This season Major League Baseball is doing something really special for the fans. Each teams fans are voting for each franchises top four players in history. The San Diego Padres have Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Steve Garvey, Nate Colbert, Jake Peavy, Trevor Hoffman and Randy Jones as the named final eight participants. Though it is worth noting that any player may be voted for any franchise as a write in vote.
The parameters for voting are the four most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise. The voting will last until May 8, 2015 and you may vote at sandiego.padres.mlb.com. The grand reveal for each teams winners will be at the All-Star game in Cincinnati on July 14, 2015. The reveal will be a show on Fox that will air at 4:30 pm PST.
When breaking down the San Diego Padres franchise four, you have two no-brainers and two spots that are and can be pretty debatable. Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are absolute locks for this vote and anyone who doesn’t vote for them should have their head examined. Gwynn is the epitome of the franchise and is widely known as Mr. Padre. Tony Gwynn was widely regarded as one of the best hitters in the history of the game. To say he was the franchises best hitter is an absolute understatement. He will be on that list guaranteed, there is nobody else who better represented being a Padres player.
Trevor Hoffman is also an absolute lock for this list. His 16 year career and amazing 552 saves is a Padres record that is sure to last for a while. Although if the Padres resign Craig Kimbrel long-term, he could give the record a run for the money. Though it is in reality probably unattainable. Trevor Hoffman like Gwynn did works for the San Diego Padres organization. He was a class act on the field and his work ethic in the clubhouse was legendary. The man did what it took to succeed and represents the Padres in a very positive manner even to this day. Hoffman will also be a lock for this list. Not as big a favorite as Gwynn, but undoubtedly he will be announced on this list in July for sure.
The next two spots are very tough. My next pick was debated between Dave Winfield, Steve Garvey, Nate Colbert and Adrian Gonzalez. In analyzing the numbers, Colbert gets thrown out right off the board. He was an absolute beast and was a three-time all-star for the Padres, but just doesn’t have the name appeal of the other three players. Colbert did play for the Padres for six seasons and hit 163 home runs with 481 RBI’s. He however did retire with a .253 lifetime average as a Padre. It was just a different era Colbert played in. His numbers were fantastic, especially the power numbers, but most Padres fans would not know much about this slugger.
Adrian Gonzalez would easily be on this list if the Padres had decided to keep him under contract. It was a different regime that owned the Padres and the penny-pinching owners shipped him off to the Boston RedSox for prospects. At the time I was very angry at the fact they didn’t try to negotiate with Gonzalez. They will say they attempted to, but in reality they had no intention of paying him his worth. It’s really a shame because I viewed Gonzalez as the heir apparent to the Gwynn era. Gonzalez will be on the cusp of a hall of fame nomination and would have loved to go in representing his hometown team. Seeing him in Dodger blue still turns my stomach to this day.
Gonzalez in his 5-year tenure with the Padres hit 161 home runs and drove in 501 runs. His batting line of .288/.374/.514 is very impressive, especially with the majority of his home games at Petco Park. The three-time all-star played 799 games as a San Diego Padre. He was a great Padre, and one of my personal favorites, but he can’t make this list. He just didn’t have enough games and there are just better choices.