The San Diego Padres
Nickname quality (scale of 1-10): 8.4
The original San Diego Padres played in the Pacific Coast League beginning in 1936. That minor-league team was originally the Hollywood Stars but when they moved to San Diego, owner William Lane wanted to change the name. His original choice was the San Diego Dons, but he decided to try something different because the University of San Francisco was already using the nickname.
Hundreds of names apparently were suggested, but eventually they took on the Padres name, suggested by PCL President W.C. Tuttle. This was to honor the Spanish Franciscan priests — particularly Padre Junípero Serra — who helped found San Diego in the 18th century.
At first, while the team was named the Padres, the players continued to wear Hollywood Stars uniforms. The team was, in fact, star-studded from the beginning. The original Padres of 1936 featured an 18-year-old Bobby Doerr, a 23-year-old Vince DiMaggio and, late in the season, a skinny 17-year-old local kid by the name of Ted Williams.
A year later, Williams was the Padres’ star, though he only hit .291 — he would not hit below .300 again for another 20 years.
Uniform quality (scale of 1-10): 7.8
The Padres’ brown uniforms are my favorite in all of baseball. I admit that this probably has something to do with my involuntary affinity for brown as a uniform color as a guy who grew up with the Cleveland Browns. But I just think the Padres’ browns — whether it’s the brown pinstripe home jersey or the all-brown top road jerseys — are just the sharpest uniforms going.
So why is the uniform quality rating not higher? A couple of reasons. One, the team’s longtime refusal to go with the brown uniforms was frustrating and infuriating and I’m not over it yet. The various attempts to go blue, the weird tan efforts, the horrendous road gray and blue uniforms, the weird script “Padres” home uniforms with something that looked like a Chargers lightning bolt on it, all of these were horrendous and maddening.
And two, those alternate Padres camouflage uniforms are a crime against humanity.
Stadium ranking out of 30: 7th
I love Petco Park. I love, love, love, love Petco Park. I don’t know what else to say.
All-time pitching rotation: 27th best (Jake Peavy; Andy Ashby; Alan Benes; Randy Jones; Ed Whitson).
Random player from history: Nate Colbert (as selected by comedian Jeff Garlin)
Jeff is a massive baseball fan, and he selected the random players from history for the remainder of our teams … with one notable exception, which we will get to soon.