This is Part 2 of a 13-part series examining the 65 men who have collected exactly one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres. The current installment includes three pitchers (one taken just after Randy Jones in the draft, one traded for Gary Sheffield, one acquired for Sean Burroughs), a pinch-hitter who also scored two runs for the Padres in oddly similar ways, and an outfielder I once compared to Ruben Rivera but who went on to have a nice career anyway.
Pos: RHP Years: 1980 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .200 15
Four picks after the Padres selected left-hander Randy Jones in the fifth round of the 1972 June draft, Montreal tabbed Blair. He shot through the Expos farm system and won 11 games for the big club as a 20-year-old rookie in 1974. Blair slipped the following season and by ’76 found himself back in the minors.
Acquired by San Diego in June 1979 for the excellently named Randy Fierbaugh, Blair made four relief appearances and one start for Jerry Coleman’s Padres in 1980. In his final big-league contest, on July 4 of that year, Blair relieved Eric Rasmussen. With his team down, 5-0, in the third, Blair singled to right field off southpaw Larry McWilliams. On the pitching side, Blair didn’t fare so well, serving up homers to Bob Horner, Dale Murphy, and the last batter he would face in the big leagues, Gary Matthews, whose son later was drafted by and played for the Padres.
Pos: RHP Years: 1991 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 11 13 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 5 .077 .200 .077 -20
The Padres signed Bones out of Puerto Rico in May 1986. Like his successors, Justin Germano and Josh Geer, Bones won in the minors without overpowering stuff and despite pedestrian strikeout rates. Outside of a stellar 1994 campaign (10-9, 3.43 ERA, 148 ERA+), Bones didn’t have a distinguished career, going 63-82 with a 4.85 ERA (95 ERA+) over parts of 11 seasons.
On September 13, 1991, at Candlestick Park, Bones blanked the Giants for six innings, as the Padres won a laugher, 13-2. (His catcher, fellow Puerto Rican Benito Santiago, went 5-for-5 with a double, a home run, and 5 RBI.) Bones’ hit came in the fourth inning. With his team up, 9-0, he legged out a grounder to deep second base off left-hander Kelly Downs.
Although Bones never collected another hit for the Padres, he would play an integral role in shaping the franchise’s future. On March 26, 1992, the Padres traded him, along with outfielder Matt Mieske and shortstop Jose Valentin, to Milwaukee for third baseman Gary Sheffield. After flirting with the Triple Crown in ’92, Sheffield would be traded the following year to Florida for an unknown young reliever named Trevor Hoffman.
Pos: PH Years: 2004 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 9 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 .143 .333 .143 36
The Seattle Mariners picked Bragg in the 22nd round of the 1991 draft, a class that also netted them future Padres Shawn Estes and Desi Relaford. Bragg spent parts of 11 big-league seasons with nine different teams (he’s also a one-hit wonder for the Yankees). His career highlight is being traded in 1996 from Seattle to Boston for ageless southpaw Jamie Moyer, who magically transformed from a 33-year-old journeyman pitcher into the second coming of Jim Kaat (or third coming of Burleigh Grimes, if you prefer):
IP W-L ERA Before Bragg trade 1206.2 66-77 4.50 After Bragg trade 2813.2 201-127 4.12
San Diego signed Bragg as a free agent on July 4, 2004. He spent 16 glorious days in a Padres uniform and never once played a defensive position for them. Bragg’s lone hit came the day he signed. With his new team up, 6-0, in the seventh inning, he grounded a pinch-hit single to second base off Kansas City (and ex-Padre) right-hander Rudy Seanez. Interestingly (or not), Bragg scored two runs during his brief stay in San Diego — both after drawing ninth-inning walks against the Rockies’ Shawn Chacon.
Pos: RHP Years: 2006 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 9 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 .250 .500 .250 93
Taken with the third pick in the 2001 draft (after Joe Mauer and Mark Prior, before Gavin Floyd and Mark Teixeira), Brazelton spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues, going 8-25 with a 6.38 ERA (69 ERA+). Among his most similar pitchers was another former Padres right-hander, the equally forgettable Carlton Loewer. After wearing out his welcome in Tampa, Brazelton came to the Padres in exchange for third baseman, a first-round flop in his own right. The trade benefited neither team, as each player had fewer than 10 big-league games remaining in his career.
On April 13, in his second Padres start (and final MLB start), Brazelton coughed up eight runs in four innings at Florida and took the loss. In the second inning, though, he lined a double deep to left field off Marlins’ southpaw Jason Vargas, driving home Adrian Gonzalez.
Brazelton made a few more relief appearances for the Padres before being shipped out to Triple-A Portland in mid-May. He spent 2007 in the Pirates and Royals organizations, 2008 on the sidelines, and 2009 pitching for Camden of the independent Atlantic League, where his teammates included former Padres Tom Davey, Jon Knott, and Brian Lawrence.
Pos: OF Years: 2001 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 13 14 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 .071 .133 .071 -42
You know you’ve been blogging about the Padres a long time when you actually had an opinion about Brown’s signing at the time it happened:
Looks to me like the Padres just picked up a [Ruben] Rivera clone with less power, worse strike-zone judgment,and almost certainly worse defense.
On the plus side, Brown wasn’t clueless on the bases, didn’t take things from others, and had a productive career that bore strong resemblance to that of the aforementioned Bragg (below lines are per 162 games):
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS+ Bragg 435 60 111 26 2 8 46 54 101 10 4 .255 .340 .381 84 Brown 493 65 127 25 3 13 71 43 103 11 3 .258 .323 .398 89
Brown’s lone hit for the Padres came against the Angels in Anaheim on July 17. Starting in center field and batting seventh, Brown began the second inning with a single to center off left-hander Scott Schoeneweis. After stealing second (Brown swiped two bags in his Padres career), he scored on a Rickey Henderson single. That gave the Padres a 2-0 lead they later would extend to 7-2 before Tom Davey imploded. The Angels ended up winning, 8-7, when Trevor Hoffman walked Shawn Wooten with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded. It was a tough way to lose a game, but that’s the price one pays for starting Wiki Gonzalez at DH and Alex Arias at first base.