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The Padres create a “Selig Hall of Fame Plaza” outside of Petco Park for some reason

Aug 28, 2014, 8:51 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

I’ve been pretty out front in arguing that Bud Selig’s tenure as Commissioner of Baseball has been a successful one. At least (a) if you measure him by what his actual job is and not what you wish it was; and (b) if you measure him against his predecessors.

But even if you do that and even if, like me, you come to the conclusion that Selig has been a success, it’s not like success as Commissioner is the sort of thing that the masses are likely to celebrate. The Padres seem to have missed that:

On yet another sun-kissed day in paradise, the Padres honored Selig with a dedication ceremony of the Selig Hall of Fame Plaza at Petco Park, which sits behind the Western Metal Supply Building, next to 13 palm trees, waving gently in the breeze during the 20-minute ceremony . . . the area will serve as a home to the Padres Hall of Fame and eventually statues in the plaza to honor Padres greats as well as a plaque to honor Selig, not just for his overall achievements to baseball during his 22-year tenure as Commissioner but the specific accomplishment of helping to keep baseball afloat in San Diego.

The Padres, it seems, have the same disconnect regarding Selig that fans who think he’s awful do: they think he’s a leader of of people apart from 30 baseball owners. They’re treating him like a statesman or a political figure when, in fact, he’s the head of a board of directors. A CEO of a business. A business that, to be fair, a lot of us patronize, but which in terms of revenues is not all that far north of the Dollar Tree stores. I don’t think Bob Sasser, the CEO of Dollar Tree, Inc., is getting plazas named after him on the sidewalk out side any Dollar Tree outlets these days.

Just another example of the weird relationship between sports and the public. A relationship in which sports are treated like public institutions and their leaders are somehow considered something other than business people. The same thing that goes into making a public plaza honoring Bud Selig is what goes into governments and tax payers giving them money to build ballparks or courts immunizing them from the same laws every other business has to follow. This impulse has always baffled me.

Let us praise Bud Selig for the things he has done. And let him have his statue in Milwaukee because, after all, he did bring baseball to Milwaukee. But let us have perspective too. He’s an executive. He’s not an athlete people loved to watch like Tony Gwynn. He’s not a war hero like Ted Williams. He’s not a statesman like some mayor, president or governor. He’s an executive of a moderately-sized business. Nothing more. Why he gets a plaza in San Diego is beyond me.

  1. sdelmonte - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Could be worse. At least they aren’t adding a David Stern Pavilion at Petco.

    • chiadam - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      This is clearly about you not liking the NBA, since networks aired the NBA Finals on tape delay when Stern took over. Look where it is now. He slaughters Selig in every possible way, shape and form. It’s not even a contest.

      • ptfu - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        It’s also about how the NBA and David Stern could not (would not?) stop Donald Sterling from buying the San Diego Clippers, and then moving them to hated LA. Furthermore, the NBA has stayed out of San Diego, so you can hardly blame America’s Finest City for disliking David Stern.

      • sdelmonte - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        No, I was just being silly. I like the NBA plenty, and respect Stern even though I like Silver more so far.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Per the Commish of the Shield and rightfully derogatory comments about him recently, he seems to have gotten the message on domestic violence:

        That said, apparently just deciding this on his own illustrates how dictatorial he is compared to a Selig, or even a just-retired Stern.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      To stick to baseball commissioners, at least it isn’t going to be a Bowie Kuhn Plaza.

      • sdelmonte - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Or a Kennesaw Mountain Landis Mountain.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        That mountain south of Atlanta wasn’t named for him?! Impossible!! /s

  2. tomtravis76 - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Mike Dee sure knows how to pucker up and put that glossy red lipstick on.

    • ptfu - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      If it keeps the revenue sharing dollars flowing in, then he’s doing his job and doing it well.

  3. stratomaticfan - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Does it have a plaque commemorating his declaring the All Star game a tie? Or one for idly standing by as steroids ran rampant? Or for wasting our time with excessive interleague play for the sake of 4 or 5 natural rivalries? How about one for watering down the playoffs beyond belief? One for being too stubborn on instant replay? Sure, the Owners love him as he reigned during fiscal growth for them….but it was all at the cost of the game and the fans. Not sure how any fan of the game liked his tenure.

  4. rasdogsr - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Bud needs to look at the home plate umpire from the San Diego Brewer game Last night. Here some other article about Mark Ripperger:
    Read the article:

    Then will understand way RR complained about setting off the plate 6″ and if the pitcher it the spot it was called a strike

    Also Mark Ripperger grew up in Sand Diego a fan before he went to become a umpire and failed the test the first time. Also bad track record in the minors MLB must have been really needy to him up 2011

  5. SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    The Selig Hall of Fame Plaza?

    Er, Craig?

    Those are lines of porta-potties.

  6. Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Guess he payed them???

    (Well that was mindblowing… :-/ )

  7. icanspeel - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    It went from Palm Plaza to Selig Hall Of Fame Plaza. Not that big of a deal.. although while he was there they kept asking about San Diego getting an all-star game and he kept implying the odds were very good, so one can wonder if it’s related.

    • Bob - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      With Selig, it’s always related. No one gets anything unless there’s a conflict of interest that benefits Selig and/or his cronies. See: Henry, John; Loria, Jeffrey; in the Marlins/Red Sox/Expos deal of long ago.

  8. natstowngreg - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    I believe the technical term is “tone-deaf.”

    Not a Padres fan, but it’s hard to see it not being named Tony Gwynn Hall of Fame Plaza. Ya know, after an actual Hall of Famer. Who actually played for the team. Who is, for those of us not Padres fans, was THE San Diego Padre. I could see Ted Williams as an alternative, as he was from San Diego.

    Yeah, give Bud a plaque, no harm in that. However, if you’re gonna really honor someone for keeping MLB in San Diego, give a statue to Ray Kroc, who kept the Padres from moving to Washington many years ago.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      I am in no way defending the decision to name it Selig Plaza, but Tony Gwynn does already have a large statue in the Park in the Park. The Park is also on Tony Gwynn Drive.

      Although I’m not sure about Ray Kroc’s Hall of Fame status, and know that Hoffman isn’t in yet, I would have preferred the Plaza to be renamed after them. Selig hasn’t done anything above and beyond for the Padres franchise, so it mostly looks like a carrot to get an All-Star Game. Something that honestly should have happened AGES ago… Petco is one of the most beautiful ballparks in America’s most beautiful city… The fact that they haven’t gotten in yet is just more proof that Selig shouldn’t have a Plaza there.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        If you’ve been to St. Louis, you’ll see that there’s absolutely no limit to the number of times that you’re allowed to honor the best player in team history.

        Musial Stadium, which contains 145 statues of Stan Musial, is in the heart of the Musial District. Coming in from the Musial Expressway, take the No. 6 exit to Musial Blvd. Look for the big Musial statue, which is in front of the Musial Bridge.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        That seems like a shame to me. Although Stan is The Man, the Cardinals have a very rich history, and you’d think they’d find more ways honor some of the other great players in their history as well, instead of just focusing more on Musial.

        The Padres don’t have nearly the same history, but there are some other great players they can honor, along with Tony Gwynn.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        18th is being sarcastic, @Asimonetti88.

        The Cardinals Nation and Hall of Fame complex has Cooperstown-like plaques for all Cards inducted into the Cardinals HOF, for example:

        More on just the HOF area:

        And, there’s other statues besides Stan, too:

        Other Cardinals statues that previously surrounded Busch Memorial Stadium are now displayed at the corner of Clark and Eighth streets, outside the Cardinals’ team store. The statues are of former Cardinal players and Hall of Fame inductees Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith; former St. Louis Browns player and Hall of Fame inductee George Sisler; former Negro league St. Louis Stars player and Hall of Fame inductee Cool Papa Bell; and former Cardinals radio broadcaster and Hall of Fame honoree Jack Buck.

      • simon94022 - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        The Padres don’t have nearly the same history, but there are some other great players they can honor, along with Tony Gwynn

        The Bob Owchinko Hall of Fame Plaza!

    • tedwmoore - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      The decision is baffling, and I agree with Craig that this is of one mind with the decision to publicly finance stadiums, but naming the Hall of Fame Plaza after one of its members strikes me as equally strange. Just use some combination of the words “hall”, “fame”, “plaza” and maybe “Padres” or “San Diego”. If you are feeling fancy, sub in pavilion for plaza.

      • chinahand11 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Ted, so typically no one wants the fans input on this. I live in SD and the sports talk radio stations were lit up about this yesterday. No one wants Bud’s name on anything around here.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      What, if anything, is named for Ted Williams there? I agree that naming the plaza for him would be a no-brainer.

  9. term3186 - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    I’m surprised this isn’t happening in Milwaukee given Selig’s history of boning other teams for their benefit. Most significantly/recently see Astros, Houston.

    • Bob - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      One of the two best comments on this thread.

  10. Hard On For Harden - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    How about a statue of Selig at Minute Maid Park taking a piss on to Drayton McLane’s head, which drizzles off and falls onto the city of Houston?

    • Bob - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      Also one of the two best comments on this thread.

      • chinahand11 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Agreed. Those were good ones.

  11. trbmb - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Watch how rapidly the Bud Selig plaque appears in the HOF Gallery. Full speed ahead to Cooperstown arrival. Move over Bowie Kuhn.

  12. zzalapski - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    At first I read that as “Selig Hall of Fame Pizza”, which would’ve made about as much sense.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Thirty slices of pepperoni all in one corner, and Selig has “no idea” how they got there?

    • bbk1000 - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      I read the same thing…..I assume there would be a small button mushroom someplace on the pizza….

  13. onbucky96 - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Please add the statues of Wendy Selig-Prieb and her husband Laurel. San Diego can call the statues Salute to Ineptitude.

  14. Old Gator - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    It will make a nice place for pigeons to defecate. Maybe it will even draw them away from Old Town so I can sit outside at the cafes and enjoy my wet burrito without worrying that something is going to land on it.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      I always thought that ceremonial Selig and a bright light was the Civil Defense signal to duck and cover. Enjoy that irradiated burrito, OG.

  15. Ren - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Could be because history was made at Petco park, 8 years ago… Because of that history bein created, this probably prompt it.

  16. yahmule - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    You guys are too cynical. I’ve seen some of the stuff in here and it’s cool. The best by far is the interactive exhibit where you can actually hear Bud mispronounce Troy Glaus’ name as he hands him the World Series MVP Award, the miserable senile ****.

  17. xpensivewinos - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Just another case study highlighting what a ridiculous, stupid and utterly worthless organization the Padres are.

    Total garbage.

  18. rcali - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    So Padres of them. Always focused on the wrong thing.

  19. dollasnsense - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    This has been a pretty big topic in San Diego the past two days and no one is happy about it. The Union Tribune ran a poll on if people approved/disapproved of the naming of our Hall of Fame Plaza after Bud Selig, and the results came back 97% disapproved. It’s also being said that the Padres did this to move their name up the list for potential future All-Star games, which would be a terrible price to pay for MAYBE getting an All-Star game or two.

    The Padres FO either sold out to Selig and MLB or just grossly underestimated the public backlash this decision would cause (maybe both). Either way, it was a poor and perplexing decision. It may be too late, but I hope they reconsider naming it more appropriately with real San Diego sports icons like Tony Gwynn or Jerry Coleman.

    The Colonel’s Hall of Fame Plaza sounds a lot better than Selig’s Hall of Fame Plaza IMO..

  20. Glenn - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Is this The Onion?

    • tedwmoore - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Well done.

  21. Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Yeah, and the second choice for naming rights was probably Desmond Hague.
    Woof woof.

  22. gloccamorra - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Those palm trees surrounded by a 12 foot brick wall, in the shade of the Western Metal building’s outside stairway, extending under the scoreboard, is a “plaza”? I always thought that’s where the dumpsters were.

    I wouldn’t be too upset: of all the places at Petco that could be called a “plaza”, that’s the smallest, darkest, and least attractive place of all. If that’s the bribe to curry favor and get an All-Star Game, the best they’re gonna get is “runner-up”.

  23. castaluccio - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    The man is the retiring Commissioner of Major League Baseball (Owners), he should get honored. He’s done so much for the owners. And who can forget his solution to a simple issue with regards to the MLB All Star Game?
    Just expand the rosters, Bud. Or, better yet, let both sides use the DH since it’s only an exhibition game and shouldn’t count for anything more than bragging rights. Oh, that’s right, Bud doesn’t like the DH. Much better a pitcher should get hit in the hand while batting or pull a leg muscle while running the bases than MLB use the DH in a meaningless midseason exhibition game.

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