As most padres fans are aware, a lack of power production is nothing new to this organization. With the exception of the late '90s when every team seemed to be crushing the ball for some strange reason (I'll have to look into that at a later point. Can't be a coincidence can it?) the Padres have never been a team that has hit many HR's. That being said, I had no idea that this has been an ongoing problem for over half a century.
I originally came across this great must read post showing old timey baseball classified ads over at Ducksnorts, Pitcher Wanted. Must be good, originally posted on the J.G. Preston Experience blog. From what I derived from the short time that I spent browsing his blog, J.G. documents some very interesting old time baseball stories. A site definitely worth exploring if you're crazy for all things baseball past and present as I am.
Anyways, on to the subject of this post. While browsing the site I came across this great piece: The history of the record for baseball’s longest throw, a tale that involves John Hatfield, Honus Wagner, Sheldon Lejeune, Don Grate, Rocky Colavito and Glen Gorbous, among others. It's a historical account of baseball's longest throw and the players who have held the record dating back to 1868. Apparently this record was once held by a member of the PCL Padres by the name of Rocky Colavito. The part that I found amusing and still relevant today was this little excerpt from the San Diego Union sports section dated June 29th, 1956.
Great throwing arms are scarcer than Padre home runs, but I believe we have the greatest throwing arm in the history of baseball on our Padre club. The owner of this fantastic arm is Rocco (Rocky) Colavito. Rocky can’t explain why his arm is so much stronger than that of the average baseball player, and neither can anyone else in baseball. I do know that his arm is unquestionably the strongest I have ever seen, and I have had the pleasure of seeing the best in the world in recent years….I have never seen him lose a bet on his throwing ability.
I know this post was a bit long winded for just that little excerpt but the original posting does go into detail about Colavito's attempt to break the throwing record as a PCL Padre. A must read for baseball and Padre fans.
Also a long distance throwing competition would be a great way to boost attendance don't you think? Better than breakfast in the park that's for darn sure. Think about it, E-Cab vs Furcal in a long throw competition during a Padres, Doyers weekend home-stand?