Preston Gomez, the first manager of the San Diego Padres, passed away yesterday.Preston Gomez, the first manager of the San Diego Padres, passed away yesterday. He was 85.
Gomez had been a fixture in recent years in Tempe during training camp for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, serving as an assistant to the GM since 1985. His was a life spent in baseball: after breaking in the Washington Senators and lasting for all of eight games, Gomez turned to the coaching side and, after spending time manning benches in the minors, landed as third-base coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965-1968.
He then was hired by Buzzy Bavasi to manage the expandion Padres, a thankless chore to be sure. He would end up managing for eight seasons in the majors, never finishing higher than .500 with the Padres, Houston and Chicago.