The Origin of the San Diego Padres

san diego padresBaseball. One of America’s favorite past times. Households around America root for their favorite teams, but baseball on the east coast is nothing like baseball on the west coast. Fans all throughout the state of California aren’t afraid to show pride for their favorite teams, but San Francisco Giants fans and Los Angeles Angels fans are nothing in comparison to the fans of the San Diego Padres.


The San Diego Padres are a baseball team in the major league representing San Diego, California. The team has housed many legends, including Ted Williams and Dave Winfield. The team is almost fifty years old. So, how did such a long-standing and legendary team get its start?


What is the origin of the San Diego Padres? What is the team’s history?


From Humble Beginnings


Before the San Diego Padres of major league baseball, there was a Pacific Coast League team in 1936 that went by the Padres. The future San Diego Padres adopted their name from the PCL team as their own. Their name was chosen for its derivation from the Spanish word for “father,” inspired by the friars who founded the city of San Diego back in 1769.


The San Diego Padres were inducted into the major leagues in 1969, along with the Montreal Expos, the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Pilots. In the beginning of their career as a major league team, the Padres struggled immensely. In their first six seasons, the team finished in last place of their division every time.


Things got so bad for the team that they were up for sale just before the 1974 season. Original owner C. Arnholt Smith was planning on selling the team to Joseph Danzansky, who wanted to move the team to Washington D.C. and rename them as the Washington Stars. However, when Danzansky was tied up in lawsuits, the team ended up being sold to McDonald’s co-founder Ray Kroc. Kroc had no interest in moving the team, so the Padres stayed in San Diego.


The Team Shows Steady Improvement


With their rough start, the team welcomed a change in ownership. During Kroc’s first season as owner of the Padres, the team did not finish last in their division for the first time; they finished in fourth.


Slowly, the Padres won more and more games; player Nat Colbert broke records by hitting five home runs in a doubleheader. Ozzie Smith joined the team and changed what it meant to play shortstop. Their averages got better and better, and they slowly gained more fans.


The Padres Today


Following their origin story, the Padres have had a roller coaster of a record, falling to the lowest lows and reaching the highest highs. Padres players have shown some of the worst disappointments and the greatest feats during their time as a major league baseball team, but what remains constant is the love from their fans. Through the death of owner Ray Kroc to the opening of the Padres’ own Petco Park, there isn’t a high or low the fans haven’t seen. Through it all, they continue to support their team.


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