The Padres are opening their Hall of Fame this Friday. The Hall of Fame should have been something to celebrate for Padres fans, but it was spoiled by a naming ceremony for Bud Selig two years ago.
If you remember, and I’m sure you do, Padres leadership made an atrocious decision to name the Hall of Fame Plaza after then Commissioner Bud Selig. The reason for doing so seemed obvious to us, it was a bribe to bring the All-Star Game to San Diego. It worked too . Padres Chairman Ron Fowler denied bribe accusations and instead accused fans of not understanding Selig's contributions, but we knew better. Padres President Mike Dee still stubbornly insists that Selig deserves credit for building Petco Park, but extreme fan outrage has forced the team to reconsider.
"When we made the (Selig) announcement, we underestimated the sentiments of the fans," Dee said. "And the reaction of the fans was something we heard. In processing the feedback from our fans — including those who may be writing this story — we made the decision to move in another direction.
"Since that time, when we planned out the Hall of Fame, we made a mid-course decision, and we still will honor Commissioner Selig someway, but in our offices."
I’m glad the Padres came to their senses, but it took them far too long. They obviously didn’t run their decision by anyone outside the organization at the time. Then they dug in their heels after the overwhelming backlash instead of trying to see it from the fan perspective and quickly remedy the situation. Dee’s defense of Selig was condescending to the fans and still sours my opinion of him today.
It brings me some joy that the Padres had to swallow their pride and contact Selig to tell him that he’d no longer be publicly honored because San Diego fans did not approve. I’m also glad that there will be reminder of Selig inside the Padres office, like a deep scar, to serve as a reminder to current and future leadership to think twice about ill-conceived decisions like these.
"The commissioner is aware of it and supports our decision," Dee said. "He’s excited about what we will do. It won’t be anything outwardly facing to the fans, but inside the footprint of Padres offices
If you'd like to be one of the first to see the new Padres Hall of Fame, then you'll have to pay increased variable prices since the Padres are playing the Yankees.