The Padres still NEED to embrace their history

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It is arguably the best time in the organization of the San Diego Padres, but the team still needs to embrace and celebrate its history. 

With the passing of former San Diego Padres Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry on December 1, we are again reminded about the franchise’s history problem.

It took forever for the ownership group to recognize the fact the fans were clamoring for brown uniforms. After years of uniform studies and research groups, the Padres finally made the slow switch to brown uniforms. The result is arguably the best uniforms the team has ever worn. The merchandise sales reflect that, and the ownership group is content.

Four years ago, I wrote about the fact the team needed to celebrate the fact they have four different Cy Young Award winners in the history of the organization. Randy Jones, Gaylord Perry, Mark Davis, and Jake Peavy. All four men were alive, and a night celebrating their accomplishments would be a highlight of a Padres’ major league season. It should have been a no-brainer.

Sadly, that night will never come for the fans. Let alone the men who accomplished this common goal.

Winning a Cy Young Award is not easy. The fact the Padres have four different winners is astonishing.

In 1978, Gaylord Perry went 21-6 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.178 WHIP in 37 games started. He pitched 260 innings and only allowed nine home runs. His award was the team’s second Cy Young, only two years after Randy Jones brought home the franchise’s first.

Credit: AP Photo

If you asked most young fans, they probably have no idea who Gaylord Perry was. That is a shame. The responsibility of a franchise is constant. And it goes way beyond what is happening in the present. It is their obligation to keep fans educated about the men who played before the stars of today.

The game of baseball is all about history. The sport revolves around it. The Padres have neglected their sad history. Yes, the team floundered for many seasons, but there were still moments of greatness that helped develop the product you see before you right now. Celebrate the players of the past. Recognize them. Embrace the history of the Padres.

Nate Colbert is the team’s all-time home run leader despite not playing for the team for nearly 40 years. His name should be plastered all over Petco Park. The man is getting up there in age and should be brought to the fans so they can give him the praise he deserves. Please stop neglecting the players of the past.

Presently, the San Diego Padres are one of the most prized organizations in the league. After years of frugalness, there seems to be nothing out of the realm of imagination to improve the product on the field. We are living in a very special time. I feel for those fans who never enjoyed this feeling. It is a surreal feeling if you lived through the fire sales and deceit from ownership.

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There are fewer and fewer San Diegans who enjoyed Padres baseball in the 1970s. Time rolls on as the players of the past slowly fade into being only a memory. Gaylord Perry was an animated character. A night recognizing his accomplishments and that of the three other men would have been nice.

As the team has learned from its mistakes on the baseball business side of the game and improved dramatically, it must also learn from the errors in failing to celebrate its past.

Please make the changes. Educate the fans about the beautiful history of the San Diego Padres.

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