San Diego Padres: Way Back Wednesday, Getting On Base

The San Diego Padres have struggled for a long time to get on base, a very long time.

I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded, however, let’s take a look back at some on-base percentage numbers from the San Diego Padres.

  • 2018: .298 (28th)
  • 2017: .299 (30th)
  • 2016: .299 (30th)
  • 2015: .300 (30th)
  • 2014: .292 (30th)
  • 2013: .308 (22nd)
  • 2012: .319 (14th)

It’s been nearly six years since the Padres were not ranked in the bottom third of the league in on-base percentage. The leader of that year’s team (in OBP) was Chase Headley, who posted a .376 OBP, finishing 17th in the league.

While looking through these numbers, a Texas Rangers game is on in the background and Shin-Soo Choo just reached base, again. Choo has now reached base in 42-straight games for the Rangers, as of July 2nd. Naturally, this lead to a little research into the ability of San Diego hitters to produce streaks like this. For this week’s “Way Back Wednesday,” let’s go all the way back to 2002.

Spoiler, the answer isn’t Tony Gwynn.

If you’re like Mark Grant, you love trivia, so here’s a trivia question; who holds the San Diego Padres record for most consecutive games a player has reached base, without an error? As the headline says, the answer isn’t Tony Gwynn.

If you guessed Ryan Klesko, you would be correct! Between April 9th and June 14th, Klesko reached base in 56-straight games, without the help of a fielding error. If we add errors into the equation, Klesko’s streak reaches 57 games, while Tony Gwynn posted a streak of 56-games, back in 1987.

Over the last five years, only two San Diego Padre hitters have streaks of 20-games or more of getting on base (Travis Jankowski and Matt Kemp). For reference, every team in the National League West has at least five players who have reached that threshold within the same time period.

The longest such streak in 2018 belongs to both Eric Hosmer and Christian Villanueva. Both men recorded streaks of 14 games, earlier this season. Even that number may be surprising to a few of you.

Enjoy your holiday, Friar Faithful. Make sure you incorporate the beautiful game of baseball into your festivities.

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