During the dog days of summer, in August of 1972, the last place San Diego Padres and first baseman Nate Colbert were set to face the Atlanta Braves at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The team, still in its infancy, were in the midst of a long road trip, and had a scheduled double-header on tap. Colbert, who had come to the Padres via the Houston Astros in the 1969 Expansion Draft, was initially asked by Padres’ Manager Don Zimmer if he wanted the day off. Colbert declined. The rest became part of baseball and Padres history.
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In the third inning, after a walk to Roberts and a single to center by Stahl, Colbert singled, scoring Roberts and giving him four RBI.
In the seventh, Colbert homered again, this time off of the Braves’ Mike McQueen, to give him two home runs and five RBI for the game.
The Padres, whose record stood at 38-59, would go on to win the first game 9-0.
In the second game, in the second inning, with the Padres leading 2-0, Colbert came up with the bases loaded, thanks to two walks and a Roberts’ single, and hit his third home run of the day, a grand slam, off of Pat Jarvis. With the Padres up 7-0, Colbert had three home runs and had driven in nine, in 11 innings.
In the seventh inning, after a Larry Stahl single, Colbert hit his fourth home run of the day off of Jim Hardin, giving him 11 RBI between the two games.
Finally, with two outs in the ninth and Stahl again on base, Colbert hit his fifth home run off Cecil Upshaw, helping to lead the Padres to a 11-7 victory. His five home runs tied Hall of Famer Stan Musial’s 1954 double-header record and his 13 RBI established a Major League record that still stands today.
“I was shocked when I hit the fifth one,” Colbert told the Associated Press’ Tom Emory. “I told the umpire at second (Bruce Froemming), ‘I don’t believe this.’ “He said, ‘I don’t either.’”
Colbert, a three-time All-Star (all with San Diego), would go on to play in 866 games between 1969 and 1974 for the Padres, drive in 481 runs, and hit 163 home runs — a team record that has yet to be broken, and give the team its first legitimate star.
Runner Up: LaMaar Hoyt Named 1985 All-Star Game MVP.
Hoyt, who joined the Padres in 1985, gave up one run in three innings to help lead the National League to a 6-1 victory. Seven Padres made the National League squad that year, thanks mainly to Dick Williams, who was the manager as a result of the team’s 1984 National League Championship. Tony Gwynn, Steve Garvey, Craig Nettles, Terry Kennedy and Hoyt all started the game.
Hoyt, who came to the Padres from the White Sox in exchange Ozzie Guillen, Tim Lollar, Bill Long and Luis Salazar, went on to finish 16-8 with 3.47 ERA. The 1983 Cy Young Award winner went 8-11 in 1986 before drug possession charges sidelined his career for good.