In 1998, the San Diego Padres won the National League championship and advanced to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.
San Diego featured five All-Stars: pitchers Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, and Trevor Hoffman, and outfielders Tony Gwynn and Greg Vaughn. Brown and Hoffman were two of the premier pitchers in baseball for 1998. Brown led the staff in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts, and he also finished in the league’s top five in each category. Hoffman saved 53 games and was voted the NL Rolaids Relief Man Award for best closer in the league. Ashby was the team’s number two starter with 17 wins.
The Padres offense was led by Vaughn, who had the greatest season of his career in 1998. He ended up winning both the Comeback Player of the Year Award and the Silver Slugger Award. And in a season headlined by sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, Vaughn was matching them in home runs before finishing with 50 (compared to 70 for McGwire and 66 for Sosa). Former MVP Ken Caminiti was second on the team in home runs and runs batted in.
In the regular season, San Diego won the NL Western Division. Their 98-64 record was third-best in the league, behind only the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, who San Diego then went a combined 7-3 again in winning the NL pennant. But unfortunately, they had to face the 1998 New York Yankees in the World Series. The Padres suffered a 4-0 series sweep.