San Diego Padres Information
The San Diego Padres entered into the ranks of baseball as an expansion team in 1969. The Padres lacked an abundance of talent in their early years, with only first baseman Nate Colbert, a power hitting slugger, being an exception to this rule. Although the 1970's were not marked by extreme success, the team did feature emerging star Dave Winfield. In his seven seasons with the Friars, he posted 1,134 hits, 154 home runs, and 626 runs batted in.
Southpaw Randy Jones had a career year in 1976, winning 22 games and the Cy Young Award. In spite of the arrival of Gaylord Perry, Ozzie Smith, and future hall of fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, the Padres could not put anything together. In 1984, with star players such as Steve Garvey, Garry Templeton, Graig Nettles, Rich Gossage and eight time National League batting champ Tony Gwynn, San Diego went on to win the NL pennant, only to lose to the powerful Tigers in the World Series.
Notable events from the years between 1985 and 1995 were the emergence of rookie catcher Benito Santiago, who would go on to win the rookie of the year award in 1987. The following season, rookie second basemen Roberto Alomar made his debut, forming the infamous double play duo with Garry Templeton. In 1989, thanks to Cy Young winning closer Mark Davis, the Padres finished with 89 wins. The 1992 lineup featured Gary Sheffield, Fred McGriff, Tony Fernandez, and Gwynn. However, no success came from this potent offense, as many of the players soon disbanded, going to several different teams. The 1996 team won the NL West division, only to lose in the playoffs to Tony La Russa's Cardinals. The team included Rickey Henderson, pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, first baseman Wally Joyner and outfielder Steve Finley.
In 1998, the team finally drove deep into the playoffs with the help of sensational years by Kevin Brown and Greg Vaughn, only to lose to the New York Yankees, considered by many to be the best team of all time. The next five years were not kind to the Padres, as the team did not post a winning season during this time. Despite not making the playoffs in 2004 they finished with an 87-75 regular season record. In 2005 and 2006, San Diego won back to back NL West division titles. In these appearances they fell short in the NLDS both times against the St. Louis Cardinals.
After three years without a playoff appearance, the 2010 Padres did much better than expected, but ended up falling two games behind the eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. During the 2011 offseason, they traded all-star first baseman Adrian Gonzelez to the Red Sox for a number of promising prospects, including Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes. They came in last in the division at 71-91, but in 2012, are hoping for a spark for their young team to push them back into contention.