San Diego Padres Team Picture 1980 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 1, 2017

2017-04-11 07.50.51

When the Padres went to take their team picture, they evidently turned it into a field trip.

Evidently the Padres went to the zoo.

I am not 100% sure what the thought process was here, but it looks like the good folks at the Padres front office thought it would reflect the city of San Diego well if they took their Padres to the zoo for a pic. So with former A’s stars Rollie Fingers and Gene Tenace on the club, we got to see elephants in the background.

I actually feel for the Padres sitting in the front row on bales of hay while dressed in their brown and yellow uniforms. They almost blend in.

While it is a 1980 card, the picture shows the 1979 squad, which is a strange team when you think about it.

That squad, led by manager Roger Craig (who would lead the Giants to the World Series 10 years later) had an uninspiring 68-93 record. They did not contend that year, in fact the last day they were over .500 was on April 5 when they were 1-0.

And yet this utterly forgettable team included future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith and Gaylord Perry, who won the 1978 Cy Young Award. Also former Cy Young winner Randy Jones plus former World Series MVPs Gene Tenace and Micky Lolich all suited up and went to the zoo that year.

Despite all that star power, there was not much to cheer for in San Diego that year. In 1980, as depicted on this card, broadcaster Jerry Coleman took over as manager. They would improve by 10 games under his leadership but alas they were still a losing club.

Frank Howard would replace Coleman who went back to calling the games.

Winfield and Fingers are pretty recognizable in the back row of the picture. They are in front of the elephants.