The San Diego Padres continue to neglect their history,
In recent years, the team made efforts to be in touch with the fan base, but it has been a slow process. It took years for the team to embrace the brown and gold of the past. Now, the Padres’ uniform is easily the most recognizable in all of MLB. The Padres are way more profitable in terms of merchandise than when they wore blue, like virtually every other team.
The swinging friar logo you see above is iconic and arguably one of the best in all sports. But for some reason, it disappeared as the Padres re-branded several times, only to resurface in the last few seasons as the Padres became a marketing juggernaut. Again, the switch was slow, and the failure to embrace the past was evident.
Though the ownership group is making strides, there are still some aspects of the franchise that are frustrating.
A blatant disregard for the alumni of the team is one of the issues.
A proposed annual Padres Alumni Game or Old Timer’s Game
The only alumni you see around the ballpark these days are players who are literally employed by the club in some regard.Seeing the franchise reach out to these men and provide them with work after their career is nice, but what about the obscure players from the early ’80s or late ’90s? What about a guy who retired just 10-15 years ago? The average Padre fan would love to see them as well.
What is Eric Owens or Bubba Trammel up to? How about Mike Adams or Woody Williams?
The Padres desperately need to re-vitalize an Old Timer’s Game and make it a yearly tradition.
Currently, the Padres participate in an annual alumni softball game against the armed forces. It is for a great cause and provides joy for the community. However, only a handful of former Padres players participate in the event. The game is also played on a local armed forces base; not all the public can attend.
This needs to change.
If you can utilize Petco Park to have concerts, monster truck shows, or rodeos, you can surely host an annual baseball game. Can’t you?
All it takes is a little effort and some commitment to the fans.
There are so many memorable players from different eras who would love the chance to relive the glory days of their past. The fans would also love to cheer on these men and witness them again in Padres gear.
The Padres would need to pay for these men to get to San Diego, and they would have to host them. It would take money to get this rolling. That seems to be an issue for the frugal Padres, but this should not be an issue for a franchise spending $253 million on its payroll for the 2023 season.Start a tradition and ask the current Padres to donate to the future cause. If it weren’t for the players of the past, the present players would not enjoy the benefits they currently reap. And one day, they may enjoy playing in this event at Petco Park.
The opportunities are endless.
Petco Park would sell out if this is marketed correctly. If money is an issue, the Padres would easily make back their money in ticket sales and vending for the day. That is a guarantee. But the best part of this whole thing is starting along overdue tradition.
For once, the Padres could be trendsetters. Only the New York Yankees host an Old Timer’s Game each year; since 1947, the Yankees honor their legends of the past, and the 2023 season was the 75th game for their fans. This is an excellent way to embrace the supporters of the team and provide them with joy from their childhood.
A dad could take his son to the game and show him the players he once cheered.
In this proposed game, you could field a game of all former Padres players playing against each other. You could also construct a former Padres team in which they play some of the greats of the past. Make the game during an off-day at home and let the current Padres players enjoy the moment as well. There are so many different ways you can attack this.
In the following old-timers game in 1978, several former Padres players participated.
Willie Mays played in the game and threw out Dave Campbell at home to end the only scoring threat in the contest. Talk about a historic moment.
San Diego Padres fans are starved for content like this at Petco Park.
It just takes effort.
Sure, watching old guys play baseball isn’t the most attractive thing. But, it is valuable for the nostalgia. It is something that honors the past while providing future fans with an endless amount of joy. For the players, it would provide something they can look forward to each year, and it would undoubtedly endear them to the Padres. It is never too late to rebuild bridges.
How about this video of 75-year-old Luke Apling homering in an Old Timers game in 1982 off fellow Hall-0f Famer Warren Spahn? Wow. It is an amazing moment and something that could happen at Petco Park.
Please, Padres- take a moment and think about things. Embrace the past and provide the fans with a unique source of entertainment.
The ball is in your court.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.