A Million Broken Hearts: San Diego Padres Fans May Have To Say Goodbye

Chris BallContributor INovember 10, 2008

Did you hear that? It sounded like a million empty pint glasses being dropped all at once. All of them crashed loudly, breaking upon the solemn streets of San Diego County. 

It was not the sound of glasses breaking, though.

It was the sound of every Padres fan in SoCal simultaneously suffering a broken heart when they heard the news that Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader would not likely be re-signing with his team of 16 years. 

Why did it sound like empty glasses breaking? Because there is no way the glasses, rather hearts, could have been even half full after a dismal, 99-loss season and the confirmation that Kevin Towers and the Padres withdrew their $4 million contract offer to the 41-year-old closer.

I, for one, am absolutely crushed. Trevor Hoffman has been pitching in San Diego since I was in the third grade. I can barely remember the fire sale after the 1992 season that led to the acquisition of Hoffman and saw the Padres lose top-tier talent like Gary Sheffield. The only bright spots on the roster after that were Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn, and a young, flame-throwing shortstop-turned-reliever. 

After Tony retired in 2001, Trevor's talent was the only thing that kept butts in the seats for what seemed like an eternity until the new ballpark was built—even then, he was still the biggest draw on the roster.

San Diego fans have seen Hoffman compile 552 of a major-league record 554 saves in a Padres uniform, as he has helped his team to four division titles and one National League Pennant. 

Now, sadly, we have learned that No. 51 will not continue his incredible H.O.F. caliber career proudly wearing "SD" on his cap. 

Perhaps our glasses and our hearts will one day be full again, as we can still hope to see those same letters chiseled onto the crown of his cap upon a bust that will one day, most assuredly, be revealed in Cooperstown, NY.

Until then, Trevor, we must say, "Goodbye."