1969: Padres Suffer First Loss in Franchise History

April 11, 1969, San Diego: Giants 8, Padres 0 (box score)

After a three-game sweep of Houston to open their inaugural season, the Padres welcomed the Giants to town. Led by future Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, and rising young star Bobby Bonds, the Giants had won 88 games the previous season, good for second place in the National League. Still, fewer than 16,000 people came out to San Diego Stadium on this Friday evening.

Unfortunately for the Padres, the game ended almost before it began. McCovey and Dick Deitz each drove in first-inning runs to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead. This proved to be more than enough for southpaw Ray Sadecki, who spun a six-hit shutout for San Francisco.

Mays knocked a two-out solo homer to left in the fourth, and Bonds drove in two runs for the visitors. The Padres, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going. The only batter to enjoy any success against Sadecki was left fielder Tony Gonzalez, who singled twice and doubled in four trips to the plate.

Rookie Clay Kirby (ninth best starting pitcher in club history according to the Ducksnorts 2007 Baseball Annual) surrendered four runs in four innings. On this night, Kirby suffered the first of his 20 losses.

As a team, the Padres suffered the first of their 23 shutouts on the season. Their record now stood at 3-1, good enough for second place in the NL West, one game back of the Braves.

Trivia: Jerry DaVanon, who flied to right field as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, is the father of SDSU alum and former Angels outfielder Jerry Jeff DaVanon.

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2 Responses »

  1. Geoff, Jerry DaVanon is the father of Jeff DaVanon (not sure why he misspelt his son’s name though ;-)

  2. Thanks, Pat, for the catch. I shouldn’t try to proofread that late at night!