How they came to be called the Padres

December 1st, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres became a Major League franchise in 1969, but the San Diego Padres were in existence long before then.

In fact, the Padres' first season came in 1936 in the Pacific Coast League after Hollywood Stars owner Bill Lane opted to move his team to San Diego.

Lane did so because he shared a stadium with the Angels in the PCL, and his rent was being raised. Instead of paying it, Lane built a stadium on the waterfront in downtown San Diego and gave birth to a new team -- a team that would carry its moniker into the Major Leagues and the 21st century.

As for the “Padres” moniker, it's a tribute to the city's history. It was the Franciscan Friars -- Father Junípero Serra and Don Caspar de Portolá -- who founded the first Spanish colony in southern California.

Padre,” of course, is Spanish for “Father” or “Friar” and the name stems directly from the priests who established the first Spanish Missions in California in 1769. Casually, the Padres are often referred to as “the Friars.” Their mascot is the “Swinging Friar,” and several team logos throughout history -- including one current iteration -- features a sandal-clad Friar swinging a bat.