When the Chargers left San Diego in January 2017, a part of the city’s history was lost. All the shops that had Chargers gear sat dormant and unbought. A Lot of San Diego Ins were not happy their beloved team was gone. The only team that was left in town was the Padres. The Padres always played second fiddle in the city as away fans dominated the seats in the ballpark. When the LA Dodgers came to town, it was more like a home game for the away team. Well, in 2019, things started to change.
A plethora of youth was starting to build something special in San Diego. At the end of the 2019 season, San Diego had a record of 72-90. The last-place finish doesn’t sound promising but a lot of their prospects got a chance to play and grow. Going into the 2020 season, the Padres were set up to surprise a lot of people. In mid-March of that year, spring training was stopped by what we all remember, COVID-19. Major League baseball was at a crossroads if they were even going to have a 2020 baseball season. The players union and MLB were struggling to find a deal that would work for both sides to get a season in. It was decided they would play a 60 game season and only get paid a small percentage of their salaries.
Shortstop, Fernando Tatis, took the league by storm in the 2020 season for the Padres. He changed the whole complexity of the franchise in one season. Tatis hit 17 home runs and drove in 45 RBI’s. He was named on the 2020 All-MLB team and also won the Silver Slugger award. The Padres made the playoffs and were a couple of plays going their way away from making the World Series. Coming into the 2021 season, The Padres organization made some huge off-season moves. Trading for both Yu Darvish and Blake Snell sent a huge statement to the whole league they are for real.
On February 17th, the Padres made what seemed like a lifetime commitment to Fernando Tatis, signing him to a 14-year $340 million deal. This sends another clear message that the organization doesn’t want him to play in another uniform for the rest of his career. Going back to the start of this article, San Diego as a sports city was lost in 2017. Now in 2021, the San Diego Padres have given the city a new hope to get back to the championship level the Chargers once had.