A Major League record-tying 56 players, including an NL record 29 pitchers, appeared in at least one game for the 76-86 San Diego Padres. The club endured 23 disabled players missing 1,408 games, creating opportunities for numerous young players to make their mark. 17 rookies, eight of them pitchers, appeared with 11 players making their Major League debuts. Team MVP Phil Nevin becomes the third San Diego Padres to lead the club in batting (.303), home runs (31) and RBIs (107) in a single season. He's the ninth San Diego Padres player to top 30 homers and 100 RBIs in the same year. Despite being limited to 36 games due to left knee problems, Tony Gwynn bats .323, setting an NL record with his 18th straight .300 season. With 43 saves, Trevor Hoffman ties Major League marks with his third straight 40-save season and his sixth consecutive 30-save campaign.
The San Diego Padres enjoyed a 23-game turnaround in 2004 to make a run at the playoffs in their inaugural season at PETCO Park. Despite an 87-65 mark, the San Diego Padres fell short in the division and the Wild Card race but remained competitive until the season's final weekend. Newcomer David Wells went 12-8 with the San Diego Padres while young ace Jake Peavy matched Brian Lawrence to lead the staff with 15 wins. Mark Loretta raised his game another notch, hitting .335 with 16 homers and 78 RBIs. He also scored 108 runs and become the only San Diego Padre other than Tony Gwynn to have at least 200 hits in a season when he drilled 208 on the year.