Greatest Padres Sluggers of All-Time
The San Diego Padres have only been a franchise since 1969, but oddly the team's all-time home run leader is Nate Colbert with just 163. The team has fielded some great sluggers over the years, it's just that they haven't played in San Diego long enough to generate too many home runs with the team. Here is a list of the Padres' Top 10 in homers to date:
Nate Colbert (163)-Nate Colbert was one of the original Padres, playing for the team from 1969 to 1974. That means he played during that era of extremely ugly uniforms. But this guy was always a presence at the plate and a threat to hit the long ball. Colbert still leads the Padres' all-time with 163 home runs, and his best season there was 1972, when he hit .250 with 38 homers and 111 runs batted in.
Phil Nevin (156)-Third baseman Phil Nevin had a few really great seasons in San Diego, and played the bulk of his 12-year career there, from 1999 to 2005. Nevin ranks second in Padres' history with 156 homers, and his best season was 2001, when he had career highs in batting average (.306), homers (41), and RBI (126).
Dave Winfield (154)-Slugger Dave Winfield began his career with the Padres and that's what helped him eventually command the big bucks to play for George Steinbrenner in New York. Winfield played for the Padres from 1973 to 1980 and ranks third in team history with 154 home runs. His best season in San Diego was 1979, when Winfield hit .308 with 34 homers and a career best 118 runs batted in.
Tony Gwynn (135)-Tony Gwynn played his entire career in San Diego and posted a career .338 batting average, which ranks him 20th in baseball history. Gwynn played for twenty seasons and was not exactly a power hitter, but his longevity accounts for his place on this list, fourth with 135 career home runs. Gwynn's best season was 1997, when he hit .372 with career highs in homers (17) and RBI (119).
Ryan Klesko (133)-Ryan Klesko was a part of those great Braves' teams of the ‘90's and then went on to play for San Diego for seven seasons, from 2000 to 2006. Klesko ranks fifth in team history with 133 home runs, and his best season in San Diego was 2001, when he batted .286 with 30 homers and 113 RBI (career high).
Ken Caminiti (121)-Third baseman Ken Caminiti played for San Diego for just four seasons, but made them count and ranks sixth in Padres' history with 121 home runs. Caminiti's best season was 1996, when he won the NL MVP with career best numbers in batting average (.326), home runs (40) and RBI (130). Sadly, Caminiti was linked to steroid use, and passed away tragically in 2004 from a heart attack brought on by drug abuse.
Benito Santiago (85)-Benito Santiago was a journeyman catcher who began his career in San Diego and played there from 1986 to 1992. Santiago ranks seventh in the Padres' history with 85 home runs, and his best season there was 1987, when he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award by hitting .300 with 18 homers and 79 RBI.
Fred McGriff (84)-Fred McGriff only played in San Diego in 1991, 1992 and part of 1993. But he ranks eighth for the Padres all-time with 84 homers. McGriff had his best season with San Diego in 1992 when he hit .286 with 35 homers and 104 runs batted in.
Khalil Greene (83)-Shortstop Khalil Greene has been a member of the Padres since 2003 and as I write this in 2008, ranks ninth in Padres' history with 83 home runs. If he sticks around, there's a good chance Greene could move up a bit on this list. His best season so far was 2007, when he batted .254 with 27 home runs and 97 RBI.
Steve Finley (82)-Steve Finley played in the majors for 19 seasons, and four of them were in San Diego, from 1995 to 1998. That means he played on the last Padres' team to reach the World Series, against the Yankees in 1998. Finley is tied for tenth in team history with 82 home runs, and his best season in a Padres' uniform was 1996, when he hit a career high .298 with 30 homers and 95 RBI.
Carmelo Martinez (82)-Carmelo Martinez played for San Diego from 1984 to 1989 and had some of his best years there. He is tied for tenth in Padres' history with Steve Finley, belting 82 homers in his six seasons with the Padres. Martinez' best season for the Padres was 1985, when he hit .253 with 21 home runs and 72 runs batted in.