History of the San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres have not been very successful since their first season in 1969. They have won five National League West division titles but only two National League pennants (1984, 1998) and no World Series. They won the National League West division title in 2005 and 2006 but they have not won a Wild Card or division title since then.

The San Diego Padres were established in 1969 as an expansion team for the National League, along with the Montreal Expos. The Padres played poorly in their first six years, always ending up in last place in the National League West division. The team began to turn around, however, after being purchased by Ray Kroc in 1974.

In 1975, the Padres’ first season under Kroc’s ownership, the team moved up a notch and finished in fourth place in the National League West division. They were still far from a first-place finish, but the improvement in the standings, along with the hitting and fielding of Dave Winfield, the pitching of a young Randy Jones and the leadership of new manager John McNamara, gave Padres’ fans hope for better seasons to come.

The Padres slowly improved, but they still could not advance in the standings, ending in fifth place in their division in 1975 and not faring much better the following year. The 1978 season, however, resulted in a winning record for the Padres, finishing with 84 wins and 78 losses. This success lasted for only one season and the Padres ended the 1979 season with a 68-93 record. The following year, they lost Dave Winfield to the New York Yankees.

The 1980s didn’t start well for the Padres and, at the start of the 1984 season, Ray Kroc died. His wife, Joan, managed to achieve what her husband couldn’t - the Padres finally led the National League West division. Ray Kroc, prior to his untimely death, had added new players, including Steve Garvey, Graig Nettles, Tony Gwynn, and Goose Gossage, to the Padres’ line-up. In addition, Dick Williams was hired to manage the team. With this outstanding roster and leadership, the San Diego Padres, in 1984, won their first of only two National League pennants.

The next decade saw inconsistent results for the Padres. They finished in second place in the National League West division in 1985 but two years later, they once again found themselves in last place. The Padres rebounded in 1988, ending in third place, and they had a good season again in 1989 with 89 wins and 73 losses, but they didn’t make it to playoff games.

In 1990, Joan Kroc sold the San Diego Padres to television producer Tom Werner. The new ownership, however, did not help the Padres, as many of their top players, including Roberto Alomar, Gary Sheffield, and Fred McGriff, went to other teams. Only Tony Gwynn remained, but even his hot bat could not pull the Padres from last place in 1994.

Werner sold the Padres in 1994 to John Moores. This time, new ownership made a difference and, in 1996, the San Diego Padres won the National League West division title. Two years later, they again won the division title and their second and last National League pennant, defeating the powerhouse Atlanta Braves.

The Padres followed their pennant win with five years of losing seasons. The 2004 season, however, started well as the Padres began playing in their new PETCO Park stadium. They ended the season with a winning record of 87-75 and a third place finish in the National League West division.

Although the Padres did not play exceptionally well in 2005, they won the National League West division title over their weaker competitors. However, they were quickly defeated in the National League pennant race by the St. Louis Cardinals. One star player for the Padres in 2005 was pitcher Jake Peavy.

Behind Peavy, the Padres again won the National League West division title in 2006. The Padres had a winning season, also, in 2007, but not a strong enough record to defeat the Colorado Rockies.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - San Diego Padres