Idaho Falls Padres
The Idaho Falls Padres of Idaho Falls, Idaho, played four seasons in the Pioneer League. For that time period, they served as a Rookie Advanced level affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The identity was born following the 1999 season, when the Idaho Falls Braves changed their nickname. The Braves had originally been named after their parent club in Atlanta, but kept the Vestigial COTOB identity for five seasons (’95-’99) despite being a San Diego affiliate.
It’s hard to say why the Idaho Falls franchise waited so long to change to an accurate COTOB identity, and just as puzzling to consider why, after those five years, they decided the Padres identity was right for them. Either way, the team took to the field at the dawn of the new millennium looking like baby Padres. For their primary and cap logo, they used the updated version of the Swinging Friar that San Diego briefly used around that time. Despite it not being a part of the Padres’ color scheme, the Friar had been originally designed with a burgundy robe. Idaho Falls took that color and ran with it, using it on their cap brims, wordmarks, and other accoutrements.
Idaho Falls also had an alternate logo, which I have only seen in the 2000 Star Struck catalog. It’s a verson of the Friar with him sitting or leaned up against the state of Idaho. He has his elbow rested on his knee, inadvertently showing a little more leg than we are accustomed to.
Alum lists in the low levels of the minors are often paltry, and existing for a mere four years doesn’t help a team’s case. Still, the Idaho Falls Padres have a particularly weak list. Oliver Pérez is probably the biggest name, with George Kottaras and Josh Barfield being the only others worth mentioning.
The Idaho Falls franchise was affiliated with San Diego for nine seasons, and carried the nickname of a different parent club for longer than the four short years that they were called appropriately. The end of the Idaho Falls Padres came following following the 2003 season, when the Kansas City Royals became their new parent club. Not wanting to go through the vestigial COTOB experience yet again, the team opted to create a new, original identity. They kept the burgundy color from the Friar’s robe, but took on an avian nickname. The Idaho Falls Chukars play in the Pioneer League to this day.