Before the San Diego Padres were a pathetic major league franchise they spent 32 years as a plucky little Pacific Coast League minor league team. During those years they produced three players who ended up in the Hall of Fame.
That was Bobby Doerr's last minor league season. In 1937 he was on the Boston Red Sox backing up journeyman infielder Eric McNair. The next year, at the age of 20, he took the starting job and held it for the next 14 years, missing one year due to war. Doerr developed some power as he matured, averaging 16 homers a season. Doerr was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1986, 35 years after he retired.
The next year Teddy stayed with the Padres all season and hit 23 homers as the youngest player in the league. In 1938, Teddy was moved to the American Association where he dominated. Boston could wait no longer. At the age of 20, Ted Williams was elevated to the major leagues where he was one of the best hitters in the history of the game from the first day he stepped into Fenway Park. Ted Williams was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Tony had a 23 year career, mostly with the Reds. He was never the best player in the league nor even the best player on his team, that would have been Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. But Tony was good enough for long enough to get elected to the Hall of Fame on his ninth try.