I have two favorite players of all time.
On the one hand there is Tony Gwynn. I have been a Padre fan my whole life and he is Mr. Padre. I love players that defy the norm, and Gwynn fits that exactly. A good example of this is how high his HOF vote was despite never winning an MVP. He played during my childhood and I collected his baseball cards, had posters of him, etc. No one can replace him in my baseball heart. While this is all extremely important to my baseball life, there is another side to the story. While I started saying " I am a Padre fan" when I was a little kid (Don't know the exact year, but it was well before the Diamondbacks became a team when I was 8...) I did not really follow them very closely until halfway through the 2009 season. Since then I don't think a day has gone by that I have not thought about the Padres, but that is just the way I am I suppose.
I always tell people that Tony Gwynn is my favorite baseball player, but he is more like a legend to me than anything else. I only saw him play in person once that I can remember, when I was visiting my Grandma in San Diego and my dad took me to a Padres game because he knew Tony would be retiring shortly. Gwynn didn't start the game, but he pinch hit late in the game and drew a walk. He then had a pinch runner come in for him. It was magical, yet this is the only time I saw him without it being in replays or reruns of games. For me Gwynn is more of a baseball icon.
Since I started watching games regularly and following the Padres with MLBTV in 2009 there have been many Padres who I have fallen in love with. When Adrian was here I loved him, and I have always LOVED Kyle Blanks. But my confession is that my very favorite player, if we count Gwynn as an icon rather than a player, has never played for the Padres. In fact, he has hardly played in the majors since I became a fan. Only having seen a handful of his appearances Dontrelle Willis is my favorite player. I wrote this because D-Train signed a minor league contract with the Giants today. He is only 32, although it is starting to look doubtful that he will ever be able to stay in the majors again. My baseball dream is to have Dontrelle sign for one year with the Padres, have Petco somewhat revive his career, and have had the Padres already change their jerseys back to brown so that when I buy a jersey with his name on it I also like the jersey itself.
Now that I think about it, maybe I just like players who have "train" in their nickname (D-Train and The 88 Train). To end I would like to ask, do you have any favorite players who were not Padres, or that you started liking before they came to the Padres?