With four living men who have won a National League Cy Young Award for the San Diego Padres, the team has an opportunity to celebrate something special in their 50th season. Will they?
There is not much to be content about if you are a fan of the San Diego Padres.
Sadly, the franchise has failed in many ways during its 49-year existence.
The team has appeared in two World Series (1984 & 1998), but only managed to win one game in the two separate contests. The Friars have failed to have a winning season since 2010 and the 2006 season is the last time they made an appearance in the playoffs, losing the series to the Cardinals three games to one. It has been a sad time for this franchise.
Though winning a championship has eluded them, not all has been abysmal for the Padres from America’s Finest City. The team has many things they could celebrate, but strangely they choose not to. One obvious thing is the fact that the franchise has four living players who have won a NL Cy Young Award for the team. Randy Jones, Gaylord Perry, Mark Davis, and Jake Peavy are not household names in the world of major league baseball.
These pitchers might have a great following in Southern California, but it is the responsibility of the team to educate the masses from coast to coast. Present baseball fans with the history of this team. Educate all fans on the history of the San Diego Padres.
In running a major league franchise, it goes far beyond just building a corporate brand. The Padres have an existence in the community that goes all the way back to 1936. That’s 83 years in San Diego. The history of this team sells itself. With almost 50 years of major league existence, the traditions in this franchise could be huge. If they were embraced properly.
Bringing the before mentioned Cy Young winners together in a celebratory weekend or specific game would easily be one of the highlights on this franchise’s existence.
Jake Peavy, Mark Davis, Randy Jones, and Gaylord Perry arm and arm on the field would provide goosebumps to the fanbase that would reverberate throughout the whole San Diego Padres’ organization. People who had no idea of the history of this team would be educated about this fact and a sense of tradition would be built for this starved franchise.
The Padres have won four Cy Young’s in the franchise’s history and that is more than the St. Louis Cardinals (3), San Francisco Giants (3) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2). Those three are storied teams and the Friars have more recipients of the award than them. Think about that. That is something that you should be proud of.
This honor is something that should be displayed. In fact, the Padres’ four Cy Young award winners are even more impressive when you take into consideration that the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees have each only one the award one more time than the Padres, and both franchises have been in existence for twice the time as the lonely Padres.
I recently caught up with Randy Jones, who is head of the alumni division of the team. Though he runs the department, he knows the failures of the past from it. “The alumni group has never been strong with the Padres.” Jones sadly said.
There have been improvements as the team has slowly adapted to the fans’ demands. The fantasy baseball camp with the Padres early this spring was a very welcomed addition, and a step in the right direction. “We are trying to resurrect it (alumni division) and get it back,” Jones said. The team has done much, but sadly Jones is not given the proper budget to do more. “The baseball people on the team need to take charge,” Jones said. If somehow a winning culture can be created, I am sure that bringing alumni in and celebrating them will be more on the forefront. There has to be a progression with this team in order to turn the franchise around. We all recognize that.
In speaking specifically about the four Cy Young Award winners together in a ceremony, Jones was very receptive. “It would be great. I would love to do something like that,” Jones said about the possibility of a ceremony. Randy Jones is not one for the limelight. He doesn’t want to celebrate his achievements. To him, he was just a ballplayer doing his job. Bringing together all these men in one moment would be fantastic for this franchise. It needs to be done.
Randy assured me that he will explore this topic with the team. The more we discussed the idea, the more his eyes twinkled thinking about the possibilities. “I gotta squeeze it outta them,” Jones said in response to getting it done. There might still be time to do this during the 2019 season. The ball is in the team’s court. Slowly, they are adapting to this thought process, so hopefully, Padres fans will get a chance to celebrate a magical fact about this franchise.
Here are the numbers each pitcher produced during their magical Cy Young Award-winning season.
Randy Jones (1976) 22-14 (2.74 ERA/1.027 WHIP) 40 games started/315.1 IP/25 complete games
Gaylord Perry (1978) 21-6 (2.73 ERA/1.178 WHIP) 37 games started/260 IP/9 HR allowed
Mark Davis (1989) 4-3 (1.85 ERA/1.047 WHIP) 70 games/65 games finished/92 IP/44 saves
Jake Peavy (2007) 19-6 (2.54 ERA/1.061 WHIP) 34 games started/223 IP/240 K