April 8, 1969
The Padres win their Major League debut, beating the Houston Astros 2–1. Dick Selma pitches nine innings for the Pads, giving up five hits and striking out 12.
We’re Lovin’ It
January 25, 1974
McDonald’s magnate Ray Kroc buys the Padres and keeps the team in San Diego after former owner C. Arnholt Smith runs into financial trouble and nearly sells the team to a grocery store owner in Washington, DC.
Long before Randy Jones would go into the barbecue biz, he’s an All-Star who wins the National League Cy Young Award after going 22-14 with a 2.74 ERA in the regular season.
1984 National League Win
Down two games to none in the National League Championship Series, the team returns from Chicago and is greeted by 12,000 adoring fans. Two home games later, Steve Garvey ties the series with the Cubs by clubbing a breathtaking walk-off homer. The Padres go on to win their first National League title and play in their first World Series (losing to the Detroit Tigers).
Lowering the Barr
July 25, 1990
Tom Werner and an investment group purchase the Padres, and since Werner also produces the hit TV show Roseanne, the show’s lead actress is invited to sing the national anthem. Roseanne Barr shrieks and bombs. Fans boo. Barr ends the song by grabbing her crotch and spitting on the field.
The ’92 season tanks and the "Fire Sale" ensues. By the end of ’93, four of the Padres’ five All-Stars are traded away. The upside: Tony Gwynn remains, and the team picks up pitchers Trevor Hoffman and Andy Ashby.
Cheers to Tony
No baseball player has hit above a .400 season batting average since Ted Williams reached .406 in 1941. In this strike-shortened year, Tony Gwynn comes the closest to date, registering a .394 average. (Yes, that’s why AleSmith named a beer San Diego Pale Ale .394.)
Call it a Comeback
Three years after the Fire Sale, the team rebounds and bursts into the postseason thanks to an 11th-inning, game-winning double by Chris Gwynn in the regular season finale against the Dodgers.
1998 National League Win
The Padres dump the Houston Astros to win the NL Division Series. Then they burn past the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series. The Pads’ second-ever World Series appearance, however, is a sweep by the New York Yankees.
July 25, 1998
The AC/DC song "Hells Bells" accompanies future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman’s run from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound for the first time.
Everybody Loves a Winner
November 3, 1998
After a memorable postseason, in the general election, 59.5 percent of San Diegans vote to approve construction of a downtown ballpark.
Mr. Padre Delivers
Aug 6, 1999
Tony Gwynn enters rarefied air and becomes just the 22nd player in MLB history to get 3,000 hits. It happens in Canada—in his first at bat of the day against the Montreal Expos.
Our Field of Dreams
April 8, 2004
The Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 4–3 in extra innings in Petco Park’s inaugural Major League game. (In 2016, USA Today names Petco the best ballpark in the country.)
2007 Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame
July 29, 2007
With a tear in his eye—not to mention most of ours—Tony Gwynn is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His jersey drapes the county building.
August 14, 2015
For the first time in Padres history, Matt Kemp hits for the cycle (collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game). Wil Myers will repeat the feat on April 10, 2017.
2018 Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame
July 29, 2018
A city shares in the pride of watching closer extraordinaire Trevor Hoffman inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Padres reach into their bank account and agree to a 10-year, $300 million contract with 26-year-old superstar infielder Manny Machado.