Williams, Caminiti to be inducted to Padres Hall of Fame

Legendary hitter a member of Pacific Coast League Padres

May 5th, 2016

Ted Williams and Ken Caminiti will be inducted posthumously into the Padres Hall of Fame this summer, the club revealed on Thursday.

Williams, a Baseball Hall of Famer, was a San Diego native who played with the Pacific Coast League Padres before making it to the Red Sox. He will be inducted on July 1, in conjunction with the grand opening of the new Padres Hall of Fame, which will debut that day behind the left-field seating area at Petco Park.

Williams, who died in 2002, was born in San Diego and graduated from the city's Herbert Hoover High School. At age 17, he signed with the Padres during the club's inaugural 1936 season in the Pacific Coast League and batted .271 over 42 games. He hit .291 with 23 home runs over 138 games the next year, helping the Padres to the PCL championship before signing with the Red Sox.

By 1939, Williams was in Boston, starting a 19-year career that included a .344 average and 521 home runs, despite the time he spent serving in both World War II and the Korean War.

Caminiti, a former Padres third baseman, will be inducted on Aug. 6 during a special pregame ceremony as part of the Padres Hall of Fame weekend. A switch-hitter, Caminiti played 557 games for San Diego between 1995-98 and batted .295 with 121 home runs and 396 RBIs. During that span, he made two All-Star teams, won three National League Gold Glove Awards and was voted NL MVP in '96, when he smacked 40 homers and drove in 130 runs. The Padres qualified for the postseason twice with Caminiti and made it to the World Series in '98.

Caminiti also played for the Astros, Braves and Rangers over a 15-year career that ended in 2001, finishing with 239 homers and 983 RBIs. He died in 2004 at the age of 41.

"In their own distinctive ways, Williams and Caminiti played pivotal roles in the story of the Padres," said longtime Padres beat writer and current team historian Bill Center, in a statement. "Ted went straight from Hoover High to Lane Field to become a member of the original Padres in 1936. He returned to San Diego in the 1990s, where he developed a close friendship with Padres legend Tony Gwynn. He also lent his time to the campaign to build a new downtown ballpark for San Diego -- what is today Petco Park. Six decades after Williams helped get the Padres started, Caminiti, in production and persona, became the on- and off-field leader of the Padres as the franchise's only player to ever win the NL's Most Valuable Player award."

Caminiti and Williams were chosen by the Padres' front office, along with the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and local sports media. They will be the 12th and 13th members of the Padres Hall of Fame, which was created in 1999, joining Randy Jones (inducted 1999), Nate Colbert ('99), Ray Kroc ('99), Dave Winfield (2000), Jerry Coleman ('01), Buzzie Bavasi ('01), Gwynn ('02), Dick Williams ('09), Trevor Hoffman ('14), Benito Santiago ('15) and Garry Templeton ('15).