2. Joe Randa
Some Padres fans might be thinking…who? In 2006, he was in his last year in the big leagues. He had just played with the Padres in 2005 and hit .256 in 58 games. He then signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he would end his solid 12-year career where he collected over 1,500 hits.
A year after leaving San Diego, he came into town with the Pirates and altered Padres history forever. On September 22, 2006 the Padres had Chris Young on the mound. The Friars were in the middle of a heated NL West race. The Pirates were over 20 games below .500.
Young started the game with 5 perfect innings and 4 strikeouts. In the 6th, he walked one batter but remained un-hit. He then retired the next 8 batters in a row. Young was taking a no-hitter into the 9th inning at home. The Padres have never had a no-hitter in their franchise’s 37 years up to that point.
The 9th inning started with Ryan Doumit lining out to right fielder Brian Giles. He was two outs from a no-hitter. He then walked Jose Bautista. The Padres were well in control with a 6-0 lead so manager Bruce Bochy was going to let history play out.
Then 36 year-old Joe Randa pinch-hit for the pitcher’s spot. He faced a Padres pitcher two outs away from a no-hitter. Perhaps he would ground into a double play to give the Padres their first one. Randa had other ideas. On a 3-1 pitch, Randa lined a pitch over the centerfield wall, ending Young’s and all of San Diego’s hope for a no-hitter. The Padres would eventually win 6-2 but the ballpark was somewhat solemn after the game despite the victory.
There were so many “what-ifs” to consider after that game. What if the Padres had kept Randa after the 2005 season? What if he didn’t fall behind 3-1 in the count? That would be Randa’s last career home run, spoiling a no-hitter with one out in the 9th at Petco Park.
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