Friday, May 14, 2010
Confessions of an Ex-Padres Fan
Starting pitcher: Brother Bob
I lived in San Diego County for ten years, beginning in 1976, and was a temporary Padres fan. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
The Puds were perennial doormats back in those days, but there was lots to enjoy about them. The big star was Dave Winfield. He never played a day in the minors. But he left for the Yankees after the '80 season.
Ozzie Smith's major league debut was in April '78. Of course it was a treat to watch him. He got traded to the Cards in '81.
The '78 season also featured 39 year old Gaylord Perry going 21-6 and winning the Cy Young award. The team had a rare winning record that year, going 84-78 for manager Roger Craig.
Tony Gwynn debuted in '82, and won his first of many batting crowns in '84. That was a breakthrough year for the Padres. They actually won the pennant, defeating the Cubs in a dramatic playoff. Then they lost the World Series to a powerhouse Detroit team.
My favorite memory from that year was a visit from my brother, JC. We went to each game of a four-game series against the Giants at good old Jack Murphy stadium. The Puds swept that series too.
But the all-time highlight of my Padre fandom occurred July 29, 1983. In a game against the Braves Steve Garvey slid hard into home and broke his thumb, ending a 1207 game streak. I instinctively stood and cheered when I knew he was badly hurt. It was then that I knew for sure that I was never really a Padres fan after all.
at 9:51 AM