I was looking for information on former Padre Kevin Ward to do a birthday card post about him, and stumbled across an interesting post that got me completely sidetracked. The article, by Andy at High Heat Stats, was about home run leaders by team among single-franchise players. Sorry, Mr. Ward, I'll try to get back to you next September for your fifty-third birthday; I'm going to focus on this now.
Like just about any other list of players who spent their entire career with San Diego, of course Tony Gwynn is at the top of it. When compiling his team-by-team list (published in March, 2012), the author only counted retired players, and with good reason:
I went with retired players only, since many current players who would appear on a single team’s leader list will ultimately change teams later and fall off the list. I tried to list at least 5 players for each team but set a cutoff at a minimum of 2 career homers.
That makes sense, but just for sport I'll take a look a little bit later at what the list looks like with active players included. But first, here's the list of retirees Andy compiled:
Tony Gwynn - 135 Dave Staton - 9 Tim Flannery - 9 Dave Hilton - 6 Mike Darr / Dan Walters / Kevin Ward / Mike Corkins - 5
Hey, there's our man Dave Staton up there near the top, tied with Flan and second only to Mr. Padre himself... But not so fast! Not included on this list is Edgar Gonzalez, whose only major league experience came with the Padres in 2008 and '09. He hit 11 home runs in that time. I can see why he was left off the list, since he has been kicking around AAA the past few years after a 2010 season spent in Japan. Although stranger things have happened, I don't see him landing on a major league roster in 2014, especially after being deemed unfit for the Cubs' AAA team two years in a row. The Cubs! Besides, he's 35 and spinning his wheels so he may retire or, more likely, just stop getting offers. So on the list he goes.
Tony Gwynn - 135
Edgar Gonzalez - 11
Dave Staton - 9
Tim Flannery - 9
Dave Hilton - 6
Now that that's out of the way, let's see what the list looks like with active players included. Again, this list is subject to change, as it's inevitable that some of these guys will go on to play for other teams. It's a shame, but you know what they say: "That's baseball, Corey."
Tony Gwynn - 135
Chase Headley - 80
Will Venable - 67
Nick Hundley - 45
Kyle Blanks - 28
Jedd Gyorko - 22
Logan Forsythe - 12
As you can see, if even one of those six active players remains a Padre-for-life, the list would change again. Gwynn could even lose his top spot. Or possibly, someone with less than Logan could stick around and work his way up the list. Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal are both tied with Staton and Flannery with nine. Tommy Medica already has three and looks like a good bet to work his way up to double digits if he comes back next year.
However, we won't know who will make the concrete list for years, until all of these guys either move on or retire. For the meantime, Edgar Gonzalez gets to be second-best. Yet again.