It’s time to cover those spectacular SoCal Friars!
Welcome back, my sharped dressed fans – this week I’m featuring the San Diego Padres! These lovable chaps started as an expansion team back in 1969, taking the name of a minor league team from the Pacific Coast League (just like the Angels did!) The lovable losers didn’t fare to well out of the gate, and lost so many games in their first six seasons, that the franchise was nearly sold and moved to Washington D.C. Luckily the Pads picked themselves up with the help of Nate Colbert (a player I’d actually not heard of, which rarely happens) and the great Dave Winfield, known for a 23 season baseball career, a slew of accolades and awards, years of philanthropic work, and, hilariously, putting Nolan Ryan in his place. I have the greatest respect for Ryan, but, man, that gave me a good chuckle!
The poor Padres didn’t actually see their first pennant win until 1984, shortly after Tony Gwynn joined the team. Gwynn played with the Pads for the entire 20 seasons of his career, was an all-star for 15 seasons, and became the face of the organization, often referred to as Mr. Padre. Sadly, Tony Gwynn passed away in 2014, far too young, and I feel as though the Friars have yet to fully recover from the blow. With only two NL pennant wins under their belt, and a limited, small-city budget, the team has rough road ahead of them. The upside, however, is that they have a beautiful park right off the bay, a slowly solidifying team, and one of the nicest fan-bases I’ve ever encountered. With a little bit of encouragement and hard work, hopefully their luck will change!