Far be it from me to tout a good deed by the hated Padres, but the baseball organization took it upon themselves to donate uniforms to local Little League chapters within a 10-mile radius of the Padres home stadium of Petco Park. The Padres did have slightly selfish reasons for the donation:
The uniform program is the brainchild of Padres president and COO Tom Garfinkel, who came up with the idea last year during a Little League promotion at Petco Park. “We had about 8,000 Little Leaguers doing a parade around the warning track before the game, and it occurred to me that almost none of them were wearing Padres jerseys,” he recalls. “They had jerseys sponsored by local businesses, jerseys from other teams. And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if they were all Padres?’” So Garfinkel and his staff made it so.
Leagues had the choice of 20 past and present jerseys and it was left up to the individual league to determine the order by which each team in the league would select their uniform. Not surprisingly, the four current uniform designs (home whites, road grays, blue alternates, and camouflage alternates) were among the top six choices and the camouflage unis were the most popular (and they are pretty cool uniforms). These uniforms weren’t cheap knock-offs either; they were manufactured by Majestic, the official supplier for all MLB teams. A total of 11,600 uniforms were handed out to over 800 T-ball, baseball and softball teams.
The problem was that all the teams were now named the Padres; so how do you announce which team is playing against which team?
“You can’t just say, ‘The Padres are playing the Padres,’” says Bruce Bourdon, another local league administrator. “And we didn’t want to name the teams after the coaches – Bruce’s Padres against Paul’s Padres, or whatever. So instead we’re saying, ‘It’s 1972 home against 1984 road.’”