10 players you forgot were Padres

December 1st, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Baseball legacies are a strange thing.

So many players are inextricably linked with one specific team, yet their career paths tell another story. Tony Gwynn may have been a lifelong Padre. But Trevor Hoffman was once a Marlin and a Brewer. Randy Jones was a Met.

That isn't how those San Diego legends are remembered, of course. And to that end, the Padres have seen their share of famous players who only made pit stops in San Diego. Here's a look at 10 big-name stars that you may have forgotten played for the Friars.

Greg Maddux, 2007-08
Maddux is, without question, one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the sport. But the fact is: In 60 starts for the Padres at the end of his career, he was pretty ordinary. Maddux posted a 4.07 ERA for San Diego with a 20-20 record. He did, however, reach a rather significant milestone in San Diego. On May 10, 2008, Maddux became the ninth pitcher in history to reach 350 wins. He was traded to the Dodgers that August and would retire after the season.

Mike Piazza, 2006
Piazza is famously a "remember when" guy for the Florida Marlins, with whom he spent eight days before being dealt to the Mets. His stint with the Padres lasted a full season, but it's mostly been forgotten nationally. Piazza, playing as an everyday catcher at 37 years old, put forth a pretty impressive season for the 2006 National League West champs. He batted .283/.342/.501 with 22 homers -- still a franchise record for a catcher. In Piazza's final taste of October baseball, he went 1-for-10.

Miguel Tejada, 2010
The 2010 Padres spent most of the season atop the NL West. In an attempt to solidify their position, they landed Tejada at the Trade Deadline for Minor Leaguer Wynn Pelzer. Tejada was solid, though unspectacular, in San Diego. He joined the 300 home run club with a two-run blast off Ted Lilly on Sept. 22. But the Padres would let a late division lead slip away, and nearly a decade later, that Trade Deadline is remembered for a different move: The Padres sent pitching prospect Corey Kluber to Cleveland in a three-team deal that netted them Ryan Ludwick.

Vinny Castilla, 2006
As a Mexican baseball icon, Castilla is revered in Baja California and into San Diego. He's best known for his time with the Rockies, but the Oaxaca native spent 72 games with the Padres in 2006. A 38-year-old third baseman at the time, Castilla struggled with the Friars, hitting .232/.260/.319 before he was released in mid-July. Castilla would sign with Colorado in August, and he played 15 games there, fittingly finishing his career with the Rockies.

Anthony Rizzo, 2011
Padres fans are well aware that Rizzo was once the first baseman of the future in San Diego. That's a lesser-known fact nationally. As a 21-year-old, Rizzo played 49 games for the Friars in 2011. He launched his first career home run in his third game -- a towering drive off Washington's in early June. That was the only home run he'd ever hit for the Friars. After batting .141 for the season, Rizzo was dealt to the Cubs for right-hander in one of the more lopsided deals in recent memory.

Bret Boone, 2000
Boone is best remembered for his monster 2001 season on a Mariners team that won 116 games. He batted .331, drove in 141 runs and finished third in MVP voting. Few remember where he spent the previous year. A somewhat light-hitting second baseman, Boone arrived in San Diego from Atlanta in a trade, along with Ryan Klesko. After posting a .747 OPS for a Padres team that finished 12 games below .500, he became a free agent and signed with Seattle.

Fernando Rodney, 2016
Among the 10 teams Rodney has played for, his most dominant stint -- at least by the numbers -- came during his brief time in San Diego. Rodney was downright unhittable for three months, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. He allowed just 13 hits in 28 2/3 innings, and his only earned run came courtesy of a fluke hop off the first-base bag. (Otherwise, he'd have broken a 41-year franchise record.) On June 30, Rodney was dealt to the Marlins for righty prospect Chris Paddack. But he'd make his return to Petco Park a week and a half later -- as an All-Star.

Derek Bell, 1993-94
Bell is best known for his time in Houston as a member of the "Killer B's" alongside Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. But he arrived in San Diego before the 1993 season in a trade with Toronto, then posted some excellent numbers in two seasons for the Padres. Bell hit .284 with 35 homers in his 258 games there. Following the strike-shortened '94 campaign, Bell was sent to Houston in a blockbuster 12-player trade that ultimately helped spring both clubs to success. The Padres got the better of it though, landing Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley, who would play pivotal roles on two NL West champion teams over the next four years.

Cliff Floyd, 2009
Floyd played an important role on the 2008 Rays, who made a surprise run to the World Series. The following offseason, he signed a one-year deal with San Diego. His move to the National League seemed odd from the start, given that Floyd's defensive abilities had steeply declined. Injuries only made matters worse. Floyd missed the first two months with shoulder and knee ailments. Then, after hitting .125 without an extra-base hit in June, he landed back on the DL with a torn labrum. Floyd was released that offseason, and he wouldn't play again.

Fred Lynn, 1990
Everyone remembers Lynn's record-breaking rookie season with Boston in 1975. Few remember the final season of his career in San Diego. Coming off two poor years in Detroit, Lynn signed with the Padres on a one-year deal. In an outfield with Tony Gwynn, Joe Carter and Bip Roberts (who batted .309 that year), playing time was scarce for Lynn. In parts of 90 games, the 38-year-old Lynn posted a somewhat respectable .240/.315/.357 slash line in his final season.