Tim Arzaga has been collecting hats since 2006. By his own admission, it’s a chore to take inventory. It's easy to see why.
“At last count, I have over 1,000 hats. Of Padres alone, currently between 600 and 700,” said Arzaga.
It is truly an extraordinary collection of Padres hats, that includes caps with unique designs, colors, and creations.
Arzaga, 32, is proud to give a show and tell description of his collection.
“What you have here is a denim hat. What you see here is cork and for a little bit of pop, it has a cork under brim.
Arzaga, who can be found on social media @sdhatguy, also gives a nod to Padres history in his collection, which includes prototypes of caps the team could have worn had they moved to Washington DC, in the ’70s.
“Of course, history tells us the Padres could have very well been sold off in the 70s until one Ray Krock saved the franchise,” said Arzaga.
Arzaga says his favorite cap is one that he designed, and has since been manufactured.
“It’s based on the 1976 design of the Padres. It has script in the front, and sparing no detail, we went ahead and opted for the ’76 bicentennial patch on the side,” said Arzaga.
His collection also has a number of hats that might not be approved by purists. Including Padres hats in virtually every color, or the familiar SD logo in traditional Dodger and Giants colors.
“Certainly there are certain hats most people would not go for, and trust me, I have a lot in my collection that are certainly just a little odd ball,” said Arzaga.
While Arzago is certainly one of many Padres fans with high expectations, the season will be emotional on a personal level.
Arzaga’s father, Paul, a serious Padres fan himself, passed away from COVID-19 in January.
“I know my dad will be with me at that moment, and I think a lot of Padres fans are going to feel the same way, having loved ones watch the Padres throughout the years, and just not seeing the success we’ve been wanting all this time. I think we’re all going to share in that, and it’s going to be fantastic when it does happen,” said Arzaga.