Inside the Icon: San Diego Padres
Peek inside the organization as the Padres head to Peoria for spring training
Photo by Getty Images
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Tickets at padres.com
The Summer of ’69
The Padres made their MLB debut on April 8, 1969, beating the Houston Astros 2–1 in front of a crowd of 23,370 at San Diego Stadium.
Ollie Brown was the first of 30 players selected from an expansion draft to form the team’s initial roster.
Off the Roster
Several numbers have been retired, rendering them off-limits to future Padres: 6 for Steve Garvey; 19 for Tony Gwynn; 31 for Dave Winfield; 35 for Randy Jones, San Diego’s first Cy Young winner; and 51 for Trevor Hoffman.
What’s in a Name
In 1980, San Diego Stadium was renamed San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium after the local sportswriter who’d been instrumental in getting the stadium built. It became Qualcomm Stadium after the corporation paid $18 million for an expansion project and naming rights in 1997.
At 20 seasons, Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, was the longest-running player on the roster, making his major league debut on July 19, 1982, and playing his final season in 2001.
Gwynn ranks first in Padres’ history and in the top 20 in MLB history with 3,141 career hits.
A Lifetime of Loyalty
The longest-standing season ticket holder has held tickets since 1969, the year the club was founded.
Keep ‘Em in Town
Preventing a move to Washington, D.C., McDonald’s founder and future philanthropist Ray Kroc purchased the Padres from C. Arhnolt Smith in 1974. Kroc owned the team until his death in 1984.
What a Beaut
The $450-million Petco Park was designed to incorporate sea, sky, and the natural beauty that defines San Diego, as well as the historic elements of the East Village, including the Western Metal Supply Company Building, which dates back to 1909.
Hey Now, You’re an All-Star
The Padres were selected to host their third All-Star Game on July 12, 2016, the first at Petco Park. The club previously hosted in 1978 and 1992.
Leaving the Q
2003 marked the 35th and final year at Qualcomm; the Padres played their first game at Petco Park against the San Francisco Giants on April 8, 2004.