by Bill Swank

The Journal of San Diego History
San Diego History Center Quarterly
Fall 2019, Volume 65, Number 3

“Every day I peruse the box scores for hours. Sometimes I wonder why I do it.”[1]

In 1969, the nation celebrated when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. That same year, San Diego celebrated its 200th Anniversary and professional baseball celebrated 100 years. More importantly, in 1969, I celebrated the birth of the major league San Diego Padres, but it has not always been an easy love affair. Phil Wrigley owned the Chicago Cubs from 1932 until his death in 1977. He noted, “Baseball is too much of a sport to be a business and too much of a business to be a sport.”[2] Sometimes I wonder why I care.

At a recent gathering of baseball old-timers, native son and former major league outfielder Larry Elliot, 81, said a friend asked if this was another rebuilding year for the Padres. “I would like to see the Padres have a plan and the patience to stick with it,” he said.[3] Over the past fifty years, Padres fans have often repeated Elliot’s reaction. Over the past fifty years, Padres fans have echoed Elliot’s reaction so frequently that it sounds like a chorus repeated after the verse of each season. Incessant change is ingrained in the team’s DNA. It’s a chorus, because incessant change is ingrained in the team’s DNA.

To understand fifty years of Padres baseball history, it is necessary to understand fifty years of Padres ownership history as well as expansion history. The Padres have the worst winning percentage (.461) in major league baseball history, five points below the lowly Florida/Miami Marlins (.466). The Padres barely average seventy-five wins a year.[4] The only expansion team with more wins than losses is the Los Angeles Angels, with a slim .500 winning percentage.[5]

The National League decided to expand a second time for the 1969 season and awarded franchises to Montreal and San Diego.[6] Former Pacific Coast League Padres owner C. Arnholt Smith was shocked to learn it would cost him $10 million to leave the bush leagues. At the time, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the public were unaware that Smith’s financial empire—and thus the Padres—was on the verge of collapse.[7]

When they took the field at San Diego Stadium on April 8, 1969, the Padres wore beige uniforms and brown caps.[8] Many assumed the color brown was a tribute to the Franciscan friars, founding fathers of California’s mission system.[9] It is a good story, but it didn’t happen that way.

According to former Padres vice president Jim Mulvaney, C. Arnholt Smith, “liked everything brown. He painted his bank buildings, his shipyards, his tuna cannery and other buildings brown. He wore brown suits all the time and his letterhead was on brown-tinted paper. Because he was the boss, everybody went along with brown for the Padres. It seemed appropriate, because the team is the Padres, but I don’t think Buzzie (Peter Bavasi) ever really liked the color.”[10] Although modern Franciscans wear brown robes, grey was probably the color actually worn by the 1769 San Diego padres at home and on the road.[11]

Remarkably, during the past fifty years, the Padres have changed their uniform design thirteen times with major color revisions and minor tweaks along the way.[12] There has been no continuity. Reportedly, they will officially return to brown in 2020, but the actual design will not be released to the public until later this year.[13]

Despite third baseman Ed Spezio losing a ground ball in the lights, old-timers remember optimism after the beige young Padres swept the Houston Astros in the opening series of their 1969 inaugural season.[14] Future Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson was on manager Preston Gómez’s coaching staff. Anderson enthusiastically predicted the Padres would win all 162 of their games that year. Fellow coach Wally Moon was circumspect and said, “Let me tell you, Sparky. Come August, we’ll be so far out, a search party couldn’t find us.”[15]

The Padres and Montreal Expos finished their first season with identical 52-110 records but very different support. San Diego would average over 100 losses for six years until 1975.[16] Reportedly, the Padres submitted attendance of 609,502 for 1969, but the National League wouldn’t accept the figure. A recalculated number put the official attendance at 512,970.[17] Conversely, the Expos drew 1,212,608 fans to Montreal’s tiny Parc Jarry with a seating capacity of 28,456.[18] Spacious San Diego Stadium held 50,000.[19]

Money was very tight in the early years. It was customary to provide a gratuity for players who appeared on the postgame radio show. Peter Bavasi shared a humorous memory. “We had S&H Green Stamps left over from a giveaway promotion we had run. Of course, no one showed up, so we had plenty of booklets in storage,” he explained. Padres radio broadcaster Jerry Gross was going to chat with misunderstood Philadelphia Phillies slugger Richie Allen after the game until Allen learned about the gift he would receive. “Richie glared at Jerry Gross and walked off,” Bavasi said.[20]

Whitey Wietelmann played for the PCL Padres at Lane Field and was later a Padres coach during the Westgate Park era. It was through loyalty to the organization that Whitey was selected to coach for the major league Padres in 1969. Because the team had financial problems, he “invented a baseball cleaning-machine. It worked like a rock tumbler with hard and soft erasers.”[21] Whitey explained, “I’d collect all the balls after practice and put them in the machine overnight. They came out white. The players didn’t like them. They thought they were dead. We tried to save money any way we could.”[22] In those fiscally lean early years, losing was epidemic with the Padres. The new stadium was dual use. San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley opened in 1967 as the home of the San Diego Chargers. “’It might be the best stadium I’ve ever seen,’ said Pete Rozelle, the commissioner of football.”[23]

Home runs were never cheap at multi-purpose San Diego Stadium, and previously unheralded Nate Colbert emerged as one of the National League’s leading home run hitters in the early 1970s.[24] The first baseman’s biggest day was August 1, 1972. During a rescheduled doubleheader in sultry Atlanta, Colbert hammered out five home runs and knocked in 13 runs. Earlier that day, he could barely stand up. Manager Don Zimmer needed his bat and Colbert said, “I’m in there.” After hitting two home runs in the first game, Zimmer said, “Great game, big guy.” Nate answered, “I’m not done yet.”[25] Colbert had three more home runs and eight RBIs in the second game. The lowly Padres took both ends of the twin bill. Nate Colbert’s 163 home runs during his six years with the Padres still stand as a team record.[26]

When future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield played his first game in Mission Valley in 1973, the Padres record was 19-46. The previous week, Big Dave almost single-handedly won the College World Series playing for the University of Minnesota. He is one of only a handful of players to go directly to the major leagues without any minor league experience.[27]

In 1971, at the other end of the spectrum, Enzo Hernandez set a major league season record in 549 at bats for fewest RBIs: twelve.[28] The next year, Enzo’s batting average slipped to .195, but he finished eighth in the league with twenty-four stolen bases. He observed, “For me, stealing second is a lot easier after I’ve reached first.”[29]

To this day, no Padres pitcher has thrown a no-hitter, but Clay Kirby came close in 1970. Phil Collier wrote in the San Diego Union, “Barring a miracle, the San Diego Padres will finish last in the National League West again this season and the 10,373 who turned out to watch them last night will still be wondering if Clay Kirby would have pitched a no-hitter against the New York Mets.”[30] The kid only needed three more outs for a no-no, but Gómez pulled Kirby for pinch hitter Cito Gaston in the bottom of the eighth inning. The team was trailing the New York Mets, 1-0, and Gómez, always a gentleman, explained with some irony that he was playing to win.[31] As the losses continued to mount, serious problems within the organization were exposed.

Plans were underway for the 1972 Republican National Convention in San Diego when Life magazine accused the Nixon administration of protecting C. Arnholt Smith against charges of corrupt business practices. In May 1972, the Republicans moved their convention to Miami, Florida, and fans began to worry about the future of major league baseball in San Diego.[32] To squelch rumors that the Padres were for sale, on December 22, 1972, team president Buzzie Bavasi reassured fans the club was staying put, announcing, “This is the best Christmas present I ever had, and I would say Mr. Smith is the only Santa Claus in the baseball business.”[33] Mr. Smith turned out to be the Grinch.

Concurrently, in January 1973, George Steinbrenner and a group of minority investors bought the New York Yankees for $10 million from CBS.[34] Later, in a 2004 Sports Illustrated article, Steinbrenner told Tom Verducci that the Yankees actually cost $8.8 million, because “CBS threw in parking lots that he sold to the city for $1.2 million.”[35] The headlines of the May 28, 1973 San Diego Union proclaimed “Washington Buys Padres For Record $12 Million.”[36] How could the Padres possibly be worth more than the New York Yankees?

On December 6, 1973, National League owners unanimously approved the sale and relocation of the Padres to Washington, DC. The new proprietor would be Jospeh Danzansky, wealthy owner of Giant Food, Inc. Topps even issued a set of “Washington Nat’l Lea.” baseball cards that included Randy Jones, Nate Colbert, and Willie McCovey.[37] The sale quickly fell apart when the City of San Diego sued the Padres for $84 million in future rent on the existing stadium lease.[38]

McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc was on his yacht when he learned about Smith’s failed sale to the Washington group. He told his wife, Joan, “I think I want to buy the San Diego Padres.” Nonplussed, she asked, “Why would you want to buy a monastery?” The $12 million deal was completed on January 25, 1974. Afterwards, Smith speculated Kroc would have paid double the price.[39]

On opening night of the 1974 season, Ray Kroc watched his Padres fumble and bumble from the press box as Houston built a 9-2 lead through eight innings. Suddenly, he grabbed the public address microphone and shouted, “I’ve never seen such stupid ball playing in my life!” To add to the drama of the evening, the KGB Chicken made his debut and a streaker cut across the field while Kroc was on the PA. The players were angry and Major League Baseball was in shock. MLB ordered Kroc to apologize and San Diego quickly embraced the hamburger king.[40] Dave Campbell played for the Padres in the early 1970s and was with Houston in 1974. He would later broadcast Padres games with Jerry Coleman and reflected on the incident. “The long-term interpretation of what Kroc said was that the people of San Diego realized they finally had an owner who cared.”[41]

The stadium became a place to have fun. Along with the hilarious antics of the Chicken, Marine Corps helicopter pilot Jim Eakle and his rag tag group of friends formed an ensemble that came to be known as Tubaman and McNamara’s Band, named after Padres manager John McNamara.[42] Yet by the end of the 1974 season the Padres again had the worst record in MLB (60-102), scored the fewest runs (541), and young Randy Jones lost 22 games. However, for the first time the team finally drew more than one million fans (1,075,399). They believed Ray Kroc wanted a winner.[43]

A new term in baseball language appeared in 1975: free agency, and it caused owners to panic. Buzzie Bavasi’s Golden Rule, “Those who have the gold make the rules,” no longer applied. Suddenly, players were able to become free agents, and in an open market, their salaries increased dramatically. The minimum salary in 1969 was $10,000 and the average salary was $24,909. By 2008, the minimum was $390,000 and the average was $2,925,679. In 2019, the minimum is $555,000 and the average is $4,360,000, down from $4,450,000 in 2017.[44]When Marvin Miller took over as head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966, he said the owners exploited the players—and he was right. Now the MLBPA is “arguably the most powerful labor union in American history.”[45] It also became a powerful fraternity.

With free agency, players became expensive, interchangeable parts. Fans want to feel a connection with their favorite players, but that is not easy if the player might be gone the next year. Teams used to have great rivalries and the players didn’t like each other. Now, when a player reaches first base, he starts jawing with the first baseman like a long-lost cousin. Baseball didn’t use to be like that. Money can change a person. And a game.

Profits have also soared. Major League Baseball teams averaged $40 million profit in 2018. The New York Yankees are valued at $4.6 billion. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Giants are worth $3 billion or more. The Padres are valued at $1.35 billion and, at the bottom, the Marlins are only worth one billion dollars.[46] Fans relate to the tiny numbers in a box score, but have difficulty with the large numbers in a players’ salary or a team’s valuation.

1975 proved to be a watershed year for the Padres. They climbed out of the cellar with a 71-91 record and finished ahead of Atlanta and Houston. Randy Jones was a big reason for the improvement. The Comeback Player of the Year led National League pitchers with a 2.24 ERA and a record of 20-12.[47] The following year, Jones won the NL Cy Young Award. He was 16-3 going into the All-Star Game and finished the year with a 22-14 mark.[48]

Kroc expected the Padres to do better in 1977, so he fired popular John McNamara and replaced him with Alvin Dark.[49] It was a harbinger of future ownership meddling and intrigue, punctuated by a World Series appearance, that would last until 1990. Buzzie Bavasi left after clashes with Joan Kroc.[50] Dark got canned before the start of the 1978 season. Players felt the born-again Christian was forcing his religious views on them. Worst of all, he feuded with Gaylord Perry, and few managers can survive fighting with a star player.[51]

Seventeen days before Opening Day 1978, even-tempered Roger Craig succeeded Dark as the new Padres skipper.[52] The team finally finished over .500 with 84 wins and 78 losses. Gaylord Perry became the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues. The 39-year-old spitballer went 21-6 with a 2.73 ERA. Along with Perry, there were three other future Hall of Fame players on the team: Dave Winfield, Rollie Fingers, and rookie sensation Ozzie Smith.

There was added excitement because San Diego hosted the All-Star Game that year. Padres VP Elten Schiller is credited with suggesting that pre-game workouts should be opened free to the public. MLB marketing liked the idea and the event became known as FanFest. Ticket prices now approach $40.00.[53]

Ray Kroc’s willingness to spend on high-priced free agents got him into trouble with baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Kuhn fined him $100,000 for tampering with Joe Morgan and Graig Nettles. In frustration, Kroc turned the reins over to his son-in-law Ballard Smith and general manager Bob Fontaine.[54] The Padres returned to old habits and finished 1979 with a disappointing 68-93 record. Craig was fired and Jerry Coleman left the broadcast booth to take over as field manager in 1980. “I know I can manage as well as anyone else in this game, but somebody had to take the blame for this season and it certainly wasn’t going to be them,” Craig said in reference to Ballard Smith and general manager Bob Fontaine. Coleman told reporters the development was “probably a bigger surprise to me than it is to you.”[55]

The Padres didn’t improve much under Coleman. They were back in the basement with a 73-89 record. “I should never have taken it.” Coleman said. The Padres’ sixth manager in twelve years was fired and welcomed his return to the booth.[56]

Pitcher Bob Shirley spent the first four years of his major league career in San Diego. After the 1980 season, he was part of a multi-player trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. Following the trade, Shirley offered a pointed observation about the Padres organization, “Tradition in St. Louis is Stan Musial coming into the clubhouse and making the rounds. Tradition in San Diego is Nate Colbert coming into the clubhouse and trying to sell you a used car.”[57] But San Diego did recognize local tradition in its own way: When San Diego Union sports editor Jack Murphy died of lung cancer in 1980, San Diego Stadium was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium in his honor.[58]

The 1981 major league baseball players’ strike lasted from June 12 until league play resumed on August 10. The June 27, 1981 cover of Sports Illustrated featured an empty stadium and this headline: “Strike! The Walkout the Owners Provoked.”[59] The Padres were in last place (23-33) when the strike began. They were even worse after the strike ended (18-36).[60]

New general manager Jack McKeon had to fire manager Frank Howard. “Frank Howard was too nice a guy,” reasoned McKeon. He replaced the giant Howard with hard-nosed Dick Williams, a proven winner.[61] Williams’ published his autobiography in 1990, No More Mr. Nice Guy. No-nonsense Dick Williams was hard on his players and inclined to wear out his welcome with the owners after he turned the teams into champions. The Padres only hit 32 home runs during the strike-shortened 1981 season, so a shorter, inner-fence was added in 1982 to make “The Murph” more homer-friendly. The Padres were 81-81 under Dick Williams in 1982 and 1983.

Everything came together in 1984. Trader Jack McKeon gave Williams some talent to mold by acquiring Terry Kennedy, Garry Templeton, Graig Nettles, Carmelo Martinez, and Dave Dravecky in trades. He drafted Tony Gwynn, Kevin McReynolds, and Alan Wiggins, and then signed free agents Goose Gossage and Steve Garvey.[62]

Garvey was an interesting piece of the puzzle. Would the All-American Boy with political aspirations fit in? His squeaky-clean image tended to rub Dodgers teammates wrong, and he didn’t make any friends on the diamond when he said, “The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back.”[63]

Furthermore, the sartorially splendid Steve Garvey did not like the brown uniforms. “The Padre uniform makes me look like a taco,” he complained.[64] Kurt Bevacqua was more graphic. “We look like nine piles of manure in a cow pasture.”[65] When Tony Gwynn was drafted by the Padres in 1981, his first words were, “Aw (bleep), the Padres. That damn brown and gold.”[66] But Tony grew nostalgic and had a change of heart in 2012 when asked about a possible return to brown. “I’d love it. That’s how we started, with brown. I’d love to see brown,” he said.[67]

The Padres wore their famous taco jerseys when they went to the World Series in 1984. It was a magical, impossible year. By August, the Padres’ first NL West pennant was a forgone conclusion, but San Diego was in Atlanta when something unforgettable and incredibly ugly happened. The Sporting News called it “the greatest brawl in the history of baseball – Three full-on brawls with mini-brawls included; – thirteen players and coaches ejected; – Five fans arrested.”[68] After the game, Atlanta manager Joe Torre called Williams “an idiot and you can spell that with a capital I.” Pugnacious Dick Williams countered, “We will not be intimidated.” The Braves won, 5-3.[69]

It is the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs that San Diego fans relish with great fondness. The first two games were played at Wrigley Field with replacement umpires. The Cubbies won the first game in a blowout, 13-0, and the second, 4-2.

The team’s return flight from O’Hare Field was delayed and their San Diego bus had to be rerouted because of a late night traffic jam at the stadium. A cheering crowd of 12,000 to 15,000 fans was waiting to greet them. “They say fans can’t turn around a championship series among professional athletes,” recalled Padres shortstop Garry Templeton. “Our fans did. Not only in the stadium parking lot, but for the next three days.”[70]

Jack McKeon called Templeton “the catalyst” of the 1984 team.[71] During pre-game introductions for Game Three, Tempy started waving his cap to stir up the crowd. It was out of character for Templeton, who was always cool, and it remains an indelible memory from the series. “What I saw was a lot of hope and frustration of the (16-year) losing history boiling over. I didn’t know if we were going to win the series, but I knew we weren’t going to lose the next day,” said NL batting champion Tony Gwynn. The Padres beat the Cubs, 7-1, with Ed Whitson in control.[72]

Game Four produced arguably the greatest moment in San Diego sports history. With the score tied, 5-5, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Steve Garvey, who had been hitless in eight previous appearances against Cubs reliever Lee Smith, pounded a good fastball over the 370 foot sign in right-center for a two-run game winning home run.[73] Robert Redford portrayed Roy Hobbs in the 1984 summer blockbuster movie, “The Natural.” Sportswriter Kirk Kenney wrote, “Hobbs had nothing on Garvey.”[74]

After Garvey’s heroics, Game Five was almost anti-climactic. The Padres won, 6-3, and Padres fans immediately began chanting, “Forty more years! Forty more years!” in reference to the Cubs last World Series appearance in 1945.[75] Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko was incensed the Padres won the right to face Detroit in the World Series. He referred to Padres fans as “lousy wimps” and “laid-back surf rats.”[76]

The 1984 Detroit Tigers are generally considered to be the best team in franchise history and among the all-time best American League champions. They “roared to a 35-5 record, the best start in baseball history, and never looked back.”[77] “Mow down Motown” didn’t have the same panache as the “Cub-Busters” t-shirts, a parody on another 1984 hit movie, “Ghostbusters.” Motown mowed down the Padres in five games.[78]

For me, the greatest moment in San Diego sports history occurred in the 5th inning of Game 2 in the ’84 Series. With runners on base and the Padres trailing, 3-2, designated hitter Kurt Bevacqua hit a mighty 3-run blast into the left field stands. Unbelievably, San Diego won a game in the World Series![79]

Padres fans assumed their team would remain a winner. Former AL Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt joined a solid pitching staff in a winter trade with the Chicago White Sox. Why not change the uniforms again? Sidjakov, Berman & Gomez of San Francisco designed new threads that looked remarkably similar to the 1984 Giants uniforms, also designed by Sidjakov, Berman & Gomez. The Padres went from tacos to copycats.[80]

The Padres led the NL West until the 4th of July in 1985. Pitcher Andy Hawkins had won a record 11 games to start the season. Hoyt was 12-4 going into the All-Star Game. Five Padres—Steve Garvey, Tony Gwynn, LaMarr Hoyt, Terry Kennedy, and Garry Templeton—started the game for NL manager Dick Williams. All played important roles in the National League’s 6-1 victory.[81] Hoyt was the winning pitcher and received the All-Star Game MVP award.

Ownership cannot be blamed for the nightmare that happened next. After a drug relapse, Alan Wiggins was traded to the Baltimore Orioles.[82] The Padres faded and finished a disappointing third in the NL West with an 83-79 record. Then in 1987, LaMarr Hoyt was busted twice for attempting to smuggle drugs across the international border. He was sent to prison and his career ended.[83] 1984 was the Everest of Padres history. They’ve finished over .500 only fourteen times and have spent almost 40 years wandering in the desert. Good players have come and gone, but many more bad players were on that carousel.

During the off-season, Dick Williams clashed with Jack McKeon and Ballard Smith.[84] Steve Boros replaced Williams in 1986 and, as noted by baseball’s beloved philosopher Yogi Berra, it was déjà vu all over again. The Padres started 1987 with an 8-30 record. Good Bye, Steve. Hello, Larry…fiery Larry Bowa. The Padres showed progress over the remainder of the season, but after another slow start (16-30) in 1988, Good Bye, Larry. Hello, Jack?[85] General Manager Jack McKeon took on double duty as field manager. Some observers felt the move was disingenuous.[86]

The inner workings of the Padres after the death of Ray Kroc in 1984 were like a daytime soap opera. In November 1986, team president Ballard Smith denied rumors the Padres might be sold to oil tycoon Marvin Davis. “There is no way this club would ever be sold to move it out of the city,” emphasized Smith.[87] A week later, Joan Kroc and Smith bought full-page newspaper ads to announce the Padres were for sale with the stipulation the team must remain in San Diego.[88]

In February 1987, Linda Smith filed for divorce from Ballard Smith, who had been feuding with her mother, Joan Kroc.[89] Ballard resigned in June and was replaced by former National League president Chub Feeney.[90] A year later, Feeney was forced to resign after he flipped off a fan during Fan Appreciation Night.[91] Linda Smith married player agent Jerry Kapstein who had represented Steve Garvey, Goose Gossage, Graig Nettles, Andy Hawkins, McKeon’s son-in-law Greg Booker, and others in negotiations with the Padres.[92] Kapstein was hired by the Padres and decertified by the Players Association.[93]

On the field, the Padres finished second to the Giants—3 games out—with the second best record (89-73) in club history. Off the field, there was more intrigue than a Russian novel. Linda was getting a divorce from Kapstein while he was negotiating the sale of the Padres to “an investment group led by television producer Tom Werner” for $75 million. The deal closed in April 1990.[94]

The Padres were 37-43 on July 12, 1990 when Jack McKeon returned to his GM duties. He replaced himself with one of his coaches, Greg Riddoch.[95] Less than two weeks later, Roseanne Barr, star of Werner’s nationally top-rated TV series “Roseanne,” wanted to sing the national anthem at a Padres game. Sportswriter Kirk Kenney wrote, “Barr’s performance is still one of the most memorable moments in Padres history. For all the wrong reasons.

No one has butchered it like Barr. Not even close. It wasn’t just the off-key screeching or the fingers in her ears as boos rang out from the crowd of 27,285. To top it off, Barr made an obscene gesture and spit as she stepped away from the microphone. Outrage was immediate.”[96]

The Tom Werner era ended the Joan Kroc stewardship era. New ownership viewed baseball as entertainment rather than sport. They saw the potential to package and market the national pastime as show business. In subtle ways, Roseanne Barr’s insulting performance still haunts baseball.[97]

After Ray’s death, his wife Joan became “one of the greatest philanthropists of the 20th century,” but as her biographer Lisa Napoli wrote, “she was hardly angelic, but, rather, an iron-willed Tinkerbell with a streak of capriciousness.”[98] She knew nothing about baseball when her husband bought the team but became an enthusiastic fan during the championship season. She joyously interacted with the players and the fans. It was great fun when Goose Gossage tossed her in the pool at a victory celebration.[99] But in 1986, because of her experience with alcoholic husbands, the crusader decided to ban beer in the team clubhouse. Gossage exploded. “He [Ballard Smith] wants choir boys and not winning players.” Further, according to Gossage, Joan Kroc was “poisoning the world with her cheeseburgers.”[100]

The Goose was immediately suspended, but the matter was settled amicably a few months later. Gossage apologized and agreed to forfeit $25,000 in salary. Joan earmarked the money for seriously ill children and their parents staying at Ronald McDonald House.[101]

Following her death in 2003, Gosse reflected. “She was as tough as she was nice… and she was probably the nicest, kindest lady I ever knew.”[102]

Joan had grown weary of the responsibility and negative publicity. In the late 1980s, in an effort to assure the Padres would remain local, she tried to give the team, with a generous $100 million trust fund for operational purposes, to the City of San Diego. The baseball owners committee refused to even consider such an outrageous idea.[103] According to Matt Potter of The Reader, they “didn’t want a city-owned ball club disrupting their backroom deals.”[104] Although she didn’t understand the importance of beer to baseball players, Joan Kroc was the best owner the Padres ever had. Her heart was always in the right place.

It didn’t take long for the Werner group to replace Trader Jack as general manager. The Padres had been picked to contend in 1990, but the clubhouse was wracked with dissension created by Jack Clark.[105] Joe McIlvaine was brought in as general manager from the New York Mets and promptly changed the uniform colors to blue and orange. With the new color scheme, fans wondered if the new GM planned to turn the Padres into Mets West.

McIlvaine wasn’t timid. He promptly pulled off a blockbuster all-star trade with Toronto. The Padres acquired home run king Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. In return, the Blue Jays got future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, who would win two World Series in 1992 and 1993 with the Jays. The callow Gary Sheffield came from the Brewers and had a breakout year, winning the batting title (.330) and narrowly missing the Triple Crown.[106]

The trades initially helped San Diego. They improved to 84 and 78, and when the 1992 All-Star Game was played in San Diego, three Padres were in the NL starting lineup: Tony Gwynn, Fred McGriff, and Benito Santiago. Gary Sheffield and Tony Fernandez also saw action, but the American League destroyed the senior circuit, 13-6.

The Padres finished third in the 1992 NL West with an 82-80 record,[107] but the team was in trouble. Tom Werner moaned, “We have a very serious financial problem here, and in baseball. We lost more money last year—$7 million—than in the first 23 years of this franchise combined.” Interestingly, San Diego received $12 million from “expansion fees” when the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins joined the league, but that money was used towards payments on a $20 million loan the owners secured to purchase the team. In a conversation with an unnamed player agent, Werner expressed surprise at the cost of running a major league franchise. The agent was incredulous.[108] When the team was contending, a startled partner asked, “What if we win? What will happen to the payroll?”[109]

1992 season ticket sales dropped from 16,000 to “around 11,500.” The Padres sent a letter assuring ticket holders that “everything possible would be done to keep [Darrin] Jackson.”[110] He was traded before the 1993 season began and an unprecedented class action suit was filed against the Padres.[111] It led to a “fire sale.” San Diego traded players with high salaries and did not offer contracts to free agents. Only loyal Tony Gwynn remained. Besides, they were only paying him peanuts. Their payroll shrank to the lowest in baseball.[112] The Padres finished at 61-101, 43 games out of first place. Only the New York Mets were worse: 59-103.

Tom Werner was right, baseball was in trouble. A major contributor to that trouble was ownership greed. The owners canned Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992 when he determined they colluded while signing free agents. With good reason, the players didn’t trust the owners and went on strike about two-thirds of the way into the 1994 season. There was no baseball from August 12, 1994 until April 2, 1995. The 1994 World Series was cancelled. The 1995 season was shortened to 144 games.

1994 is remembered as the year Tony Gwynn seriously flirted with .400. His .394 average for the strike-shortened season earned him a fifth National League batting title. Not many realize Gwynn once hit over .400 during a 162-game stretch. From August 1, 1993 to May 9, 1995, he had 242 hits in 596 at-bats to match Ted William’s .406-benchmark season.[113] He had a history of discipline at the plate. In 1988, Gwynn only struck out forty times, or less than once every four games. Today, as a team, the Padres strike out almost ten times a game. Over his career, Gwynn averaged only 21.7 strikeouts a year.[114]

1990 was the worst year of Gwynn’s career. Jack Clark called him “selfish.” Jack the Ripper was equally adept at ripping baseballs and teammates. Rick Reilly wrote in Sports Illustrated, “Nobody wears out a front-office welcome faster than the continually furious Jack Clark, baseball’s all-time league leader in boats rocked.”[115] The criticism surprised and hurt the good-natured Gwynn, who withdrew into a shell. His .309 batting average was the lowest of his career, with the exception of his 54-game rookie season. Wisely, McIlvaine got rid of Clark.[116]

Tony was an old-fashioned ballplayer whose personality and values struck a chord with the fans. There was nothing phony or pretentious about Tony Gwynn. He was good to kids and he was humble. Bob Costas hosted a special tribute following Tony’s last game in 2001.[117] When it was time for Tony to appear from the dugout, he carried a plastic Vons shopping bag containing items he wanted to share. Years later, prior to an Aztecs baseball game, I asked Tony why he used a Vons bag during that postgame ceremony. He chuckled and said the Vons bag worked just fine. I took former Negro League pitcher Walter McCoy to that game. Tony called him, “Mr. McCoy.”[118] That was Tony Gwynn… an everyday guy who was respectful of his elders. He was loyal to the Padres and Padres fans, which explains why he was beloved. For 20 years, Tony made being a Padres fan worthwhile. The career .338 hitter would tie the immortal Honus Wagner with eight National League batting titles. In the game of life, Tony batted well over .400.

To paraphrase Buzzie Bavasi, on December 21, 1994, Santa Claus unexpectedly arrived in San Diego. A stranger from Texas named John Moores and a group of investors including Orioles executive Larry Lucchino bought the Padres for $80 million.[119] Before the year was even over, the Padres traded for Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley.[120] Immediately, Moores and Lucchino hit the right notes and mesmerized San Diego. Moores seemed too good to be true.

The Padres’ see-saw continued. In the shortened 1995 season, the Padres finished third with a 70-74 record. They won the NL West on the last day of the 1996 season and fan favorite Ken Caminiti was selected as MVP of the National League.[121] In 1997, San Diego fell back into last place. Tony Gwynn won his eighth batting crown, but injuries and a bullpen collapse contributed to the disappointing season.[122] The real action was happening behind the scenes.

By 1997, the Centre City Development Corporation had already targeted property to be condemned for a new ballpark in the East Village. The embattled owners complained they would only receive 60% of appraised value.[123] A handpicked task force concluded the Padres would no longer be viable playing at newly renamed Qualcomm Stadium, which expanded to accommodate future Super Bowls.[124] Larry Lucchino’s experience building Camden Yards ballpark in Baltimore became the blueprint for San Diego.

Baseball wasn’t the game. The real game during the Moores era was a real estate scheme of urban redevelopment financed with taxpayer money.[125] While John Moores was talking about a new ballpark at Broadway and Pacific Highway, the original home of the PCL Padres, his JMI real estate company was busy eyeing property in East Village. The Lane Field site was a red herring.[126]

The Florida Marlins won the 1997 World Series and owner H. Wayne Huizenga immediately dumped his stars. The Padres acquired high-octane pitcher Kevin Brown in the Marlins’ year-end fire sale and “rented” him for the 1998 season. History would repeat itself.

Although Moores protested the Padres might be forced to move from San Diego without a new ballpark, polls showed the voters were not inclined to build it for him. A measure known as Proposition C would put the matter to a vote in November of 1998. The Padres’ campaign slogan was, “It’s more than a ballpark.”[127] That part of their pitch was certainly true.

The season could not have been better scripted. The Padres won the National League West with 98 wins. They beat Randy Johnson and the Houston Astros in the division series and overwhelmed Atlanta in the NLCS, but got swept in the World Series by the New York Yankees (114-48), a team many compared to the 1927 Ruth-Gehrig-Murderer’s Row Yankees.[128]

The stage was set for the biggest game of the year. Larry Lucchino insisted passage of Prop C was essential to re-sign free agents Ken Caminiti, Steve Finley, Kevin Brown, Wally Joyner, and Carlos Hernandez.[129] Following a televised parade to honor the team, Tony Gwynn encouraged everyone to vote yes on Proposition C.[130] The measure passed with 59.5% of the vote.[131] Former Union-Tribune financial editor Don Bauder wrote, “Back in 1998, then-Padres majority owner John Moores promised that if taxpayers would pour more than $300 million into a ballpark, he would produce teams that were competitive.”[132]

Instead, the Padres allowed Caminiti to return to Houston, and Finley went to Arizona. Kevin Brown became baseball’s first $100 million man when he signed with the Dodgers. Greg Vaughn was traded to Cincinnati. David Fleming wrote in Sports Illustrated, “A more likely scenario is that the Padres will plummet from first to last in their division, just as they did following the 1996 season.”[133] In retrospect, unlike the excitement of 1984, winning in 1998 was deceptive and cynical.

The Padres fell to fourth in 1999 (74-88), two games ahead of the Colorado Rockies, and last in 2000 (76-86).[134] From 2001 through 2003, the Padres’ last year at Qualcomm, their average annual payroll was cut to $41.8 million (26th in MLB) and the team averaged fewer than 70 victories a year.[135]

Development of the downtown ballpark stalled when former city council member Bruce Henderson began filing lawsuits against the Padres. One focused attention on the controversial relationship between John Moores and Valerie Stallings, the woman who defeated Henderson’s reelection bid for the city council. In early 1999, Stallings reportedly purchased NEON stock as part of an IPO. Neon was a new software company owned by John Moores. “Its price shot from $15 to almost $27 a share” when Stallings sold it three weeks later. Coincidentally, this happened while the city was discussing negotiations for the new ballpark.[136]

It was subsequently revealed the Padres owner “showered” the councilwoman with other gifts. Don Bauder characterized the bribery case as “one of the most egregious in the history of San Diego law enforcement.”[137] Valerie Stallings pleaded guilty in January 2001 for failing to report gifts from John Moores and failing to disqualify herself from voting on ballpark issues and resigned from the council.[138] Somehow, after seven months of grand jury testimony, the U.S. Attorney concluded Moores had done nothing wrong. Details of the relationship have been “sealed forever.” Tom Larson wrote, “Revelations of Moore’s four-year gift-bounty to Stallings have some San Diegans in disbelief—fuming, really—as to why Stallings took the fall and Moores was exonerated.”[139]

In July 2001, Larry Lucchino suddenly announced that he was leaving the Padres. There has never been a satisfactory reason for his departure, but he landed in Boston where Red Sox fans love old Fenway Park. Years later, in a Wall Street Journal article, Lucchino actually said fans “get annoyed when teams get taxpayers to build a stadium, and then raise ticket and concessions prices for the very people who paid for it.”[140]

In 2003, software company Peregrine Systems was charged with “massive financial fraud.” John Moores served as chairman of the board from 1990 until 2000 and again in 2002. Although he sold more than $800 million of shares during the fraudulent period, it was decided that he had no knowledge of the fraud.[141] Following the collapse of Peregrine, new Padres President Bob Vizas predictably defended his boss. “Peregrine has nothing to do with the Padres. I don’t even understand the connection.”[142] In 2008, Becky Moores filed for divorce from her husband of 44 years, and the Padres were sold to a group led by former player agent Jeff Moorad for approximately $500 million.[143]

But the drama wasn’t over. In 2012, the Moorad deal fell apart. “Jeff started off in a bad situation with the Padres because he had people in the game who don’t like him,” said an MLB insider, “and they were looking for any reason to justify him not getting the vote.”[144] For the fans, it was fortuitous. Later that year, Moores sold the team to “The O’Malley Group,” headed by heirs of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and local civic leader Ron Fowler for $800 million, which included the $200 million Moores kept from a 20-year TV agreement with Fox Sports.[145] Former state senator and senior JMI advisor Steve Peace protested. “John Moores is not a developer. He’s a software guy. He’s a geek.”[146] In the end, the geek did all right with his original $80 million investment in San Diego.

Fans forget that the team’s record improved greatly after they moved to Petco Park in 2004. Through 2007, the Padres averaged over 86 wins a year including two NL West titles, but a general malaise had befallen the franchise. Beginning in 2008 (63-99), with the exception of 90 wins in 2010, a bad year turned into a bad decade.  Since 2011, the Padres have only averaged 72 wins a year.

Most of the victories during the Moores ownership were saved by future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman. In the last home game of the 2006 season, “Hoffman ran out of the bullpen to the customary toll of ‘Hell’s Bells’ and promptly shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates to become baseball’s all-time saves king.”[147] Beginning in 2014, the top firemen in each league began receiving the newly named Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year and Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Awards. Rivera posted 652 saves and Hoffman had 601.[148]

Jake Peavy advanced quickly through the Padres farm system and joined the team’s starting rotation at age 21. In 2007, at 26, he led the National League in victories (19), strikeouts (240), and ERA (2.54) to capture the Cy Young Award. Peavy was set to begin a three-year, $52 million contract in 2010, but the Padres were already $5 million over budget in 2009. Good bye, Jake.[149]

If ever a player was perfect for San Diego, it was bilingual Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was born in San Diego, grew up in Tijuana and Chula Vista, and played at Eastlake High School where as a senior he batted .645 with 13 home runs.[150] The Florida Marlins selected him with the number 1 pick of the 2000 draft. Acquired in a 2006 trade with Texas, Gonzalez averaged 32 home runs, 100 RBIs, and batted .288 in five years at Petco. But the Padres didn’t attempt to negotiate for 2011. General manager Jed Hoyer said, “I certainly wish we could keep him in San Diego long-term but we can’t.”[151] The fans were disgusted. Geoff Young, writing in Baseball Prospectus, noted, “People who lived through those eras of deceit [Werner and Moores ownership] are understandably skeptical or even cynical, thinking, ‘Oh boy, here we go again.’”[152]

Under new ownership, the Padres did little to improve the club in 2013, but in 2014 they hired 37-year-old A.J. Preller from the Texas Rangers as their new general manager. The young Preller, widely respected for his success in the international market, surprised the baseball world when he attempted to make San Diego a winner in his first year. He immediately traded seven of the Padres eleven best prospects to acquire Matt Kemp, James Shields, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton and, before opening day, traded for Craig Kimbrel and Justin’s brother, Melvin Upton, Jr.[153]

As Bill Shaikin wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The team blew up its payroll and its minor league system last winter, in an effort to win now. So, with the San Diego Padres under .500, who got the blame on Monday? Not the president, not the GM, and not the players. The Padres fired Manager Bud Black.”[154] The Padres were 32-33 at the time. James Shields was 7-0 and Kimbrel had converted 16 of 17 save appearances. Black was not the problem. San Diego finished with a record of 74-88.

In 2016 retiring Commissioner Bud Selig awarded San Diego its third All-Star Game. During the commissioner’s farewell tour, “the Padres unveiled the ‘Selig Hall of Fame Plaza’ at Petco Park, drawing immediate and widespread criticism.” The city estimated the game’s economic impact would be $80 million, a figure disputed by others.[155]

In June 2016, after a bad game against the Mariners, James Shields (2-7) was unloaded to the Chicago White Sox. In return, Preller got a 17-year-old prospect named Fernando Tatis, Jr. who hadn’t played an inning of professional baseball.[156] San Diego was back in last place with a record of 68-94.

The Padres were accused of “tanking” by unloading expensive players and replacing them with inexpensive young players. They averaged less than 69 wins from 2016 through 2018.[157] Tanking saves salary and bottom teams move up in the amateur draft. The Cubs and Astros proved a good farm system can bring championships. The Padres decided to concentrate again on their minor league system in 2018 but signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million deal. The likeable Hosmer was a bust and the team “tanked” to 66-96, their worst record since 2002.[158]

Joan Kroc thought the Padres were a monastery. Did this new Padres ownership group take a Vow of Silence? They didn’t share many details with the public until early 2019 when Executive Chairman Ron Fowler explained the challenge of re-financing the huge debt inherited from John Moores. “It was ransom,” Fowler said. There have been mistakes – big mistakes – but Fowler is committed to San Diego. Kevin Acee wrote in the Union-Tribune, “Out of the ashes of 2015, the Padres created an entirely new plan.”[159]

Immediately after stability was announced, the Padres signed Manny Machado to the biggest free-agent contract in sports history: 10-years, $330 million. With Hosmer, the Padres became baseball’s biggest free-agency spenders: $474 million in two years.[160] Even dour sportswriter Nick Canepa got downright giddy about the deal. “It took the Padres all of 50 years to grow out of pubescence into a true Major League Baseball franchise. It took Manny Machado to push the organization away from the children’s table and into the drawing room for brandy and cigars.”[161]

The best story of 2019 was the play of 20-year-old rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. In 372 at-bats, he hit .317 with 22 home runs and 53 RBIs. Everything about the kid creates excitement, but he might be injury prone. The fans are excited about the Padres’ top-rated minor league system. According to MLB Pipeline, “No organization has done a better job of harvesting both the Draft and international crops.”[162]

Historically, it only takes 76 wins for what can be considered an above-average Padres season. In four years, Andy Green’s Padres never won more than 71 games. After a promising 45-45 record at the All-Star break, the real story of the 2019 Padres was how they limped to the finish line. With eight games remaining and the struggling Padres at 69-85, it was Good bye, Andy.[163]

Then San Diego dropped seven of those last eight games for hapless interim manager Rod Barajas. Don’t blame Rod. The team lost 15 of their last 17 games. Good bye, Padre blues. Ron Fowler was not happy. “If we don’t win in 2020, heads will roll,” he apologized. “Mine will be the first one.”[164] Can a new manager make the kids into contenders? Can veterans Machado, Hosmer, and Myers earn their millions? Can brown become the color of magic? Keep the faith, Padres fans. The Cubs only had to wait 108 years to shed their image of loveable losers.[165]


[1] Jennifer Hijazi, “Remembering Tom Clark, Renowned Poet Who Rhapsodized about Baseball,” PBS Newshour, August 29, 2018,

[2] “Economics of Baseball,” National Baseball Hall of Fame,

[3] Larry Elliott, “Old Ballplayer Get-Together,” Escondido, CA, August 22, 2019.

[4] Except where otherwise noted, team records and individual statistics are derived from the entries found at Baseball Reference:

[5] Wikipedia, s.v. “List of All-Time Major League Baseball Win-Loss Records,” last modified September 10, 2019, 19:02,

[6] Jack Murphy, “San Diego Wins National League 1969 Franchise,” San Diego Union, May 28, 1968.

[7] “Padres Are Sold to a Washington Group,” New York Times, May 29, 1973.

[8] San Diego Union, April 8, 1969.

[9] James Clark, “Why Does Ron Fowler Hate the Color Brown,” East Village Times, January, 2017,

[10] Jim Mulvaney, interview, San Diego, May 15, 1996.

[11] Theodore A. Strathman, “Milestone Event is a Time to reflect on Region’s Past,” San Diego Union-Tribune, October 10, 2019.

[12] San Diego Padres Jersey History,

[13] Kevin Acee, “Padres Officially Changing to Brown Uniforms,” San Diego Union-Tribune, January 24, 2019.

[14] Chris Jenkins, “At First, They Were Last,” San Diego Union, April 4, 2009.

[15] Bill Swank, Baseball in San Diego: From the Padres to Petco (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2004), 68.

[16] Joseph L. Reichler, ed., The Baseball Encyclopedia (New York: MacMillan, 1988), 485, 491, 496, 502, 508, and 514.

[17] Joe Furtado, Play Ball,, telephone interview August 29, 2019.

[18] Wikipedia, s.v. “Jarry Park Stadium,” last modified October 23, 2019, 03:46,

[19] Wikipedia, s.v. “SDCCU Stadium,” last modified October 21, 2019, 18:37,

[20] Peter Bavasi, interview, San Diego, August 25, 2019.

[21] Bill Center, “A Baseball Original, Padres’ ‘Mr. Indispensable’ Dead at 83,” San Diego Union-Tribune, March 28, 2002.

[22] Whitey Wietelmann, interview, San Diego, August 24, 1995.

[23] Jack Murphy, “Stadium A Peach; Game Is A Lemon,” San Diego Union, August 21, 1967.

[24] Baseball Reference, s.v. “Nate Colbert,”

[25] “Colbert Set History 40 Years Ago,” San Diego Union-Tribune, August 2, 2012.

[26] Bill Center, “Colbert Still Holds Padres’ All-Time Home Run Record with 163,” FriarWire, March 23, 2017.

[27] Kirk Kinney, “Dave Winfield Went Straight From College to Major Leagues,” San Diego Union-Tribune, April 4, 2019.

[28] John Dewan, “The Fewest RBI of All Time?”, March 30, 2006.

[29] San Diego Padres 1973 Official Program and Souvenir Magazine, 36.

[30] Phil Collier, San Diego Union, July 22, 1970

[31] Mel Antonin, “Despite Close Calls, Padres Only Member of the No No-Hitters Club,” Sports Illustrated, June 13, 2010.

[32] Vincent S. Ancona, “When the Elephants Marched Out of San Diego,” The Journal of San Diego History 38, no. 4 (Fall 1992),

[33] “Padres Reject a Capital idea and Stay in San Diego,” New York Times, December 23, 1972.

[34] “CBS Sells the Yankees for $10-Million,” New York Times, January 3, 1973.

[35] Tom Verducci, “Mr. Softie? At 73, George Steinbrenner is Saying Lots of Nice Things and Acting Happier than Ever,” Sports Illustrated, May 10, 2004.

[36] “Washington Buys Padres For Record $12 Million,” San Diego Union, May 28, 1973.

[37] “Padres Are Sold to a Washington Group,” New York Times, December 7, 1973. Rich Mueller, “Topps Washington Nationals: The Year Topps Jumped the Gun,” Sports Collectors Daily, March 28, 2011, 1974.

[38] Jake Russell, “All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go,” Washington Post, June 17, 2016.

[39] Kirk Kinney, “The Night Ray Kroc Ranted Over the PA About ‘stupid playing’,” San Diego Union-Tribune, March 30, 2019.

[40] Bill Center, “Ray Kroc Grabs the Mic During Padres 1974 Home Opener,” FriarWire, January 3, 2019.

[41]>article> legendary-ray-kroc-tirade-almost-made-san-diego-padres-quit.

[42] San Mateo Times, “With Spring Comes Baseball Superfine,” March 26, 1977.

[43], “1974 San Diego Padres Statistics.”


[45] Michael Haupert, “Marvin Miller and the Birth of the MLBPA,” Baseball Research Journal (Spring 2017),


[47] Wikipedia, s.v. “1975 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified December 27, 2018, 23:31,

[48] Kirk Kenney, 100 Things Padres Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (Chicago: Triumph Books, 2016), 69.

[49] Mark Armour, “John McNamara,” Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project, December 1, 2016.

[50] Warren Corbett, “Buzzie Bavasi,” Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project, 2015.

[51] Bruce Markusen, “Cooperstown Confidential: The 1978 Firing of Alvin Dark,” The Hardball Times, March 29, 2013.

[52] Rich Shook, “Roger Craig,” Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project, 2010.

[53] “MLB All-Star FanFest Tickets,”

[54] Steven Riess, Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Clubs (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006), 343.

[55] Associated Press, “Jerry Coleman To Manage Padres,” October 2, 1979.

[56] “Jerry Coleman Dies; Long-time Padres Broadcaster was 89,” The Sporting News, January 5, 2014.

[57] quotes-Bob Shirley.

[58] Kirk Kenney, “The Votes Are In: It’s San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium,” San Diego Union-Tribune, August 19, 2017.


[60] Wikipedia, s.v. “1981 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified September 1, 2018, 17:25,

[61] “The Team that Jack Built,” San Diego Reader, September 20, 1984.

[62] Bill Center, “’Trader Jack’” Was Architect of 1984 Padres,” FriarWire, May 10, 2017.


[64] Jonathan Fraser Light, The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, s.v. ‘Uniforms’, 978.

[65] Todd Radom, “The Padres Change Uniforms, Again…,” The Sporting News, December 3, 2015.

[66] Kenney, 100 Things, 1.

[67] Tom Krasovic, July 16, 2012,

[68] Jason Foster, “Aug. 12, 1984: When the Braves and Padres Had the Greatest Brawl Ever,” The Sporting News,

[69] Bill Nowlin, “August 12, 1984: Braves-Padres Brawl Leaves 17 Players Ejected in One Game,” Society for American Baseball Research,

[70] Bill Center, “Crowd Bolsters Padres Spirits as they Return from Chicago in 1984 NLSC,” FriarWire, February 1, 2019.

[71] Bill Center, “Templeton Was ‘Catalyst’ of Padres’ 1984 N.L. Champions,” FriarWire, March 17, 2017.

[72] Bill Center, “NLCS Victory over Cubs Capped Historic 1984 Season,” FriarWire, May 21, 2014.

[73] Bryce Miller, “Garvey’s Sweet Swing Delivers No. 1 Moment in San Diego Sports History,” San Diego Union-Tribune, December 25, 2016.

[74] Kenney, 100 Things, 23.

[75] Bob Chandler, Bob Chandler’s Tales from the San Diego Padres Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Padres Stories Ever Told (New York: Sports Publishing Books, 2006), 104.

[76] Tom Blair, “It’s All in The Game – Still,” San Diego Magazine, July 13, 2007.

[77] Dan Holmes, “Ranking the Detroit Tigers Greatest Teams,” Vintage Detroit, September 25, 2016.

[78] Wikipedia, s.v. “1984 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified September 10, 2019, 16:57,


[80] Todd Radom, “The Padres Change Uniforms, Again…,” The Sporting News, December 3, 2015.

[81] Chandler, Tales from the San Diego Padres Dugout, 108.

[82] United Press International, “Former Oriole Alan Wiggins Dead at 32,” January 8, 1991.

[83] Sam Gardner, “One & Done: LaMarr Hoyt Had the Right Stuff on the Mound in 1985,” FOX Sports, July 14, 2015.

[84] Bill Center, “Padres Manager Williams’ Fire Never Dimmed,” San Diego Union, July 11, 2011.

[85] United Press International, San Diego manager Larry Bowa was fired Saturday May 28, 1988,

[86] Gary Webster, When in Doubt: Fire the Skipper (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2014), 204.

[87] United Press International, “San Diego Padres President Ballard Smith Denied Team for Sale,” November 14, 1986.

[88] United Press International, Hilmer Anderson, “San Diego Padres Owner Joan Kroc and Her Son in Law,” November 21, 2918.

[89] Jennifer Warren, “Daughter of Joan Kroc: Linda Smith Plans to Divorce Padres’ Boss,” Los Angeles Times, February 19, 1987.

[90] “Padres Pick Feeney,” New York Times, June 11, 1987.

[91] “Chub Feeney Resigns as President of Padres,” Los Angeles Times, September 26, 1988.

[92] “Inside Baseball: After Free Agency,” Baseball91, February 22, 2011.; Steve Wulf, “All My Padres,” Sports Illustrated, April 5, 1989.

[93] Dan Shaughnessy, “Nation Still in the News,” Boston Globe, December 3, 2005.

[94] “Inside Baseball: After Free Agency,” Baseball91, February 22, 2011.

[95] Wikipedia, s.v. “1990 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified September 21, 2018, 21:05,

[96] Kirk Kinney, “Roseanne Barr’s Anthem still Anathema,” San Diego Union-Tribune, July 24, 2015.

[97] Cory Collins, “An Oral History of the Barr-Bungled Banner,” The Sporting News, May 29, 2018.

[98] Lea Napoli, “Meet the Woman Who Gave Away the McDonald’s Founder’s Fortune,” Time Magazine, December 22, 2016.

[99] Jay Paris, “Bochy, Flannery Fondly Recall Padres’ 1984 NLCS Victory,” San Diego Union-Tribune, May 22, 2009.

[100] “Padres Decide to Ban Beer in the Clubhouse.” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1986.

[101] United Press International, “San Diego Padres Reliever Rich Gossage,” September 18, 1986.

[102] Denis Savage, “Old Timers Talk About Joan Kroc,”, October 21, 2003.

[103] “Panel Blocked Bid to Give Padres to City of San Diego,” Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1990.

[104] Matt Potter, “Joan Kroc Gets the Hollywood Treatment,” The Reader, September 23, 2015.

[105] “Trader Jack Ousted as Padre GM,” Seattle Times, September 22, 1990.

[106] Bill Center, “All-Stars Sheffield, McGriff Next on My 100 List,” FriarWire, February 3, 2017.

[107] Wikipedia, s.v. “1992 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified Apri1 11, 2018, 01:00,

[108] Tim Kurkjian, “Penny Pinchin’ Padres,” Sports Illustrated, March 29, 1993.

[109] Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella, The New Biographical History of Baseball (Chicago: Triumph Books, 2002), 265.

[110] Kurkjian, “Penny Pinchin’ Padres.”.

[111] Ross Newhan, “Rebuilding?,” Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1993.

[112] “Padres Plead Poverty,” Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1993.

[113] Kirk Kenney, “.394 – It’s been 25 Years Since Strike Wiped Out Gwynn’s Chance to Hit .400,” San Diego Union-Tribune, August 10, 2019.

[114] AJ Cassavell, “19 Facts About the Wonderful Career of Gwynn,”, May 9, 2016.

[115] Rick Reilly, “This is the Life that Jack Built,” Sports Illustrated, July 22, 1991.

[116] Tim Kurkjian, “Beginning Again,” Sports Illustrated, March 1, 1991.

[117] Gary Warth, “Tony Gwynn to Play Last Game Today,” San Diego Union-Tribune, October 7, 2001.

[118] Tony Gwynn, interview, April 27, 2010, San Diego.

[119] Bill Center, “Moores’ 1994 Purchase Changed Padres History,” FriarWire, February 14, 2019.

[120] “Padres and Astros Make a 12-Player Swap,” New York Times, December 29, 1994.

[121] Los Angeles Times, “Dodgers Must Gwynn, Bear It,” September 30, 1996.

[122] Bill Swank, Baseball in San Diego, 112.

[123] Suzy Hagstrom, “Padres are Pushing the Little Guys Out,” The Reader, June 3, 1999.

[124] City of San Diego, “Stadium History,”

[125] Peter Schmuck, “Camden Yards, the Stadium that Changed Baseball and Baltimore, Turns 20,” The Baltimore Sun, March 31, 2012.

[126] Ibid.  Bernie Wilson, “Padres Seek Site for New Ballpark,” Associated Press, October 31, 1997.

[127] Lisa Halberstadt, “5 Lessons from the Padres’ Stadium Push,” Voice of San Diego, March 18, 2015.

[128] Wikipedia, s.v. “1998 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified Apri1 28, 2019, 13:58,; “Best Team Ever Standings,” Sports Illustrated, August 23, 2017.

[129] “New Ballpark Needed to Keep Padres in San Diego,” Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1998.

[130] “Padre Euphoria Could Sway Stadium Vote,” Los Angeles Times, October 23, 1998.

[131] Bill Center, “San Diego Voters Say ‘Yes’ to New Padres Home,” FriarWire, February 27, 2019.

[132] Don Bauder, “John Moores Sinks Padres Pay to Number 29 of 30 Teams,” San Diego Reader, August 26, 2009.

[133] David Fleming, “After Heavy Losses the League Champions Face a Fate Sadder than a Garth Brooks Ballad,” Sports Illustrated, March 29, 1999.

[134] Wikipedia, s.v. “1999 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified September 9, 2019, 10:35,;. Wikipedia, s.v. “2000 San Diego Padres Season,” last modified January 29, 2019, 15:22,

[135] Don Bauder, “John Moores Sinks Padres Pay to Number 29 of 30 Teams,” San Diego Reader, August 26, 2009.

[136] Matt Potter, “San Diego Mayor Susan Golding’s Year of Big Spending,” The Reader, December 21, 2000.

[137] Don Bauder, “Why SPAWAR and North Island Fell for Bribes,” The Reader, October 24, 2012.

[138] “Councilwoman in San Diego Pleads Guilty and Resigns,” Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2001.

[139] Thomas Larson, “Why Did Valerie Stallings Take the Fall for Padres Owner John Moores?,” The Reader, April 12, 2001.

[140] Don Bauder, “Go Build Your Freakin’ Stadium Elsewhere,” The Reader, September 22, 2015.

[141] Wikipedia, s.v. “Peregrine Systems,” last modified September 10, 2019, 18:48,

[142] “The Saga That Is the Padres’ New Ballpark,” Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, August 9, 2002.

[143] Brent Schrotenboer, “’Romantic’ Relationship Alleged in Moores Divorce Papers,” San Diego Union-Tribune, October 31, 2009. Don Bauder summed it up. “Moores is said to have accumulated $700 million to $1 billion on the real estate deals in the ballpark district—a suggestion he denies. We know that he amassed $650 million selling off Peregrine Systems stock before the fraud-plagued collapse. It certainly looks as though he has made a good bundle on the team and the real estate bonanza given to him by the city council. He now spends his time in Texas. If this is what happened, it won’t be the first time in the history of the West that someone rode into town, raked in big bucks, and rode out.” Don Bauder, “John Moores Sinks Padres Pay to Number 29 of 30 Teams,” The Reader, August 26, 2009.

[144] Tom Krasovic, “How the Padres Ownership Deal Fell Apart,” San Diego Union-Tribune, April 2, 2012.

[145] Bill Center, “Padres Sold to Group Headed by O’Malley Heirs,” San Diego Union-Tribune, August 6, 2012.

[146] Lisa Halberstadt, “5 Lessons from the Padres’ Stadium Push,” Voice of San Diego, March 18, 2015.


[148] “Awards Named After Retired Closers,” ESPN, April 9, 2014.

[149] Tab Bamford, “Why the Padres Need to Trade Jake Peavy,” Bleacher Report, January 22, 2009,

[150] Wikipedia, s.v. “Adrián_González,” last modified October 9, 2019, 01:04,án_González.

[151] Chris Forsberg, “Red Sox trade for Adrian Gonzalez,” ESPN, December 7, 2010.

[152] Geoff Young, “Western Front: Perpetually Rebuilding the Padres,” Baseball Prospectus, January 23, 2012.

[153] Alex Skilling, “How A.J. Prefer Rebuilt the Padres in One Offseason,”, February 10, 2015, “Braves Trade Craig Kimbrel, Melvin Upton Jr. to Padres,” ESPN, April 5, 2015,

[154] Bill Shaikin, “Bud Black Fired by San Diego Padres,” Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2015.

[155] Dennis Lin, “Petco Park to Host City’s First Midsummer Classic Since 1992,” San Diego Union-Tribune, January 15, 2015.

[156] A.J. Cassavell, “Friars Deal Shields to White Sox for E. Johnson, Tatis, Jr.,”, June 4, 2016,

[157] Wikipedia, s.v. “List of San Diego Padres Seasons,” last modified September 30, 2019, 03:12,

[158] Jacob Shafer, “Padres’ $144M Eric Hosmer Risk Backfiring, Giving Credibility to MLB Tanking,” Bleacher Report,

[159] Kevin Acee, “Look at Padres’ Books Shows Debt Reduction Has Team in Position to Spend,” San Diego Union-Tribune, January 19, 2019.

[160] “Manny Machado, San Diego Padres Reach 10-year, $300 Million Deal,” ESPN, February 19, 2019,

[161] Nick Canepa, “Star Third Baseman has Brought Entertainment, Attitude and Hope to City that Needed It After Sports Scene Suffered Cruel Blow with Chargers Leaving San Diego,” San Diego Union-Tribune, July 10, 2019.

[162] Jim Callis, “These are MLB’s Top 15 Farm Systems,” MLB, August 6, 2019,

[163] Kevin Acee, “Padres Fire Manager Andy Green,” San Diego Union-Tribune, September 21, 2019.

[164] Kevin Acee, “Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler Doesn’t Hold Back in Assessing ‘Embarrassing’ Finish to Season at Fan Event,” San Diego Union-Tribune, October 1, 2019.

[165] James Clark, “Padres Special: 1998 National League Champion San Diego Padres Remembered,” East Village Times, John Keilman, “Cubs Fan Born Before Last Championship in 1908 Hoping for World Series Win,” Chicago Tribune, October 26, 2016.