Fun-Time Baseball Hall: San Diego Padres

Ah, the Padres. First-ballot nominations were all over the map.

But, before I continue, some guidelines: First, thanks for voting. Second, try to vote for at least 5 - but less if you wish - and no more than 7.

Full career performance should matter somewhat but the impact while with the featured franchise is of utmost importance. This is a team specific Hall. Steve Carlton has an amazing Phillies career but shouldn't be inducted to the Fun-Time Baseball Hall as a White Sox player. It's your choice whether longevity and counting stats are key factors or if you prefer judging a player's overall franchise impact, even if made in a shorter period.

But back to the Padres.

Several superstars - Rickey Henderson, Robert Alomar (3 seasons), Fred McGriff (3 seasons), etc. - have played for the team, but frankly not long enough to warrant first-year nominations, in my humble opinion. Dave Dravecky's story is certainly a feel-good one but he's probably left to join the balloting in Year Two.

Two other franchise stars - Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez - have not been away from the team for the required three full seasons to be placed on the ballot.

Relief stars Rollie Fingers and Rich Gossage both pitched for the franchise for just four seasons. Gossage was left off the ballot but Fingers included due to having more counting stats (108 saves v. 83 saves) with the franchise but more importantly also winning NL Rolaids relief man of the year three times during his tenure.
Franchise Records
Wins: Eric Show (100), Randy Jones (92), Jake Peavy (92)

Peavy (1,348), Andy Benes (1,036), Trevor Hoffman (1,029)
Hoffman (2.76), Dave Dravecky (3.12), Bruce Hurst (3.27), Peavy (3.29), Jones (3.30)
Hoffman (552)

Home Runs:
Nate Colbert (163), Adrian Gonzalez (161), Phil Nevin (156), Winfield (154)  
Tony Gwynn (85)

Doubles: Gwynn (543), Garry Templeton (195)  
Gwynn (3,141), Templeton (1,135), Winfield (1,134)   

And so we're left with ... 
Nate Colbert (1B)
Nate Colbert played six years with the Padres (1969-74), and was among the NL's best power hitters. Despite never hitting higher than .270, he hit at least 20 home runs five times - 38 in 1970 and 1972. Played for the Astros (1966, 1968), Tigers (1975), Expos (1975, 1976) and A's (1976).
  • San Diego totals: .253, 163 home runs, 481 RBIs, 780 hits
  • Career totals: .243, 173 home runs, 520 RBIs, 833 hits
  • Three-time All Star (1971-73)
His best season came in 1972, when he had a .250 BA, 38 HRs, 111 RBIs, 15 SBs and finished eighth in the NL MVP voting.

Colbert hit 24 homers in his first full season in San Diego, which led the club, and drove in 66 runs while batting .255. Colbert hit five home runs on Aug. 1, 1972, when he slammed 5 home runs and drove in 13 runs in a doubleheader, breaking Stan Musial's record of 11 RBIs in a day.

Trivia: A young Nate had attended the game where Stan originally set the record. Colbert's .508 slugging percentage, 87 runs, 286 total bases, 38 home runs, 111 RBIs, 70 walks, 67 extra-base hits, 14 intentional walks and 14.8 at bats per home run helped him finish eighth in voting for the NL MVP in 1972. He finished second to Johnny Bench (40) in home runs that year.

During his career with the Padres, he often was the only bright spot in a dismal lineup.

After hitting .207 in 1974, he was traded to the Tigers. Back problems forced his retirement at 30. Colbert played on nine consecutive last-place teams, from 1968–76.

Rollie Fingers (RP)
Viva la Moustache
Pitched four seasons for the Padres (1977-80). Pitched nine seasons for the A's (1968-76) and then ended his career with four seasons in Milwaukee (1981-82, 1984-85).
  • San Diego totals (four seasons): 108 saves, 426 IPs, 319 strikeouts, 34-40, 3.12 ERA, 1.250 WHIP
  • Career totals (17 seasons): 341 saves, 1,701 IPs, 1,299 strikeouts, 67-61, 2.90 ERA, 1.156 WHIP
  • Seven-time All Star (1973-76, 1978, 1981-82) - once with Padres.
  • Three-time World Series champion with A's (1972-74)
  • 1974 World Series MVP
  • 1981 AL MVP
  • 1981 AL Cy Young winner
  • Three-time NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year (1977-78, 1980)
  • One-time AL Rolaids Relief Man (1981)
Fingers is regarded as a pioneer of modern relief pitching, essentially defining the role of the closer for years to come. As had generally been true in baseball through the 1960s, Fingers was originally moved to the bullpen—and eventually to his role as a closer—because of struggles with starting.

When Fingers reached the majors, the role of relievers was limited, as starters rarely left games while holding a lead; but as team offense increased following the 1968 season, and especially with the AL's introduction of the DH in 1973, managers became more willing to replace starters in the late innings with a lead to help forestall late rallies by opponents.

Both leagues' annual saves leaders tended toward totals of 20–25 saves through the 1960s. Few pitchers remained in the role more than two or three years. But in the 1970s, Fingers' excellence in relief allowed him to gradually increase his annual saves totals past 30. In 1980 he broke Hoyt Wilhelm's record of 227 saves, and eventually finished with 341, a record that stood until Jeff Reardon passed it in 1992. The record has since been shattered.

Fingers became only the second reliever to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. 

Steve Garvey (1B)
Played for the Padres for five years (1983-87). Played for the Dodgers from 1969-82. He was a key cog in the Padres' run to the 1984 World Series. He scored a lot - both during and after his playing career. *Cue rimshot*
  • San Diego totals (5 seasons): .275, 631 hits, 61 home runs, 316 RBIs
  • Career totals: .294, 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBIs
  • Two-time NLCS MVP (including 1984 with Padres)
  • Ten-time All Star (including two as a Padre - 1984-85)
  • Two-time AS MVP (both with Dodgers)
  • World Series champion with Dodgers (1981)
  • Four-time Gold Glove winner (all with Dodgers)
  • 1974 (Dodgers) NL MVP
Garvey gained his fame as a Los Angeles Dodger. He was synonymous with the franchise throughout the '70s and early '80s. In 1981, when it looked like he would one day rank among the game's all-time greats, he was included in the book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

In Game 4 of the 1984 NLCS, Garvey had four RBIs and critical hits in the third, fifth, and seventh innings, He capped it off with a two-run walk-off home run off Lee Smith. He was met by teammates as he rounded third, who later carried him off the field in celebration. Following the 7–5 Padres victory, fans thronged against stadium barricades chanting Garvey's name. The performance is still considered one of the greatest achievements in team history.

In his first season in San Diego, he broke the NL record for consecutive games played.
     Tony Gwynn (OF)
    Tony Gwynn played his entire 20-year career (1982-2001) for San Diego. Leads the Padres in career average, hits, runs, RBIs and stolen bases.
    • Career totals: .338, 3,141 hits, 135 home runs, 1,138 RBIs, 1,383 runs, 319 stolen bases
    • 15-time All Star
    • Five-time Gold Glove winner
    • Seven-time Silver Slugger winner
    • Eight-time NL batting title winner
    • First-ballot Hall of Famer, garnering 97.6% of the vote.
    Gwynn made his name as one of the most consistent contact hitters in the game's history. He hit .338 for his career and won eight National League batting titles.

    From 1993 to 1997, he batted at least .353 five seasons in a row and hit .394 over 110 games in the strike-shortened 1994 campaign. He struck out only 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats, and never hit below .309 in any
    full season.

    Gwynn is, without a doubt, the face of the Padres franchise. By his third year in the league, at just 24, Gwynn won his first batting title and started a run in which he made the All-Star team in 15 of the next 16 seasons, with 1988 being the exception, and he still went on to win a batting title that season.
      Trevor Hoffman (RP)
      Pitched for the Padres from 1993-2008. Pitched in 2009 and 2010 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was the first player to reach the 500- and 600-saves milestones, and was the all-time saves leader from 2006 until 2011, when Mariano Rivera surpassed him.
      • Padres' totals: 552 saves, 902 games pitched, 54-64, 2.76 ERA, 1,029 strikeouts
      • Career totals: 601 saves, 1,035 games pitched, 61-75 record, 2.87 ERA, 1,133 strikeouts
      • Seven-time All Star, including six with the Padres.
      • Twice runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award
      • Two-time NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year.
      The Marlins acquired Hoffman - a converted shortstop - in the 1992 expansion draft, and he pitched in Florida until he was traded to the Padres mid-season in 1993 in a deal that sent Gary Sheffield to the Marlins.

      Hoffman recorded 20 saves in 1994 in his first season as Padres closer. he collected at least 30 saves each year for the next 14 seasons, except for 2003 when he missed most of the year recovering from shoulder surgery. 

      In 1998, he tallied 53 saves with a 1.48 ERA, finishing second in Cy Young voting and seventh in MVP voting.

      No disrespect to Hoffman and the Padres, but you never want a relief pitcher to be the second best player in your teams history. That said, Hoffman is one of the best to ever assume the closer's role.

      A converted shortstop, Hoffman came over from the Marlins in a 1993 trade and by 1994, he was the teams closer.
        Randy Jones (SP)
        An all-time great '70s card.
         Randy Jones pitched eight seasons with San Diego (1973-80). He then pitched for the Mets (1981-82). Nicknamed "Junkman," he was known for his sinker and the large number of ground-ball outs he induced.
        • San Diego totals: 92-105, 3.30 ERA, 1.208 WHIP, 1,766 IPs, 677 strikeouts
        • Career totals: 100-123, 3.42 ERA, 1.251 WHIP, 1,933 IPs, 735 strikeouts
        • Two-time All Star 
NL Cy Young winner (1976)
        In 1975, he won 20 games, with a 2.24 ERA and finished second in the National League Cy Young balloting. This followed an 8-22 1974 season.

        In 1976, he went 22-14 with a 2.74 ERA and won the NL Cy Young award. He pitched 315.1 innings that year and, amazingly, recorded just 93 strikeouts. That year, he led the NL in wins and starts (40), complete games (25), innings pitched and WHIP (1.027) - winning the award over aces such as Steve Carlton, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver.

        He went 35-51 in his next four seasons in San Diego, even though he had a 3.62 ERA. He was the victim of some poor teams.

        Jones established the MLB season record for most chances accepted by a pitcher without an error (112 in 1976), tied ML pitchers records for highest season fielding percentage (1.000, 1976) and most assists in an inning (3, 9/28/75 - 3rd inning), and tied the NL pitchers season record for the most double plays with 12 in 1976.

        Jones recorded a save for the NL in the 1975 All-Star game and was the starting and winning pitcher the next year. He entered the 1976 All-Star Game with a record of 16-3, an All-Star break win total that no one has equaled.

        In his last start of the 1976 season, he injured a nerve in his pitching arm that required exploratory surgery, and he was never quite able to regain his Cy Young form.

        Ryan Klesko (OF/1B)
        Played for the Padres for seven seasons (2000-2006). Played for the Braves from (1992-99) and the Giants in 2007.
        • San Diego totals (7 seasons): .279, 133 home runs, 493 RBIs, 786 hits, 60 stolen bases
        • Career totals (16 seasons): .279, 278 home runs, 987 RBIs, 1,564 hits, 91 stolen bases
        • All Star (2001)
        Hit 26, 30, 29 and 21 home runs in his first four seasons in San Diego.
        His most productive year came in 2001, when he hit .286 with 30 home runs and posted career-highs in RBIs (113), runs (105), stolen bases (23) and slugging percentage (.539). In 2002, he hit .300 with 29 home runs and 95 RBIs, and collected career-highs in hits (162) and doubles (39). 
        Hit at least 21 home runs in eight of his 13 major league seasons, with a high of 34 with the Braves in 1996.
        Has a .370 on base percentage with a .500 slugging average, for a .870 OPS. His .525 slugging percentage as a Brave ranks 4th all-time among the team's career leaders.
        Klesko became the first player to hit a home run in three consecutive World Series road games when he did so with Atlanta against the Indians in Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 1995 World Series.
        Missed nearly the entire 2006 season after major shoulder surgery. 

        Phil Nevin (1B/C/3B/OF)
        Played for the Padres for parts of seven years (1999-2005). Also played for the Astros (1995), the Tigers (1995-97), the Angels (1998), the Rangers (2005-06), the Cubs (2006) and the Twins (2006).
        • San Diego totals (7 seasons): .288, 156 home runs, 573 RBIs
        • Career totals: .270, 208 home runs, 743 RBIs
        • All Star (2001)
        Made his break late in his career with the Padres, first appearing in 100 games during the 1999 season. He then had the best offensive years of his career: hitting 31 home runs with a .916 OPS in 2000 and making the NL All-Star team in 2001.

        Scuffled along for four seasons - never reaching double-digit home runs - before arriving in San Diego in 1999 and hitting 24, 31 and 41 in his first three seasons.

        After two injury-shortened years in 2002 and 2003, he had his third year with more than 100 RBIs in 2004, also hitting 26 home runs. Nevin has been dogged by steroid allegations but has not been named in any official report.

        Nevin was the first pick of the 1992 MLB draft by the Astros. Derek Jeter was selected sixth; Hal Newhouser, a scout for Houston, reportedly quit the franchise over the decision not to pick Jeter.

        Benito Santiago (C)
        Played for San Diego at the start of 20-year career, for seven seasons (1986-92). He then had stints with eight more teams between 1993-2005, including the Reds twice. His longest stop after leaving San Diego occurred with the Giants (2001-03).
        • San Diego totals: .264, 758 hits, 85 home runs, 375 RBIs, 62 stolen bases
        • Career totals: .263, 1,830 hits, 217 home runs, 920 RBIs, 91 stolen bases
        • Five-time All Star including four while in San Diego (1989-92)

        • Three-time Silver Slugger (1987, 1988, 1990)

        • Three-time Gold Glove winner (1988-90)
        • NL Rookie of the Year (1987)
        In 1987, hit .300, 18  home runs, 79 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and won NL Rookie of the Year and the Silver Slugger.

        He hit double-digit home runs each season and won Gold Gloves in four of his six full seasons with the team.

        While Santiago first made an impression with his offensive stats, he soon became known for his defense, notably for his strong throwing arm. He was known for his ability to throw out would-be base stealers from a kneeling position.

        In 1988, he led NL catchers in assists and runners caught stealing with a 45% average when the league average was 30%. He ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage.

        Mentioned in the Mitchell Report.   

        Eric Show (P)
        The mercurial Show pitched for the Padres from 1981-90 and then one final year for the A's (1991).
        • San Diego totals: 100-87, 3.59 ERA, 1.283 WHIP
        • Career totals: 101-89, 3.66 ERA, 1.291 WHIP
        Leads the franchise in wins (100). Second behind Randy Jones in games started and innings pitched for the club. Fourth in team all-time strikeouts (951) behind Jake Peavy, Andy Benes and Trevor Hoffman.

        Show made his debut in late in the 1981 season, and the following year went 10-6 while splitting time between starting and relieving. He won 15 games in 1983. In 1984, he followed with a 15-9 record but struggled in the postseason, going a combined 0-2 with a 12.38 ERA in three games.

        In 1985, Show threw the pitch in Cincinnati that Pete Rose lined for a single to break Ty Cobb's career hit record of 4,191. He infamously sat on the mound during the extended celebration. Show died of a drug overdose in a rehabilitation center in 1994.

        Won his 100th and final game as a Padre in his team's Oct. 3, 1990 finale against the Dodgers. He finished that season with a 6-8 record and a 5.76 ERA, having pitched in 39 games, including 12 starts.

        Garry Templeton (SS)
        Played 10 seasons (1982-91) with the Padres. Also played for the Cardinals (1976-81) and Mets (1991).
        • San Diego totals: .252, 1,135 hits, 43 home runs, 430 runs, 427 RBIs, 101 stolen bases
        • Career totals: .271, 2,096 hits, 70 home runs, 893 runs, 728 RBIs, 242 stolen bases
        • Three-time All Star (1977, 1979, 1985 - with Padres)
        • Two-time Silver Slugger winner (1980, 1984 - with Padres)
        Began his career as an unpopular player with the fans in St. Louis, but became arguably one of the most popular players in Padres history.

        He was considered an emotional leader on the 1984 NL championship team and was named team captain in 1987, a role he held until he was traded in 1991. Templeton had good batting numbers in an era when shortstops did not provide much offense.

        However, his offense dropped markedly after leaving St. Louis. Knee problems likely contributed to the decline.

        He hit .305 in six seasons in St. Louis and stole at least 25 bases in every full season. He also recorded 18, 13 and 19 triples in St. Louis between 1977-79.

        In San Diego, he hit .252 in 10 seasons, stole more than 20 bases once (his first season) and never again hit double-digit triples.

        After the 1981 season, he was traded to the Padres for Ozzie Smith - a (then) a light-hitting defensive ace. Templeton, while not as strong afield, but considered a much better hitter going to a team with a struggling offense. But Smith became a better hitter with the Cardinals.  
          Dave Winfield (OF)
          Played first eight seasons (1973-80) of a 22-year career with San Diego. Played for the Yankees (1981-88, 1990), Angels (1990-91), Blue Jays (1992), Twins (1993-94) and Indians (1995).
          • San Diego totals: . 284, 154 home runs, 626 RBIs, 599 runs, 133 stolen bases, 179 doubles, 39 triples
          • Career totals: .283, 465 home runs, 1,833 RBIs, 1,669 runs, 223 stolen bases, 540 doubles, 88 triples
          • 12-time All Star, including four with the Padres (1977-80)
          • Seven-time Gold Glove winner, including twice with the Padres (1979, 1980)
          • Six-time Silver Slugger winner (zero as a Padre)
          • 1990 AL Comeback Player of the Year
          • World Series champion (1992) with Blue Jays
          Winfield was the first player to enter Cooperstown wearing a Padres cap. Out of college, he was drafted by the Padres, the Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Utah Stars (ABA) and Minnesota Vikings (NFL). He chose baseball and spent a grand total of zero games in the minors before joining the Padres, where he hit .277 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI in 56 games at age 21. He was a pitcher but the Padres wanted his bat in the lineup and put him in right field, where he could still use his "rifle arm." 

          He would go on to be a perennial All-Star, and his best season with the Padres came in 1979 when he hit .308 BA, 34 HR, 118 RBI and finished third in MVP voting.

          For the next several years, he was an All-Star player in San Diego, gradually increasing his power and hits totals.

          In 1977, he appeared in his first All-Star game at New York's Yankee Stadium and he burst into national stardom.

          In 1978, he was named Padres team captain and in 1979, he batted .308 with 34 home runs and 118 RBI. He played one more season with the Padres before becoming a free agent.

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