WRIGLEY.This photo of the Padres playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field is great; even though the call did not go San Diego’s way. One thing that puzzles me though, is that I can’t figure out who the player sliding into home is? Based on uniforms, I’m lead to believe that this photo was taken in 1974 or 1975 and the player in question is either Jerry Turner, John Scott or Bobby Tolan. If anyone knows for sure, definitely let me know. One thing I do know is that the catcher is future-Padre, Steve Swisher and that’s obviously Cito Gaston standing in the background.
GWYNN & ROSE.
On July 19th, 1982, Tony Gwynn made his major league debut, in a game against the Phillies at Jack Murphy Stadium. Pete Rose, who was playing first base that night, met Tony at second base after his first major league hit. Rose congratulated him and jokingly said something along the lines of “Don’t catch me in one night.” This may be a well known story, but I still don’t think I’ve ever seen video of his first hit, let alone his interaction with Rose. Needless to say, I was happy when @BenHigginsSD shared this screenshot on twitter earlier this year, which captures Gwynn right after he rolled into second base with Rose right behind him.
After looking over the box score from that historic night, two interesting things crossed my mind:
- Gwynn’s first plate appearance may not of been a hit, but it was productive; as he hit a sacrifice fly against future Giants broadcaster, Mike Krukow. You may ask yourself who scored on that sacrifice fly? Well, that would be the one and only Tim Flannery, who one day would have the interesting honor of being number #2 on games played list for players who spent their entire playing career on the Padres. He “only” trails Tony Gwynn by close to 1500 games. (Thanks to @ChangeThePadres for this little fun fact)
- Gwynn had 5 at-bats that night and didn’t even get his first hit until the bottom of the 8th inning, against Sid Monge, who would later be his teammate in 1983 & 1984. Tony later came up again in the bottom of the 9th, where he hit a single against Ron Reed. An interesting thing about Reed is that just like Gwynn, he was also a college basketball star who got drafted by an NBA team. I can’t imagine there being an incredibly long list of MLB players who were also drafted by NBA teams, so this caught my eye. With that said, unlike Gwynn, Reed actually pursued professional basketball and played for the Pistons during the ’65/66 & ’66/67 NBA seasons.
- Gwynn went 2 for 4 that day and all three of the balls he successfully put into play (sacrifice fly, double and single) were hit to centerfield. Both of his “unsuccessful” at-bats took place against Sid Monge and resulted in a lineout to the shortstop and a strikeout. Not a bad day for 22 year old kid making his major league debut.
GWYNN & GRANT.
I recently came across this photo and it warmed my heart, as it captures two of the most beloved individuals in organizational history. Tony Gwynn, Mark Grant and Padres brown?? it doesn’t get much better than this!
Speaking of Mudcat, did anyone catch on to the fact that he’s been part of the Padres broadcasting team now for over 20 years? I don’t remember the Padres doing anything to celebrate this. It would be awesome if the team honored him with a promotional item next season, just to bring attention to the time he’s spent in San Diego. I suggest a Grant #55 brown jersey giveaway or Grant bobblehead from his playing days. I’d prefer the bobblehead, but eh, we know how the team feels about them. (Image Source: Getty Images)