NOTE: This post was published this morning and inadvertently had a 5/1 date on it, resulting in it being buried several posts down in my blog… Just so nobody missed this, I’m kinda, sorta republishing. The content has not changed… well, OK, except for this note.
It’s almost unintentionally meta… Johnny Grubb seems to be staring at the card’s top banner and saying “Hey, guys, check this out – says here we’re going to Washington!”
You can tell this is an older photo from the noticeable lack of mustard yellow. According to the Hall Of Fame’s “Dressed To The Nines” uniform database, it looks like the photo’s from somewhere between 1969 and 1971. However, Dave Hilton didn’t make his major league debut until September, 1972 and he was drafted in the first round of the January, 1971 draft, which seems to indicate one of three things:
1) He was a spring training invitee in 1971, shortly after being drafted… not out of the question for a bad team like the Padres (The 1970 Padres were 63-99).
2) He was a spring training invitee in 1972 and the team didn’t “go mustard” until the regular season started.
3) This photo is of someone other than Dave Hilton.
I also noticed that the Padres 1974 uniforms differed from their 1973 uniforms… That’s interesting, because why/how/when would they change Padres uniforms if they were on shaky ground and moving to Washington? Maybe the new ownership of 1974 had enough time to change uniforms before the season started. It wasn’t as difficult then, you didn’t have to worry about coordinating with MLB marketing or replica jersey manufacturers.
These days Randy Jones might be considered the third biggest name on this team, after Dave Winfield and Willie McCovey. However, in 1974 Randy would lead the league with 22 losses on a team which went 60-102. But there is truth to the idea that you have to be a halfway-decent pitcher to lose that many games, otherwise they wouldn’t keep trotting you out there.
Randy would finish 2nd in the 1975 Cy Young voting, and would win the 1976 Cy Young. Naturally, after his best days were behind him, he finished his career with the Mets.
If you squat down in the middle of a field, they will come…