Padres Honor Selig With New HOF Plaza At Petco, But Some Question Team's Choice
The Padres yesterday honored MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with a "dedication ceremony of the Selig Hall of Fame Plaza at Petco Park," according to Corey Brock of MLB.com. The area will "serve as a home" to the Padres HOF 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 plaza will be "open year-round to fans." Padres President & CEO Mike Dee said, "We wanted to do something to recognize his contributions here in San Diego because they are unique." San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts declared yesterday as "Bud Selig Day" (MLB.com, 8/26). But in San Diego, Matt Calkins writes under the header, "With Selig Dedication, Padres Whiff Badly." It is clear that the Padres "don't know the fans." One question "seemed to stand out" for many at the game. Padres fan Ben Montoya said of naming the plaza after Selig, "That baffles me." An online poll on the Union-Tribune website shows that 98% "felt the Padres had erred in naming the plaza after Selig." Calkins: "Perhaps it would make sense for his hometown to pay tribute in the most personal of ways. But here in San Diego, where you have two Hall of Famers (Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman) who passed away this calendar year?" Padres Exec Chair Ron Fowler defended the ceremony, saying that Selig was "instrumental in luring" former team Owners John Moores and Larry Lucchino to town and "revitalizing a flatlining franchise." But Calkins wonders if that warrants a HOF dedication in "a town that only sees him once every few years" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/27).