Founded in 1969 as one of the four expansion teams to join the major leagues that year, the San Diego Padres have played in the NL West for their entire existence. They struggled in the early years, often ending up in last place in their division, but they gradually improved. Their first winning season was in 1978. In 1984, they captured their first NL pennant, only to lose in the World Series to the Detroit Tigers, four games to one. Much of the team's success around this time is due to the efforts of Tony Gwynn, who earned eight NL batting titles and five Gold Glove Awards during his 20-year career with the Padres.
The decade following the 1984 NL pennant was difficult for the team. However, their fortunes turned around when John Moores assumed ownership of the Padres in the mid ’90s. They won their second pennant in 1998, but World Series glory was denied them once again, as they were swept by the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic. In 2004, the Padres moved to their new home at the recently constructed Petco Park.
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