The city of San Diego in California lies just 190km south of Los Angeles. As of the 1st of July 2017, it had an estimated population of close to 1 and a half million people. It ranks as the 8th largest city in America and the 2nd largest in the state of California. San Diego is home to the San Diego Padres, an American professional baseball team that is the only major professional sports franchise in the city.
In 1968, an owners meeting was held in Chicago after which San Diego was recognized as a national franchise. A year later, they made their major league debut against Houston in front of more than 20,000 fans in the San Diego Stadium. In the mid-1970s, the club was supposed to relocate to Washington D.C. This plan was abandoned when the club owner C. Arnholt Smith sold it to McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc would die several year later in 1984, the year when the San Diego Padres would win their first divisional title. This earned them a chance to play in their first World Series which they lost to the Detroit Tigers.
Following the relocation of the Chargers of the NFL to Los Angeles, the Padres are now the only major professional sport franchise in the city of San Diego making it the crown jewel of the people of San Diego. The padres are the only team in Major League Baseball that does not share its home city with another franchise in major league professional sports.
In 1990, a group of wealthy businessmen in California purchased the team from former owner’s widow Joan Kroc. Four years later, the Padres ownership would change once more with Larry Lucchino and John Moores becoming the new owners. This move resulted in acquisition of new players leading to the biggest trade in the history of the club. Four year later the Pares won a franchise record 98 games in the regular season on their way to their second National crown. However, they lost the World Series to the New York Yankees.
In the two decades since their last national triumph, the Padres have blown hot and cold showing great promise at times yet failing to match the ambitious heights of years gone by. One constant that has stuck with the team however, is its commendable youth structure. It would be no surprise if the rookies were the ones to lead the Padres back to the top of Major League Baseball.
In the city of San Diego and in other places along the West coast. The San Diego Padres are a popular outfit. However, their proximity to Mexico gives them a unique opportunity to extend their popularity beyond the United States. The Padres have created and maintained a cordial relationship with the people of Mexico. They were the first baseball franchise to open a store outside Canada and the United States. As part of their Little Padres Parks Program, the Padres refurbished the Campo Andres Brumen to help youth in Tijuana get access to better fields. Nothing in sports is certain, but the Padres seem to be heading in the right direction both on the field and off it.
Don’t miss out on visiting San Diego Old Town!