SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — It’s almost time to root, root, root for our home team as the San Diego Padres will kick off their 2019 season at home this Thursday.

Excitement for the Padres' 50th anniversary season rose with the off-season acquisition of third baseman Manny Machado and many San Diegans have embraced “Manny mania.”

But before Manny and the team take to the field at Petco Park, we’re looking back at some vintage clips of the Pads’ decades-long history. So, grab some peanuts and Cracker Jack and enjoy this News 8 Throwback footage of San Diego Padres seasons past.

Before the San Diego Padres were a Major League Baseball team, a minor league team of the same name played in the Pacific Coast League from 1936 - 1968. This News 8 archive footage from 1954 showcases the action of the games played at Lane Field in San Diego and elsewhere. Along with familiar San Diego scenery, you may also catch a glimpse of a KFMB ad adorning an outfield wall. In 1968, the team’s owner C. Arnholdt Smith won a bid for a major league expansion team in the National League and the name was transferred to the new team for the inaugural 1969 season.

In 1978, players from the San Diego Padres inaugural 1969 team took to the field at San Diego Stadium for what was dubbed an "old-timers" game. The opponents were notable and legendary Major League Baseball players including Willie Mays, Eddie Matthews, Maury Wills and Jim Bunning. The vintage Pads almost pulled out one run, but Dave "Soupy" Campbell couldn't outrun Willie Mays' arm so the game ended in a scoreless tie.

In the summer of 1978, News 8's Ted Leitner took a look at what jobs the San Diego Padres were doing in addition to playing baseball. Athletic endorsements sure have changed since the days when Randy Jones, Rollie Fingers and Dave Winfield were appearing in local car commercials. As most know, Ted also ended up with another job. 2019 will mark Ted's 40th season as the radio voice of the Padres.

The 1984 San Diego Padres season was one of their most notable. The team won the National League Pennant for the first time in franchise history but failed to beat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. News 8's Susan Lichtman reported on the disappointing end to the Pads season and the continued love locals showed the team when they returned home. This clip also features Jerry Coleman’s signature catch phrases “Oh, doctor! You can hang a star on that baby!”

In 2003, News 8 explored the history of the San Diego Padres. The memories shared by Padres historian Bill Swank and others included early days at Lane Field, Steve Garvey’s series-tying walk-off homerun in the 1984 National League Championship Series, two World Series appearances, eight batting titles for Tony Gwynn and more; which begs the question, what are you favorite San Diego Padres baseball memories.

Click here to see more News 8 Throwback videos.

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