For all the numerologists out there, today is 09/09/09. Lots of baseball significance in the number 9. Nine inning ballgames, nine players in a lineup, etc. What better way to celebrate than trying to determine the 9 greatest hitting performances in Padres history by position. That’s exactly what the Padres homepage is doing and I thought I’d share my choices for the Magical Nine.
No brainer, Adrian Gonzalez ‘s 2008 season, while not yet finished, is the best hitting performance ever by a Padres 1B. Just shy of Nate Colbert’s 38 HR’s in 1972, Gonzalez has more RBI’s and runs than any 1B on the list. And he’s doing it in the hitter’s graveyard that is Petco Park.
Without looking I would have guessed that young Roberto Alomar’s 1989 season would qualify as the best in Padres history. However, Mark Loretta’s stats from 2004 really overshadow anyone else on the list. Amazing what he quietly accomplished that season.
I would have liked to have gone with Garry Templeton’s 1985 season, but Khalil Greene’s 2007 season (27 HR, 97 RBI, 89 Runs) was definitely worthy of being the best ever by a Friar SS.
Sentimentally, I would like to go with Ken Caminiti’s 1996 season (.326, 40 HR, 130 RBI) as the best 3B performance. But the specter of his PED use that season makes me choose Gary Sheffield’s 1993 season (.330, 33 HR, 100 RBI) as the best. Remember, young Sheff was a Triple Crown threat back in 93.
No debate, Benito Santiago’s rookie season of 1987 (.300, 18 HR, 79 RBI, 21 SB) was the best season by a Padre backstop. Let’s not forget his 34 game hitting streak during his ROY campaign.
At first I was shocked not seeing Jake Peavy on the list. Until I realized this was for the best hitting performance ever. Not much to choose from statistically, so I went with Eric Show’s 1984 season (.246, 3 HR, 10 RBI) if only for having at least one player from 1984 represented.
You get to choose 3. For the first OF spot I went with Tony Gwynn’s 1997 season (.372, 17 HR, 119 RBI, 92 Runs). Surprising not seeing his 1994 season on the list. You remember, the season he flirted with .400, until Baseball Economics intervened? Dave Winfield’s 1979 season (.308, 34 HR, 119 RBI, 97 Runs) gets the second OF spot. And the final spot goes to 1990′s Bip Roberts (.309, 44 SB). Yeah I know. I’ve got a soft spot for the Bipper.
So those are my choices. Check out the Padres website and let me know who you would pick as the Padres 9 best.