For first time, Padres history will be on full display
By Bill Center
San Diego Padres |
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune, is an employee of the Padres.
Padres history is on the move...
As the countdown to the 2016 All-Star Game continues, planners and workers at Petco Park are looking to the past as well as the future.
The Padres have several projects underway at their downtown home to link Padres fans to the club's history. Most notable among the projects is the Padres Hall of Fame, which will open at the foot of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building just before Petco Park hosts its first All-Star Game next July.
The Hall of Fame will showcase the 11 Padres figures enshrined in the Padres Hall of Fame, in addition to presenting a timeline of events, artifacts and awards from the Padres' first 47 National League seasons. The history of baseball in San Diego also will be highlighted as part of the project.
And the Hall of Fame is just a part of the Padres history connection being developed at Petco Park.
There will be displays throughout the ballpark celebrating the Padres past and great moments throughout San Diego's baseball history reaching even beyond the original Padres, who joined the Pacific Coast League in 1936.
During the 2015 season, a team of historians -- including me and Padres officials -- compiled a list of great moments and achievements in San Diego baseball history as well as the Padres' history.
That "living" history becomes the cornerstone of the Padres Hall of Fame as well as the new historical displays throughout Petco Park. I was able to get permission to share a preliminary rendering, which is one of several options being considered for the Padres Hall of Fame.
Another element of the history project at Petco Park will be the relocation of the six retired uniform numbers.
The five numbers retired by the Padres -- plus the No. 42 of Jackie Robinson retired by Major League Baseball -- will be removed from the top of the batter's eye and be placed in a more prominent location on the upper deck facade behind home plate.
And the numbers aren't just moving. They are being upgraded to include the honored player's name, in addition to the number.
The retired numbers will be positioned above the Jerry Coleman Broadcast Center and adjacent press box.
Against the blue background of the facade, the numbers will be in Padres yellow and flanked by the players' first and last name in white -- the start of a Padres' ring of honor around the upper deck.
Everyone knows the Padres retired numbers 6, 19, 31, 35, 51 and Robinson's 42.
But do you know when each was retired? Here's a primer:
• Steve Garvey's No. 6 was the first to be retired on April 16, 1988.
• Major League Baseball retired Robinson¹s No. 42 on April 15, 1997.
• Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Randy Jones was the second number (35) retired by the Padres on May 9, 1997.
• Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield had his No. 31 retired by the Padres on April 14, 2001.
• "Mr. Padre" Tony Gwynn had his No. 19 retired on Sept. 4, 2004, before he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
• All-Time Padres saves leader Trevor Hoffman had his No. 51 retired on Aug. 21, 2011.