Leron Lee was the first of seven former Padres born on March 4. The seventh overall pick of the 1966 draft, Lee joined the Padres in 1971 via a mid-season trade that sent Al Santorini to St. Louis. After looking like a bust for the Cardinals, Lee proved a valuable asset for San Diego in the second half of that season and the entirety of the next. In 1972 he hit .300/ .353/ .497 with 23 doubles, seven triples, and 12 home runs, all high water marks of his eight years in the bigs. His numbers slipped considerably the following season, and he spent the following three seasons split between the Indians and Dodgers' benches and their AAA teams. In 1977, Lee headed to Japan, where he found his niche; he put up huge numbers and became an instant superstar with the Lotte Orions, for whom he spent all 11 of his seasons abroad.
Two years older than Lee, Danny Frisella entered this world exactly 70 years ago. Frisella joined the Friars in 1975 for his ninth major league season, following six years with the Mets and two with the Braves. The right-handed reliever set career highs with 421 batters faced in 97.2 innings over 65 games, compiling a 3.13 ERA in that time. Swapped to St. Louis after the season, Frisella replicated that ERA in 50 games between the Cardinals and Brewers in 1976, which turned out to be his final season. Sadly, Frisella is not here to celebrate his birthday, as he passed away in a dune buggy accident on New Year's Day of 1977.
Sam Perlozzo was the third March 4 baby to suit up for San Diego. The now-65-year-old played in parts of two games with the Padres in 1979, and went on to long coaching and managerial career.
Over a decade passed before catcher Tom Lampkin joined their ranks. Pictured at the top of this page in the second of his two stints with the Padres, he first spent 1990 through '92 as a backup for Benito Santiago, then returned in 2002 after time spent with the Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, and Mariners. In addition to being his final season, 2002 was also the first year in which Lampkin received the lion's share of a team's starts behind the plate. In 177 games with the Padres, Lampkin hit .215/ .303/ .339, all below his career rates of .235/ .319/ .381.
Infielder Ed Giovanola was picked up by the Padres after being waived by the Braves following the 1997 season. He got into a career-high 92 games for the National League champions the next season, starting 31 games at third and second base. His hitting was nothing to write home about, but he did hit the lone home run of his career. His bat was even less passable the following season, but he did make a pitching appearance. The Padres let him walk after he hit below the Mendoza line in 69 not-so-nice plate appearances, and that was all she wrote.
But that's not all I wrote, because there are still two players left. Hiram Bocachica joined the Padres during the highly entertaining but ultimately doomed 2007 season after being waived by the A's. "Girlmouth", as Gaslamp Ballers very loosely translated his name, finished up his career by batting .238/ .294/ .349 with one home run in 27 games. 31 at the time, and 40 today, Bocachica was cut loose in mid-July; he sat out the rest of the year but went on to keep playing through 2011 in Japan, the independent Atlantic League, and Mexico, along with the Puerto Rican Winter League.
The most recent player born on March 4 is pitcher Cory Luebke, who was drafted in the first round and signed by the Padres in the brief window that Bocachica was with the club. Luebke debuted in 2010, pitched his only full season in 2011, and was felled by his first major injury in 2012. He was impressive in his 25 starts and 30 relief appearances, and was signed by the team through 2015. Shortly after the ink dried on the $11 million guaranteed contract, Luebke tore his UCL, necessitating the first of two Tommy John surgeries. He finally got back on the field in 2015, pitching in seven games for three of the Padres' minor league affiliates. San Diego understandably paid him a $1.75 million buyout as opposed to picking up his $7.5 million option for 2016, and last month Luebke signed a minor league deal with the Pirates with a fair shot to make their big league club.
No present or former Padres have been born on March 5, so I'll have to find something else to write about tomorrow.