Part 3: San Diego Padres
Ooh, It’s the new Petco Thread.
The Padres have an interesting history, in the fact they have so little of it. Other than Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, it’s a franchise short on long-time Pads. Eric Show, he of the John Birch Society membership, Pete Rose’s Ty-breaking hit and a drug-related demise, remains the club’s all-time win leader, and its retired numbers list includes a famous, and widely loathed, Dodger.
The ballpark, by most accounts, is among the league’s best. It replaced a stadium once named for a sportswriter, which was a nice feature for this former member of the frat. Oddly, it was the original park that underwent multiple name changes, from San Diego to Jack Murphy to Qualcomm, and for one night in December 2011, Snapdragon Stadium. However, that was when the building’s sole tenant was the now-departed Chargers.
Petco is the only name the new place has ever owned. Will inertia be enough to keep it?
Name: Petco Park (2004-present)
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Qualcomm (San Diego, Jack Murphy) Stadium 1967-2003.
Distinctive Features: The Western Metal Supply Co. building in the left field corner; a ship’s whistle from the USS Ronald Reagan sounds upon a Padre homer or victory; it’s located in San Diego for crying out loud. What else do you need?
Ballpark Highlights: Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State Aztecs played the first game in the park, setting an NCAA attendance record.
Japan defeated Cuba to win the first World Baseball Classic title here in 2006.
In 2007, Barry Bonds homered off Clay Hensley to tie Hank Aaron’s record for career dingers.
San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum threw the park’s first no-hitter against the Padres in 2013. When he repeated the feat the following year at China Basin, he became the first pitcher to no-hit the same team twice since Addie Joss.
Once a year, the Padres don the sport’s worst uniforms, saluting the strong naval presence in the city by dressing as if they’re in the army.