players resonated the importance of this move when Wil Myers said Preller “was not wrong,” for the firing and that they “needed someone to get in here to really get us going.” Rod Barajas led the team over the final week they finished last in the NL West with a record of 70-92. The core of Machado, Hosmer, and Myers were underwhelming compared to the performances of other seasons. Machado hit .256 with a solid 32 homers and 85 RBI. Hosmer had an average of .265 with 22 dingers and 99 RBI. Double-play/strikeout machine Myers had a paltry average of .239 with only 18 HR and 53 RBI. San Diego’s lone all-star was closer Kirby Yates, who led the National League with 41 saves.
Written by Kyle Mullin and Aaron Gershon
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Page created on March 21, 2001. Last updated on June 14, 2020, at 11:50 pm ET.