The A's moved to Oakland in 1968, the Padres were established in 1969, and I was born in 1972, so I'm going to skip the 60's and kick things off with the 70's...
Favorite Athletic of the 70's: Joe Rudi
This was a much more challenging task than I anticipated. I might have attended games at the Coliseum during the 70's, but I honestly don't remember rooting for specific players until the 80's. So I utilized Baseball Reference and after analyzing statistics, I was impressed with Rudi's all-around game. He was able to hit for average and power, was solid in the field, and hit a home run for the A's on the day I was born.
Favorite Padre of the 70's: Rollie Fingers
1978 Topps #140
I didn't start rooting for the Padres until the mid 80's, but if I had been a fan of them in the 70's, I think Rollie would have been my favorite player. He had been successful with my other favorite team and rocked the coolest mustache in the game. Plus I eventually discovered a few years later that he was my buddy's uncle.
Favorite Athletic of the 80's and 90's: Rickey Henderson
1984 Topps #230
1991 Topps #670
Before Tony Gwynn, Rickey was my favorite baseball player. In fact, he's a big reason I fell in love with the sport. His tenure with the team could be described as sporadic, but when he was here... he was my favorite.
Favorite Padre of the 80's, 90's, and 00's: Tony Gwynn
1985 Topps #660
1993 Topps #5
2002 Topps #99
He's my favorite athlete of all-time... and I rooted for him from the mid 80's until he hung up his cleats at the end of the 2001 season.
Favorite Athletic of the 00's and 10's: Kurt Suzuki
2008 Topps #226
2010 Topps #285
Kurt Suzuki started playing right around the same time I really started embracing my heritage. It's as if the stars were aligned. Even though he hasn't played with the Athletics in over six years, he's still one of my favorite players in the game.
Favorite Padre of the 10's: Fernando Tatis Jr.
2019 Topps #410
I realize this might be a head-scratcher to most of you, since Fernando has only played one season in San Diego. But he's the first Padre in nearly a decade that I'm excited to collect cards of. I think the last guy was Heath Bell and it's been a long time since he sprinted out to the mound wearing a Padres uniform.
Well those are my picks for my two favorite teams. Now it's your turn...
Who are your favorite players from your favorite team(s) for each decade?
I look forward to reading your responses.
Happy Thursday and sayonara!