Padres Vault: Hoffman's laser double (seriously!)

March 11th, 2022 is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

Aug. 5, 1999: Hoffman's laser double (seriously!)
Before he was "legendary closer Trevor Hoffman" he was "Minor League shortstop Trevor Hoffman" in the Reds' system. Hoffman was converted into a reliever in 1990, and later traded to the Marlins, then the Padres. But he didn't entirely lose his knack for handling a bat. Hoffman was called upon for a four-out save against the Cardinals. When the Padres broke the game open in the top of the ninth, manager Bruce Bochy let Hoffman bat for himself. He shot a two-run double to left, plating Tony Gwynn and Wally Joyner. It would be the fourth and final hit of Hoffman's 18-year career.

April 22, 1996: Caminiti makes ridiculous play at 3B
Ken Caminiti won three Gold Glove Awards and was widely regarded as one of the best third basemen of his era. So, yeah, he made his share of great defensive plays. But none quite like this. Facing the Marlins, Padres right-hander Andy Ashby got Greg Colbrunn to hit a sharp grounder down the line. Caminiti dove to spear the baseball and ended up on his backside. Then, he made an absurd throw across the diamond from a seated position. The glove of first baseman Scott Livingstone hardly moved.

June 26, 1997: Gwynn hustles for inside-the-park grand slam
They're known for hitting grand slams in San Diego. But the only member of Slam Diego to record an inside-the-park homer with the bases loaded? That would be Tony Gwynn -- in a tie game against the rival Dodgers, no less.

Greg Vaughn, Rickey Henderson and Steve Finley had all reached base to open the seventh inning, when Gwynn sent a liner into left field at Dodger Stadium. A sprawling Brett Butler couldn't make the play, and the ball bounded all the way to the wall, leaving Gwynn enough time to scamper around the bases.

July 25, 1998: Hoffman's 41st consecutive save
It would eventually become known as the day Trevor Hoffman entered to AC/DC's "Hells Bells" for the first time. But on July 25, 1998, Hoffman was merely trying to equal Rod Beck's record by converting 41 consecutive save opportunities. He did so by striking out Moises Alou to cap a 6-5 Padres victory over the Astros. (Coincidentally, a day later, it was Alou who ended Hoffman's streak with a game-tying homer in the ninth.)

Oct. 4, 1984: Nettles drives in Gwynn
The Padres' remarkable comeback in the 1984 NLCS is best known for Steve Garvey's walk-off homer in Game 4, followed by San Diego's late rally in a winner-take-all Game 5. But the comeback began with a 7-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 3. Graig Nettles' sixth-inning single chased Cubs starter Dennis Eckersley and plated Tony Gwynn, who had led off the frame with a single.

Sept. 27, 1998: Vaughn gets his 50th
The most prolific power season in Padres history finished with a bang. Sitting on 49 homers, Greg Vaughn waited until his final at-bat of the regular season to reach 50 -- a mark that still stands as the franchise's single-season record. Vaughn hit a laser beam down the left-field line to break a tie with the D-backs in the top of the eighth inning, sending the Padres to their franchise-record 98th win.

Oct. 8, 1998: Brown shuts down Atlanta
In retrospect, Kevin Brown's case for the 1998 NL Cy Young Award was probably a whole lot stronger than the third-place finish he received. But Brown got the last laugh against Braves lefty Tom Glavine, the eventual Cy winner. Brown outdueled Glavine with a three-hit shutout, and the Padres won Game 2 of the 1998 NLCS, 3-0, to take a commanding 2-0 series lead back to San Diego.

Oct. 2, 1987: Santiago extends record streak
To this day, Benito Santiago holds the record for the longest hitting streak by a catcher and by a rookie. The 22-year-old backstop increased that streak to 34 games with an opposite-field double off the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela. Santiago would go 0-for-3 against Orel Hershiser the following day, bringing an end to his remarkable streak.

Sept. 29, 1996: Chris Gwynn's clutch double in '96
The Padres and Dodgers were both already playoff-bound on the final day of the 1996 regular season, but the National League West title hung in the balance when the two met at Dodger Stadium. The division would be decided with a pitchers' duel. The two teams were scoreless headed into the 11th inning, when Chris Gwynn's clutch two-run double gave San Diego the lead. Trevor Hoffman sealed the game and the division crown half an inning later.

Sept. 12, 1998: Hoffman slams door on 1998 NL West
By mid-September 1998, the Padres' standing atop the NL West was no longer in question. It was only a matter of when they'd clinch, and they sure took a dramatic route to doing so. After trailing the Dodgers 7-0, San Diego rallied to take an 8-7 lead, setting the stage for Trevor Hoffman to take the ball in the ninth. Sure enough, Hoffman fanned Matt Luke to seal the division crown for the Padres.

July 19, 1977: Winfield excels at the '77 All-Star Game
The first player to go into the Hall of Fame as a Padre, Dave Winfield reached the first of his 12 All-Star Games in 1977 with the Padres. Perhaps fittingly, it was played at Yankee Stadium (Winfield's future home). The righty-hitting slugger went 2-for-2, including a two-run single in the eighth that proved to be the difference in the game.