• Steve Potter

6/22/2020 - Phillies Minor League History - The San Diego Padres


Time Period - 1966 to 1968


Venues : Westgate Park & San Diego Stadium


City : San Diego, CA


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Franchise History :


The San Diego Padres franchise began in 1936 however the franchise history has ties to multiple cities ... it began in Sacramento,CA in 1903, moved to Tacoma,WA for one year before coming back to Sacramento the following year. In 1914 they moved to San Francisco, CA ... then to Salt Lake City,UT as the Bees in 1915 ... then on to Los Angeles,CA as the Hollywood Stars in 1926 and eventually to San Diego,CA in 1936 🥴.


They began play that year as a member of the Pacific Coast League at Lane Field which was a waterfront stadium newly built by the City for their use. In 1958 C. Arnholt Smith purchased the team and built a new field ( Westgate Park ) and moved the club there ... he was the owner of the team when it won a bid for NL expansion in 1967. Smith became the initial owner of the Padres NL when they took the field in 1969. The minor league team’s rights and placement in the Pacific Coast League were sold by Smith and moved to Eugene,OR when the Major League Padres began play ... the Phillies already had an affiliation in Eugene as a short season club - the Emeralds ... they moved that franchise up to AAA status with the transfer of rights.


From 1936 to 1968 the Padres had the following affiliations as a member of the Pacific Coast League :


1936 - Boston Red Sox

1937 to 1948 & 1952 to 1956 - Independent

1949 to 1951 & 1957 to 1959 - Cleveland Indians

1960 to 1961 - Chicago White Sox

1962 to 1965 - Cincinnati Reds

1966 to 1968 - Philadelphia Phillies


The Padres remain as a long standing member of Major League Baseball.


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The Stadiums the Phillies teams played in :


Westgate Park :


Location: 7227 Friars Road.

Capacity: 8,200 (1958)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 320-410-320


The park was built in 1958 and was named for team owner C. Arnholt Smith's Westgate Packing Corporation. It was built by Smith with private funds to replace the previous residence of the Padres - Lane Field which had served as home since 1936. The grandstand was completely roofed, and the grounds were graced by trees, shrubs, flowers and tropical plants.


It was razed following the 1958 season and became the site of the Fashion Valley Shopping Center.

San Diego Stadium :


Location: 9449 Friars Road.

Capacity: 59,192 (1988); 46,510 (1995)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 327-405-327 (1995)


Jack Murphy, a local San Diego sportswriter drummed up support for an all purpose stadium in the early 1960’s ... his efforts came to fruition in November of 1965 when a $27 million bond was passed. Construction began that December and the field opened for play on August 20, 1967 when the San Diego Chargers hosted an NFL game.


The Padres ( Phillies affiliate ) AAA club played their 1968 season in the stadium setting the stage for the National League expansion Padres in 1969. After Jack Murphy passed away in 1980 the stadium was renamed in his memory.


The Padres moved to Petco Park in downtown San Diego in 2004. Jack Murphy Stadium was renamed Qualcomm Stadium in 1997 and in 2017 became San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) Stadium. It remains as the home of the San Diego State Aztecs football team.


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The Seasons :


1966


Pacific Coast League (AAA) ... Manager : Frank Lucchesi ... 82-75 , 5th place ... Attendance: 173,607.


31 year old RHP Dallas Green went 14-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 26 starts ( 184 IP - 11 complete games ) and 23 year old LHP Grant Jackson went 10-8 in 23 starts ( 134 IP - 7 complete games ) with a 3.96 ERA ... Grant would play in 18 major league seasons from 1965 to 1982 with the Phillies, Orioles, Yankees, Pirates, Expos and Royals.


1967


Pacific Coast League (AAA) ... Manager : Bob Skinner ... 85-63 , 1st place - East Division ... Attendance: 250,537. League Champions - Defeated Spokane Indians in Championship Series


27 year old infielder Rick Joseph was named league MVP ... he hit 24 home runs, drove in 96 runs ( led league ) and hit .300 in 520 AB’s ... he also led the league in total bases ( 250 ). He would play parts of 5 major league seasons ( 1964, 1967 to 1970 ) with the KC A’s and the Phillies.


31 year old RHP John Tsitouris went 17-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 28 starts ( 14 complete games ) accounting for 195 IP ... he pitched in the big leagues for 11 seasons with the Tigers, KC A’s and Reds.


1968


Pacific Coast League (AAA) ... Managers : Bob Skinner & Bobby Klaus ... 76-70 , 2nd place - East Division ... Attendance: 203,369.


A couple of 21 year olds ... Outfielder Larry Hisle and Infielder Don Money each hit .303 ... Hisle in 267 AB’s with 6 homers, 26 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Money hit 26 doubles and 9 homers with 59 RBIs in 482 AB’s.


Hisle played in 14 big league seasons from 1968 to 1982 with the Phillies, Brewers and Twins ... Money played in 16 big league seasons from 1968 to 1983 with the Phillies and Brewers and 29 games in Japan during the 1984 season.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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