Happy Birthday to the Padres!

May 27 has a special meaning for San Diego baseball fans

With the Padres and Nationals playing a series over Memorial Day weekend on the East Coast I thought you all might like this little history lesson.

Many people don’t realize it but May 27 is quite possibly the most important day in the history of the San Diego Padres.

It was on this day in 1968 that San Diego learned it was going from the Pacific Coast League to the Major Leagues when MLB awarded America’s Finest City with a National League expansion team.

The first owner was C. Arnholt Smith, a San Diego businessman who had to pay $10.5 million (the equivalent of about $71 million in 2017) to get the franchise. It’s actually somewhat fitting that the Padres are in Washington, D.C. for a game on May 27 because that city has a little history with the Friars.

When Smith, the original owner, had financial trouble he was looking to sell and came close to moving the team to our nation’s capital (D.C. had lost the Senators in 1961 when they moved to Minnesota and again in 1971 when they moved to Texas). That’s when the man who was arguably the most important figure in Padres history, Ray Kroc, stepped in to buy the team and keep it in its home city.

The Padres have been entrenched in our town ever since, not winning a championship, but still serving as motivation for the thousands of kids who grew up here watching the game, seeing the best ballplayers on the planet under the lights, and wanting to chase their own big league dreams.

Of course a World Series would still be nice, too.

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