According to the MLB, the first Spanish missions that would one day become the State of California were founded in the 1760s by two Franciscan friars – Father Junípero Serra and Don Caspar de Portolá. Friar means father, just like padre means father in Spanish. The name San Diego Padres was chosen to honor this history of Spanish colonization in California. To this day, Padres fans sometimes call the team “the brothers” and their mascot is “The Swinging Friar”. Over the years, this Spanish history has also been reflected in several logo designs.
When the team settled in their new San Diego home and eventually became an MLB franchise in the late 1960s, it had mixed success, according to Sports Team History. You won the pennant twice in ’84 and ’98 but never won a World Series title. The team has only had 14 winning seasons in its entire history. In keeping with a team named after California history, the San Diego Padres are just one of two baseball organizations that were founded in the Golden State and still play there today – the other being the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Dodgers, Giants, and A’s have all moved to the state from elsewhere.