Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ten Trivia Gems

Each of the past two days, I've wanted to post a Jerry Hairy card to celebrate both his unlikely game-winning home run and his unlikely game-winning walkoff home run but, alas, the only card I have of him that I haven't already posted depicts him fully clean-shaven and, as you know, that just doesn't fly around here- not until June 1st at least. So, with that not an option, I'm just going to toss up another batch of beards accompanied by a slew of completely unrelated Padres facts. I hope you enjoy.

1) Of all Major League franchises, the Padres hold the second-WORST all-time winning percentage (.463)- second only to the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays (.432). This season, the Pads have the second-BEST winning percentage (.609) in MLB- second only to the Tampa Bay Rays (.681).

2) Even the most casual fan knows that we've never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter and that we've never had a batter hit for the cycle. However, I frequently notice people inquiring whether we're the only team to not have one or the other. The answer? Yep. However, this was not the case until my brother Paul's birthday last season when BJ Upton of the aforementioned Rays relieved his club of sharing that dubious dishonor with ours.

3) Also well known is that 2001 inductee Dave Winfield was the first player depicted wearing a Padres hat on his Hall Of Fame plaque, joined only by Mr. Padre himself six years later. The first member to have at one point played for the Friars was elected a decade and a half earlier- Willie "Stretch" McCovey in 1986, pictured appropriately wearing a Giants cap.

4) In addition to weighing considerably more than two of me, gargantuan first baseman stuck in left field Kyle Blanks was born on the same day in the same year as my younger brother John. There wasn't much celebrating happening on their fifteenth birthdays as some b-holes chose that day to jack some planes and forever alter the Manhattan skyline and American history books for the worse.

5) In their 42 seasons of play, the Padres have used 23 different Opening Day starting pitchers, led by four-timers Randy Jones, Eric Show and Jake Peavy. Oddly, six hurlers have had multiple Opening Day starts in non-consecutive years: Jones ('75-'77, '80), Show ('84, '86-'87, '89), Ed Whitson ('88, '91), Bruce Hurst ('90, '92), Andy Ashby ('96, '99) and Woody Williams ('01, '05).

6) Halfway through the 1990 season, "Trader" Jack McKeon was replaced as manager with Greg Riddoch. Both men posted identical .463 win percentages.

7) Although 1980 was Dave Winfield's final year as a Padre and he played his last Major League game in 1995, his #31 was not retired until 2001. It was last worn in 1999 by Matt Clement who switched to #21 the following season.

8) 1992 was a record book year for two soon-to-be-jettisoned sluggers. Fred McGriff became the only Padre ever to lead the league in home runs while Gary Sheffield won the batting title- the only Friar other than Tony Gwynn to do so.

9) LF/1B John Kruk ('86-'89) and RP Jon Adkins ('06) are the only two West Virginia born players in Padres history. While Kruk went on to attain a certain level of celebrity during his time in Philadelphia and his subsequent broadcasting career, Adkins will be best known by most for being part of the trade that brought us Heat Bell.

10) Shrek and Jairston are the ninth set of brothers who have both worn the Padres' uniform. Including the Hoffmans with Glenn serving as third base coach, the Hairstons are the sixth set to suit up at the same time and the fifth set- along with the Alomars, Mr. Padre and Chris, the Gileses and the Fightin' Gonzali- to be teammates. The three sets of Friar hermanos whose tenures in San Diego didn't overlap are Phil and Jerald Clark, Melvin and Wil Nieves, as well as Mike Maddux and The Professor.

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