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A bigger and better Padres Hall of Fame: 1969-1979

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Who's worthy of the Padres Hall of Fame from the early days??

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Andrew H. Walker

Part 1: Intro

Before I begin, I'd like to touch on a few topics.

First, I found out some details regarding the first ever vote in 1999. At the time, the committee consisted of 24 people total including 18 members of the Padres media (who have covered the Padres for more than 7 years with the broadcast media being represented by the sports director at their outlet), 4 members of the Padres organization, 1 member from the Madres and 1 member from the San Diego Baseball Historical Society. There was also a mysterious 6 person committee that nominated the 12 people that year and the voting went as follows:

1. Randy Jones 22 votes
T-2. Nate Colbert 19 votes
T-2. Ray Kroc 19 votes
T-4. Jerry Coleman 9 votes
T-4. Dave Winfield 9 votes
6. Buzzie Bavasi 6 votes
7. Ozzie Smith 2 votes
T-8. Steve Garvey 1 vote
T-8. Eric Show 1 vote
T-8. Garry Templeton 1 vote
T-11. Rollie Fingers 0 votes
T-11. Dick Williams 0 votes

The nominee needed 18 votes to secure a spot. Considering there were 89 votes placed from a 24 member committee, that obviously means that they could most likely vote for as many people as they wanted (average of 3.71 votes per voter). Of those 12 nominees, 7 currently reside in the Padres Hall of Fame. It's interesting that Dick Williams received no votes that first year and everyone who received more than 1 vote, except Ozzie Smith, have since been inducted. The first class was enshrined on the weekend of August 13th-15th 1999 in honor of the Padres 30th anniversary and would soon be "housed at the Padres new downtown ballpark, set to open in 2002". Swing and a miss on both projections there. It's interesting to see the Padres Hall of Fame, on the early sketch of Petco Park, sitting right where the 1090AM studios now are.


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Also, things are now right in the world. The Padres fixed the Randy Jones induction year snafu.


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Lastly, I went to the Padres game on Monday night and visited the Padres Hall of Fame lockers in the Western Metal Building (1st time this year). Nate Colberts locker is totally gone and the others are poor representations of what honoring someone should look like.

Now on to the class of 1969-1979!!

There were 68 players that reached the 3 years requirement. Nate Colbert, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Buzzie Bavasi, Jerry Coleman and Dave Winfield are already in from this era. Listed below are my picks in alphabetical order.

Bob Chandler

Broadcaster (+various other duties) 1970-2003

Why?: Is a San Diego legend, spent 33 years with the Padres behind the mic or in front of the TV, when you think of Padres broadcasters, you think of Jerry, Ted & Bob, wrote an excellent book called Tales from the San Diego Padres with great stories throughout Padres history, beloved in San Diego (the amount of people who came up to him to chat or shake his hand during my Beers with Bob segments with him were insane)

The San Diego Chicken

Mascot 1974-Current (Sporadic Appearances here and there)

Why?: If you have to ask then I just don't know what to tell you. It's the Chicken! The #1 mascot of all-time hands down!

Jim "Tuba Man" Eakle

Leader of McNamara's Band

Why?: There wasn't much to celebrate on the field in those early days so the "Tuba Man" did his part in bringing joy to the fans.

Rollie Fingers

Closer 1977-1980

Why?: 3rd in All-Time Padres Saves (108), led NL in Saves in 1977 & 1978, 1978 NL All-Star, Rolaids Relief Award winner 1977/1978/1980, the #1 ranked mustache all-time.

Tim Flannery

2nd Baseman/Coach/Broadcaster 1979-2006

Why?: The Flan Man isn't getting in on his stats, spent 10 years playing for the team and was always a fan favorite, was part of the '96 and '98 playoff teams as a coach and was still a fan favorite, moved on to the broadcast booth where he was a fan favorite, is now coaching in San Francisco and has been voted on by Padres fans as the least hated Giant.

Johnny Grubb

Outfielder 1972-1976

Why?: 1974 NL All-Star, 9th in batting average (.286), 12th in OPS+ (119), 8th Offensive Win% (.610), 15th in oWAR (11.6) and was overall a very consistent and solid player during his tenure in San Diego.

Gene Richards

Outfielder 1977-1983

Why?: Padres All-time rankings - 11th in bWAR (18.8), 5th in batting average (.291), 3rd in runs (484), 4th in hits (994), 2nd in triples (63), 2nd in stolen bases (242), 1980 Team MVP, finished 3rd in 1977 NL Rookie of the Year, hit a then-team high 193 hits in 1980, lead the NL in outfield assists in 1980 (21) and 1981 (14).

Ozzie Smith

Shortstop 1978-1981

Why?: A defensive wizard, 2nd in dWAR (8.9), 5th in stolen bases (147), 1981 NL All-Star, 1980 & 1981 Gold Glove winner, finished 2nd in 1978 NL Rookie of the Year, made this play.

Gene Tenace

Catcher 1977-1980

Why?: 4th in bWAR (19.7), 1st in OBP (.403), 5th in BB (423), was an all around solid player on both offense and defense during his stay in San Diego.

*Edit: I added The Chicken (HUGE blunder on my part) and Tuba Man to this list.