Remembering the 1998 San Diego Padres.
In this time of uncertainty, let us remember the 1998 San Diego Padres, a team that brought plenty of joy to the city of San Diego.
The success of that particular team came at the correct time, as the city was in the midst of a battle over a potential new ballpark for the Padres. “Keep the Faith” was the slogan given to the fans by Larry Luchino and team executives to rally the citizens.
The 1998 season was a magical run, but there was effort leading up to it.
The Padres made a brief appearance in the 1996 playoffs, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. The 1997 season saw the Padres finish last in the National League West. Their 76-86 record put them 14 games behind the San Francisco Giants. The team wasn’t horrible, but it was missing something. The Friars needed an ace, and they also required an attitude adjustment.
Kevin Brown was a legitimate ace and an absolute workhorse.
The right-handed pitcher just helped guide the 1997 Marlins to a World Series Championship and was shockingly made available by the team. Padres’ G.M. Kevin Towers jumped at the opportunity and parted with can’t miss prospect Derrek Lee to obtain Brown.
It proved to be an excellent move for the short-term, but horrible in the long-term. Lee ended up being a two-time MLB All-Star, N.L. Batting Title winner (2005), and three-time Gold Glove recipient at first base in his career. He also helped guide the 2003 Marlins to a World Series title. Still, the one year of Kevin Brown was probably worth it if you ask most fans.
Let’s take a look at the 1998 Padres, position by position as we recognize their efforts in this time where we all need a little joy.
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