San Diego sports curse
The San Diego sports curse is a superstition cited for the city of San Diego's inability to claim a modern North American major league professional sports championship (Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, and NBA Finals). With a population of over one million, San Diego is the largest city in the United States with this distinction. San Diego also has the distinction of having the longest major league championship drought for any city that has at least two major sports franchises, the last title dating back to 1963. Ignoring short-lived and now-defunct franchises, all major San Diego teams have had losing regular-season records during their tenure in the city (through November 12, 2013): the Padres (3,321 wins-3,843 losses), the Chargers (393-395-11), the Clippers (186-306), and the Rockets (119-209).
- 1 Comparison to other notable sports curses
- 2 The Lore
- 3 Results of the "curse"
- 4 Untimely player deaths
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Comparison to other notable sports curses
The last major league sports championship for San Diego was the AFL Championship in 1963, when the San Diego Chargers emerged as league champions before the AFL merged with the NFL to form the current National Football League. By comparison, in Cleveland, another cursed city, the Browns last won an NFL Championship in 1964. Since then, no other team from that city has won a major professional sports championship. The city of Buffalo is similarly affected by an alleged curse, having last won an AFL Championship in 1965 (incidentally, the Bills defeated the Chargers for both of their AFL titles). In both San Diego's and Buffalo's cases, there is considerable debate as to how the team would have fared had the Super Bowl existed by 1963.
Other notable sports curses affect only specific teams; examples are the Chicago White Sox's Curse of the Black Sox and the Chicago Cubs' Curse of the Billy Goat. San Diego's sports curse, by contrast, affects all major professional teams in the city and county of San Diego, much like the Curse of Billy Penn and the Curse of the Inauguration in Philadelphia. Neither the San Diego Padres nor the San Diego Chargers have ever won a championship in their current league, nor has any other major sports team that has been based in the city, including the San Diego Rockets and San Diego Clippers of the NBA, the San Diego Conquistadors/Sails of the American Basketball Association (ABA) prior to the 1976 ABA-NBA merger, and the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association (WHA) prior to the 1979 NHL-WHA merger.
The cause of the curse has been debated. One is thought to be the trade of Chargers wide receiver Lance Alworth to the Dallas Cowboys in 1970, this being similar to Boston's Curse of the Bambino in that the flip side of the San Diego curse was the Cowboys' success after the transaction (not to mention the similarity in nicknames, Bambino and Bambi). Dallas went from being a perennial loser in championship games over the previous five seasons (the Ice Bowl, Super Bowl V) to a team that won the Super Bowl during Alworth's first season there (and has won five Super Bowls overall), gaining the distinction of "America's Team". In contrast, the Chargers never made an appearance in the Super Bowl until the 1994 NFL season, when they were soundly defeated by the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.
Another explanation for the curse would involve the 1963 AFL champion Chargers. Following this success, Chargers head coach Sid Gillman approached then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle with the idea of having the champions of the AFL and NFL play a single final game (the 1963 NFL champions were the Chicago Bears), but Gillman's idea would not bear fruit until the 1966 season, when it gave rise to what today is known as the Super Bowl. As if in consequence, the Chargers to date have not won the Super Bowl and have only reached it once, in 1994. On the flip side, their AFC West divisional rivals (the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos, and Kansas City Chiefs), once envious of the Chargers' early success, have each won at least one Super Bowl since then (ironically, longtime Raiders owner Al Davis served on the coaching staff of the Chargers from 1960–62). Furthermore, every time San Diego has hosted the Super Bowl, an AFC West rival has represented the AFC (the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII and XXXII – the Broncos winning the latter – and the Raiders in XXXVII).
Other explanations include the uniforms worn by San Diego teams, such as the Chargers' powder blue jerseys (despite being well acclaimed) and the Padres' mustard yellow jerseys, and Qualcomm Stadium (the home stadium of the Chargers and, until 2004, the Padres). Others claim that the land where Qualcomm Stadium is built (Mission Valley) was cursed long before its construction by the local Native Americans (Kumeyaay), because the mouth of the valley is where Europeans under Cabrillo made first contact with them in 1542.
Results of the "curse"
The record for all major San Diego sports teams in championship games as of 2013 stands at one win and seven losses, with appearances in five AFL Championships, two World Series, and one Super Bowl. Besides the 1963 Chargers, the only pro sports teams in San Diego to have won championships have been indoor soccer or minor league teams. The original San Diego Sockers team won ten championships in both the original Major Indoor Soccer League and the indoor North American Soccer League. The minor league San Diego Padres won four Pacific Coast League championships, and the San Diego Gulls won five West Coast Hockey League championships. San Diego has fielded two Little League World Series champions, one in 1961 by Fletcher Hills in El Cajon and another in 2009 by Park View in Chula Vista.
Some of the instances of a curse are listed below, including but not limited to playoff and championship games ending in defeat, controversial calls by officials, and players spurning San Diego teams and going on to win championships.
San Diego Padres
As of 2012 the Padres are one of only two teams in Major League Baseball to win at least two league championships and never win the World Series (the other team being the Texas Rangers).
- As a side effect to the curse, the Padres are the only MLB team to have never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter and are one of two teams to have never had a player hit for the cycle (the other team being the Miami Marlins). Obviously, the Padres are the only MLB team with both of those distinctions. On the other hand, the Padres have been no-hit by opposing pitchers eight times, and six opposing players have hit for the cycle (as of August 2013). The first no-hitter was at the hands of Dock Ellis, who later admitted to being high on LSD throughout the game.
- During the 1969 season, the Padres lost 19-0 twice in the space of a month and a half.
- On July 21, 1970, the Padres' Clay Kirby pitched no-hit ball against the Mets for eight innings. However, with the Padres trailing in the bottom of the eighth, manager Preston Gómez decided to pinch-hit for Kirby, thereby denying him the chance to complete the no-hitter. The strategy failed, as the pinch hitter struck out, the Padres were unable to score, and the Mets promptly collected several hits in the top of the ninth. As a result, the Padres lost both the no-hitter and the game.
- On September 24, 1971, the very same Clay Kirby pitched 15 innings for the Padres against the Houston Astros and struck out 15 batters while allowing only one run. However, his effort was again to no avail, as the Padres lost 2-1 in 21 innings, with the winning run scoring on a balk. As if the length of the game were not enough, this was merely the first game of a doubleheader.
- In the 1971 season, Dave Roberts of the Padres posted a sparkling 2.10 earned-run average, second in the National League only to Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver, and still the Padres' single-season record. However, due to a lack of run support, Roberts also posted a losing win-loss record of 14–17 that year.
- The average home game attendance for the Padres in 1969, 1970 and 1971 was lower than the capacity of Westgate Park, the minor league stadium used by the Padres of the Pacific Coast League from 1958 to 1967.
- On July 18, 1972, Steve Arlin of the Padres was one strike away from a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Stadium when Denny Doyle bounced a single over the head of drawn-in third baseman Dave Roberts.
- After finishing last in the NL West in each of their first five years and failing to average even 9,000 fans per game, the Padres were so close to being sold and moved to Washington DC that some of the Topps baseball cards in 1974 showed the team name as "Washington National League". The team remained in San Diego only because of a last-minute sale to Ray Kroc of McDonald's fame. However, during the very first regular-season game under his ownership, Kroc took to the public address system in San Diego Stadium and lambasted the team for "stupid ballplaying". Doug Rader of the opposing Houston Astros attempted to defend the Padres players in the press by pointing out that they were not "short-order cooks", but his remarks were misunderstood and he became a villain as well. Nevertheless, in a final twist of irony, he was traded to the Padres late the following year.
- On May 19, 1975, Randy Jones of the Padres threw a ten-inning one-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, with the only hit being a single by future Padre Luis Melendez that Jones himself could not handle.
- Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield played his first eight seasons for the Padres and became an established star with them, but he then went on to achieve even greater fame with the New York Yankees and won a World Series championship with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992. The manager of that Toronto team was former Padres player Cito Gaston, who became the first African-American manager to accomplish the feat. Coincidentally, Gaston had been the player assigned to pinch-hit for Clay Kirby in the aborted 1970 no-hit bid mentioned above.
- Likewise, Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith played his first four seasons with the Padres and became known as a superb fielder, but he was traded away in 1982. In his first season after leaving, he helped his new team (the St. Louis Cardinals) to win the World Series. Another key player on that Cardinals team was George Hendrick, who had been traded from the Padres in 1978.
- Famed knuckleball pitcher Joe Niekro played for the Padres during their first year of existence (1969). After serving time with three other teams, he finally won a World Series ring with the New York Yankees in 1987.
- On June 2, 1982, Juan Eichelberger pitched a one-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. The only hit was a Scot Thompson grounder to second baseman Tim Flannery that, according to Flannery's own assessment, should have been ruled an error.
- In 1984, the Padres appeared in their first World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately for the Padres, the Tigers would win the series 4-1, with the Padres winning only Game 2; this is the only World Series win in Padres history to date. In Game 5, San Diego closer Goose Gossage talked manager Dick Williams into letting him pitch to Kirk Gibson. Gibson went on to hit a three-run home run into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium, effectively clinching the championship for the Tigers.
- Outfielder Johnny Grubb played his first five seasons with the Padres, but he finished his career with the Detroit Tigers and helped them to beat the Padres in the 1984 World Series.
- Pitcher Tim Lollar can claim to have experienced both the San Diego curse and the Curse of the Bambino. After being with the Padres when they lost the 1984 World Series, he was with the Boston Red Sox when they lost the 1986 World Series in excruciating fashion to the New York Mets. The manager of that Red Sox team was John McNamara, who had managed the Padres through 3+ losing seasons in the mid-1970s.
- Shane Mack was the first player selected by the Padres in the regular (Rule 4) draft of 1984. However, he played for them during only two seasons, posting an overall batting average of .241. He was then taken by the Minnesota Twins in the Rule 5 draft of 1990, whereupon he hit at least .310 in four of the next five seasons and helped the Twins to the 1991 World Series championship.
- The president of the Padres during 1987-88 was former National League president Chub Feeney. However, he was sufficiently unpopular with some fans that they displayed a sign reading "SCRUB CHUB" on Fan Appreciation Night in 1988, whereupon Feeney responded with an obscene gesture and was obliged to resign the following day.
- Although he did not pitch a no-hitter while with the Padres, Andy Hawkins later threw one for the New York Yankees on July 1, 1990. However, as if to show that he had not completely escaped the curse, he managed to lose the game 4-0, due to a flurry of fielding errors. To make matters worse, credit for a no-hitter was later taken away from him, even though he had pitched a complete game, because the opposing team had not had to bat in the ninth inning. The persistence of the curse with regard to no-hitters seems to be a general rule, because not only has no Padre pitcher ever tossed a no-hitter, but no pitcher has ever thrown one even after leaving the Padres (as of October 2013). It is difficult to argue that this is just happenstance, because eleven pitchers (Earl Wilson, Sonny Siebert, Tom Phoebus, Gaylord Perry, Rick Wise, Rollie Fingers, John Montefusco, Mark Langston, Fernando Valenzuela, Kevin Brown, and David Wells) have thrown (or shared in) no-hitters before joining the Padres.
- In 1990, television producer Tom Werner bought the Padres from Joan Kroc. Werner made many controversial decisions during his ownership, such as inviting Roseanne Barr to perform the national anthem and holding numerous fire sales. He eventually sold the Padres to John Moores in 1994. In 2002, however, Werner became co-owner of the Boston Red Sox and saw success, as the team broke the Curse of the Bambino by winning the World Series in 2004 and followed it up with two more championships in 2007 and 2013.
- After the 1990 season, the Padres traded Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to the Toronto Blue Jays, where they immediately flourished and proceeded to lead the team to World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. In return for Alomar and Carter, the Padres received Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. Before the 1993 season, the Padres traded Fernandez to the New York Mets, who traded him back to Toronto, where he joined Alomar and Carter on their second championship team. During the same season, the Padres dealt McGriff to the Atlanta Braves, and he helped them to win the World Series in 1995.
- A key member of the World Series champion Florida Marlins in 1997 was Gary Sheffield, who had also been traded from the Padres in 1993.
- On September 5, 1997, Andy Ashby of the Padres took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves, but it was broken up by a Kenny Lofton single that landed just in front of right fielder Tony Gwynn.
- Trying to take advantage of a fire sale by the World Series champion Florida Marlins, the Padres traded young talent Derrek Lee and two minor leaguers to Florida for established star pitcher Kevin Brown after the 1997 season. Lee would go on to help the rebuilt Marlins to win another World Series in 2003, while Brown would last only one season (albeit a very good one) in San Diego, losing the final game of the 1998 World Series.
- Pitcher Hideki Irabu spurned the Padres when they purchased his contract from the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1997. He desired instead to play for the New York Yankees, refusing to sign with the Padres. Ironically, in 1998, the Padres returned to the World Series, facing the Yankees. In Game 1, Padres pitcher Mark Langston threw what appeared to be a third strike against Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez in a 2-2 count, bases-loaded, two-out, tie-game situation. To the surprise of many in attendance, home plate umpire Rich Garcia called the pitch a ball, and Martinez hit the next pitch for a grand slam, putting the Yankees ahead in what would become a 9-5 win. In Game 3, the Padres led 3-2 going into the top of the eighth, but closer Trevor Hoffman gave up a three-run home run to eventual Series MVP Scott Brosius for the go-ahead score. The Padres lost that game 5-4 and eventually got swept in the series 4-0.
- Jim Leyritz played for the Padres when they lost the 1998 World Series to the New York Yankees. Midway through the following season, the Padres traded Leyritz to the Yankees, who went on to win the World Series again.
- Outfielder Steve Finley played for the Padres for four years and was with the team when they lost the World Series in 1998. He then moved as a free agent to the Arizona Diamondbacks and was a major contributor to their World Series victory in 2001.
- Thirteen years after being fired as the Padres manager, Jack McKeon managed the Florida Marlins to a World Series championship in 2003.
- Alan Embree pitched for the Padres in 2002. He then moved to the Boston Red Sox and helped them to break the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, recording the final out in Boston's unprecedented comeback victory over the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
- Ten years after leaving the Padres, Ricky Gutiérrez won a World Series ring as a key utility man with the Boston Red Sox in 2004.
- In 2004, the Padres had the first pick in the draft. For financial reasons, they opted not to pick a prospect such as Justin Verlander, Jeff Niemann, Stephen Drew, or Jered Weaver but instead drafted Matt Bush, who, notwithstanding his high draft position, turned out to be a bust. The Padres were heavily criticized for the decision.
- In 2005 and 2006, the Padres earned two consecutive National League West championships, only to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals both times in the National League Division Series. In 2006, the Cardinals went on to win the World Series.
- On September 18, 2006, the Padres led the Los Angeles Dodgers 9–5 going into the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium. Padres pitchers Jon Adkins and Trevor Hoffman then proceeded to give up four consecutive home runs (two apiece), tying the game and sending it into extra innings. The Padres scored a run in the top of the tenth, but in the bottom of the inning Rudy Seanez yielded yet another home run, a two-run blast by Nomar Garciaparra, to end the game.
- On September 22, 2006, Chris Young of the Padres was two outs away from a no-hitter when former Padre Joe Randa hit a home run. It was the last long ball of Randa's career.
- On April 25, 2007, Padres starting pitcher Jake Peavy was on the verge of tying Tom Seaver's consecutive strikeout record of 10 when umpire Jeff Kellogg missed Eric Byrnes' go-around on what would have been the third strike. Byrnes would eventually walk.
- In 2007, with two games left in the season, the Padres played their last series against the Milwaukee Brewers and were one out away from clinching the NL Wild Card, when the Brewers' Tony Gwynn, Jr. (the son of former Padres great Tony Gwynn) hit an RBI triple down the line off Trevor Hoffman, preventing the Padres from clinching the Wild Card. The Padres would also lose the last game of the season, forcing a tie-breaking game against the divisional rival Colorado Rockies. In the top of the 13th inning, Scott Hairston of the Padres blasted a two-run home run, but Trevor Hoffman blew the save again in the bottom half of the inning and allowed the winning run on a controversial call by home plate umpire Tim McClelland. Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday appeared to have scored on a sacrifice fly by Jamey Carroll when Padres catcher Michael Barrett dropped the ball. However, it was not clear that Holliday ever touched the plate, so Barrett picked up the ball and tagged him afterwards. Regardless, replays were inconclusive and McClelland's call stood, so the Rockies won the game and went on to win the National League Championship. The Padres have not returned to the playoffs since.
- In the 2010 season, the Padres were considered to be surprising contenders and led the division until August 25, when they went on an 11-game losing streak that helped the divisional rival San Francisco Giants to close in on the division lead. Throughout the remainder of the season, the Padres and Giants were in a close pennant race, with the team that was in second place also competing with the Atlanta Braves for the Wild Card. However, on September 30, the Padres fell three games behind the Giants for the divisional lead and two games behind the Braves for the Wild Card, putting them on the brink of elimination with only three games to go in the season and the Giants being the opponent for those last three games. The Padres managed to win the first two games and tie for the Wild Card and close to one game behind for the division, thus having a chance to at least force a tiebreaker game. The Padres, though, lost the last game, giving the Giants the division, and with the Braves winning on the same day, the Padres were eliminated from playoff contention. To the chagrin of many Padres fans, the Giants, ironically under the leadership of former San Diego manager Bruce Bochy, went on to win the World Series (as well as another one in 2012), while in the off-season, Padres star Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Boston Red Sox. At the time, Gonzalez was only two home runs shy of matching the Padres' all-time record in that category.
- In the 2011 season, a down season for the Padres, they had another no-hit bid spoiled late in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 9. Aaron Harang (in his first start since returning from an injury), Josh Spence, Chad Qualls, Mike Adams, and Luke Gregerson combined on a no-hitter until the final out of the game, when noted Padre nemesis Juan Uribe doubled to end the no-hit bid and Dioner Navarro followed with a single to score the game's only run, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 win despite having been held hitless for 8 2/3 innings.
- In the 2012 season, another down season for the Padres, they had another strong no-hit bid spoiled in a game against the Houston Astros on July 19. Edison Volquez pitched a complete game one-hitter in a 1-0 victory, with the only hit being a ground ball infield single off the bat of Matt Downs in the fourth inning. Volquez otherwise had 5 strikeouts on his way to the victory.
- As noted above, no Padres player has ever hit for the cycle. However, after serving two tours of duty with the Padres during 2007–10, Scott Hairston signed with the New York Mets and proceeded to hit for the cycle on April 27, 2012. Previous players to hit for the cycle after leaving the Padres were Kevin McReynolds, Dave Winfield, Tony Fernandez, Gary Matthews, Jr., Mark Kotsay, and Jody Gerut. An additional ten players (Randy Hundley, Dave Kingman, Mike Phillips, Fred Lynn, Ray Lankford, Andújar Cedeño, Rondell White, John Mabry, Miguel Tejada, and Orlando Hudson) have hit for the cycle before joining the Padres.
- In the 2013 season, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants no-hit the Padres on July 13, winning 9-0 and in the process throwing the first ever no-hitter at Petco Park.
- Also in the 2013 season, Andrew Cashner threw 6 innings of perfect baseball in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 16th, although the perfect game and the no-hitter would be broken up by Jose Tabata in the 7th inning. The Padres would go on to win by a final of 2-0, and Cashner would get a complete game one-hitter while facing the minimum 27 batters.
- Four years after leaving the Padres, star pitcher Jake Peavy helped the Boston Red Sox to win the 2013 World Series.
- The Padres have had many well-known sluggers on their roster over the years; among the most notable are Ken Caminiti, Joe Carter, Vinny Castilla, Jack Clark, Steve Garvey, Adrian Gonzalez, George Hendrick, Dave Kingman, Derrek Lee, Willie McCovey, Fred McGriff, Kevin Mitchell, Graig Nettles, Mike Piazza, Gary Sheffield, Greg Vaughn, and Dave Winfield. However, because these players have tended to have relatively brief stays in San Diego and/or to have their best years with other teams, the all-time franchise leader in home runs (through 2013) is still Nate Colbert, even though he was with the Padres only for the first six years of their existence, when they finished in last place every time. Colbert's total of 163 home runs with the Padres is easily the lowest franchise record for any team except the Tampa Bay Rays (tied at 163) and the Miami Marlins, both of which did not come into existence until the 1990s. As the Rays currently have a player (Evan Longoria) at 162, they will almost certainly pass the Padres early in the 2014 season.
- Likewise, the Padres franchise record for victories by a pitcher (through 2013) is an even 100 by Eric Show. The only franchises having lower record totals are the same two Florida teams plus the Colorado Rockies, who also began play in the 1990s.
- The Padres team record for losses by a pitcher (through 2013), which is 105 by Randy Jones, is higher than the team record for victories. The only two franchises that share this distinction are the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. By odd coincidence, the winning percentage recorded by Jones with the Padres (0.4670) is identical to that recorded with the Pirates by Bob Friend, Pittsburgh's losingest pitcher.
- In baseball history, 20-game winners have been far more numerous than 20-game losers. In the 45 seasons of their existence (through 2013), the Padres have had only two 20-game winners: Randy Jones (who did it twice) and Gaylord Perry. However, they have had three 20-game losers: Randy Jones, Steve Arlin, and Clay Kirby. Of course, it is an oft-cited irony of baseball that 20-game losers are generally respectable pitchers, because poor pitchers rarely get the chance. As proof of this, Jones, Arlin and Kirby all came very close to pitching no-hitters for the Padres, as detailed above.
- The Padres can claim only one National League home run title, by Fred McGriff in 1992. His winning total of 35 is (as of 2013) the lowest for any non-strike season since 1946.
- The only player to appear in at least 486 games (the equivalent of three full seasons) for the Padres with an overall batting average of at least .300 is Tony Gwynn.
- The only player to collect more than 1135 hits for the Padres is Tony Gwynn. Without him, the Padres would rank dead last among Major League Baseball franchises (including all expansion teams) with regard to the team record for hits.
- The only player to score more than 600 runs for the Padres is Tony Gwynn. Without him, the Padres would rank dead last among Major League Baseball franchises (including all expansion teams) with regard to the team record for runs scored.
- The only player to collect more than 195 doubles for the Padres is Tony Gwynn. Without him, the Padres would rank dead last among Major League Baseball franchises (including all expansion teams) with regard to the team record for doubles.
- Two Padres have been named Rookie of the Year: Butch Metzger in 1976 and Benito Santiago in 1987. However, neither player was ever again able to achieve the same level of production, especially with the Padres. In fact, Metzger recorded more wins, more saves, and more strikeouts in 1976 than in all of his other seasons combined.
- The Padres have had four Cy Young Award winners, namely Randy Jones in 1976, Gaylord Perry in 1978, Mark Davis in 1989, and Jake Peavy in 2007. However, none of them ever again came close to matching the achievements of their award year (although Peavy is still active). Jones never had another winning season, with the Padres or anyone else. Perry had one more winning season (barely, at 12-11) before retiring. After recording 44 saves in 1989, Davis had only 11 during the rest of his career. After recording 19 victories in 2007, Peavy has had no more than 12 in any year since.
- In their 45 years of existence through 2013, the Padres have never, as a team, led the National League in victories, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, batting average, on base percentage, or slugging percentage in any season. Curiously, they have managed to lead the league in triples three times (1982, 2005, and 2011).
San Diego Chargers
- The Chargers were set to defend their 1963 AFL title in 1964 against the Buffalo Bills. However, a key play by Mike Stratton on Keith Lincoln would help the Bills win, 20-7. The next year, the Chargers would play the Bills again in the Championship Game, but were shut out 23-0. The quarterback for the Bills (and the game MVP) in both of those games was former Charger Jack Kemp. Ironically, Mike Stratton would join the Chargers in 1973 for the final season of his career.
- Tight end Dave Kocourek played for the Chargers team that won the 1963 AFL championship. However, after the Chargers lost the next two title games, he departed and eventually joined the arch-rival Oakland Raiders, helping them to win the AFL title in his first year there.
- With their first pick in the 1973 NFL draft, the Chargers selected Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers. However, Rodgers decided to play in the Canadian Football League instead and was highly successful, leading the Montreal Alouettes to the Grey Cup championship in 1974. After four years in Canada, Rodgers returned to the United States to play for the Chargers, but injuries reduced his contribution to almost nothing and he soon retired.
- Placekicker Ray Wersching began his pro career with the Chargers and played for them for four years (1973–76). He then moved to the San Francisco 49ers and helped them to wins in Super Bowls XVI and XIX.
- Joe Washington, the first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 1976, later joined the Washington Redskins and helped them to win Super Bowl XVII in 1983.
- In a 1978 game between the Chargers and division rival Oakland Raiders, the Raiders were behind 20-14 with 10 seconds to go and facing fourth down on the Chargers' 14. Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler deliberately fumbled forward and teammates Pete Banaszak and Dave Casper batted the ball forward until Casper fell on the ball in the end zone for the touchdown that tied the game. The Raiders won with the ensuing point after touchdown kick. The play entered NFL lore as the "Holy Roller" and/or the "Immaculate Deception", and directly led to changes in NFL rules regarding fumbles on fourth down or within the last two minutes of the game.
- On January 11, 1981, the Chargers hosted the AFC Championship Game but lost to Oakland, 34-27. The Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV, becoming the first Wild Card team to do so.
- The next year, the Chargers' leading pass rusher and defensive leader, Fred Dean, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers due to a contract dispute with Chargers ownership. Dean would ultimately prove to be a catalyst for the 49ers defense, helping that team to their first Super Bowl title (and another one in 1984). The Chargers that season returned to the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals, with a win over the Miami Dolphins in The Epic in Miami. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the AFC Championship Game was played in frigid weather, going down in NFL lore as the Freezer Bowl. The Chargers went on to lose the game, 27-7.
- When Fred Dean helped the 49ers to win Super Bowl XIX, he was joined by his former Chargers teammates Gary "Big Hands" Johnson and Louie Kelcher.
- After starring as a wide receiver for the Chargers from 1981–87, Wes Chandler moved to the San Francisco 49ers for his final season. He retired after playing in four games, but the 49ers went on to win the Super Bowl anyway.
- Jim Lachey, the first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 1985, later joined the Washington Redskins and helped them to win Super Bowl XXVI in 1992.
- A few years after leading the Chicago Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX, Jim McMahon was traded to the Chargers, where he lasted for just one unpleasant season (1989) before being released. He then bounced around with several other teams before winning another Super Bowl (XXXI) with the Green Bay Packers and then retiring.
- John Carney was the placekicker for the Chargers for eleven seasons (1990–2000) and is the team's all-time leading scorer. Later, while working as a kicking consultant for the New Orleans Saints (between two stints as one of their active placekickers), he helped the team to win Super Bowl XLIV.
- In the 1994 season, the Chargers clinched an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX, their only Super Bowl appearance to date. However, they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26, for San Francisco's fifth Super Bowl win overall. San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw a Super Bowl record six touchdown passes and was named Super Bowl MVP. The Chargers would not win another playoff game for 13 years, most of those years being losing seasons.
- The first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 1993, cornerback and punt returner Darrien Gordon, was with the team when they lost Super Bowl XXIX in 1995. From the Chargers he moved to the Denver Broncos for two seasons, helping to lead the team to victories in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.
- Safety Rodney Harrison played nine seasons (1994–2002) for the Chargers before being released by the team. He then signed with the New England Patriots and helped them to win Super Bowls during his first two seasons there.
- In the 1998 NFL Draft, two elite quarterbacks were highly anticipated to be the top two selections: Peyton Manning of the University of Tennessee and Ryan Leaf of Washington State University. The Indianapolis Colts had the first pick in the draft, while the Chargers traded up to the second pick to receive one of the quarterbacks. The Colts chose Manning, who went on to win four NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl MVP award, while the Chargers chose Leaf, who is considered by most to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, bust in the history of the NFL draft.
- In the 2004 NFL Draft, Peyton's brother Eli Manning, who was anticipated to be a high draft pick, spurned the Chargers; the team picked him anyway but traded him to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers and draft picks that led to the signing of Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding in the deal. Eli has since seen success with the Giants, leading them to two Super Bowl victories (XLII, XLVI) and receiving Super Bowl MVP honors in both.
- Wide receiver and return specialist Wes Welker began his pro career with the Chargers in 2004, but he was released after just one game. He has since gone on to have a hugely successful career with the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos, although he has not yet been on a Super Bowl-winning team.
- Marty Schottenheimer, head coach of the Chargers from 2002–06, has been infamously considered to choke in the playoffs, with some calling Marty Ball a sports-related curse. In 2004, Schottenheimer's Chargers returned to the playoffs for the first time in nine years and faced the New York Jets in an AFC Wild Card game, which eventually went into overtime. The Chargers marched down the field and got into field goal range, but kicker Nate Kaeding missed a 41-yard attempt. The Jets got the ball back and marched down to field goal range, kicking the winning field goal for a 20-17 win.
- In 2006, the Chargers entered the postseason with a 14-2 record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In the 2006 AFC Divisional Playoff round on January 14, 2007, the Chargers met the New England Patriots. The Chargers surged to a 21-13 lead entering the fourth quarter. However, the tide would slowly turn, as Eric Parker fumbled on a punt return, leading to a Patriots score. Later in the game, on a fourth down throw at midfield, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was intercepted by Marlon McCree. However, as McCree started upfield he was grabbed by Troy Brown, who yanked the ball out of his hand, and Reche Caldwell grabbed the fumble. Brady then connected with Caldwell for a touchdown and Kevin Faulk ran a direct-snap in for a two-point conversion. After the Chargers were forced to punt, Brady launched a 49-yard strike to Caldwell down to the Chargers 14-yard line, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked the go-ahead field goal. Nate Kaeding's 54-yard field goal try in the final seconds fell short in a 24-21 Patriots win. To add insult to injury, the Patriots celebrated excessively after the final gun, whereupon LaDainian Tomlinson confronted Caldwell, Ellis Hobbs, and other Patriots and had to be separated from them, while Philip Rivers called Hobbs "the sorriest cornerback in the league".
- The loss also led to the firing of coach Marty Schottenheimer and hiring of Norv Turner.
- One year later, the Chargers would face the Patriots again in the 2007 AFC Championship Game after close wins against the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts, ending their 13-year playoff victory drought in the process. However, the wins were not without significant injuries to the team, including a sprained MCL to LaDainian Tomlinson (keeping him on the sidelines for nearly the entire game against the Patriots), a toe injury to Antonio Gates, and an ACL injury to Philip Rivers. Although the Chargers forced three interceptions off Tom Brady, the Patriots took advantage of the battered team, keeping the Chargers out of their end zone and limiting them to four field goals, while scoring three touchdowns for a 21-12 victory. This sent the then 18-0 Patriots to Super Bowl XLII, which they would go on to lose to the Eli Manning-led New York Giants.
- On September 14, 2008, in a game played against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field, the Chargers were the victims of two calls against them in a 39-38 loss.
- The first bad call was a play in which a pass from Philip Rivers to Chris Chambers was originally called a fumble recovered by the Broncos' Champ Bailey. Although TV replays clearly showed that Chambers was down by contact, the play could not be reviewed due to a malfunction with the replay system. The fumble recovery led to the Broncos' first touchdown of the game.
- Later, with about a minute to go in the game and the Chargers leading 38-31, Broncos QB Jay Cutler fumbled with linebacker Tim Dobbins apparently recovering the loose ball. However, due to referee Ed Hochuli believing the play to have been an incomplete pass, the play was whistled dead before Dobbins' recovery and the Broncos maintained possession. Two plays later, the Broncos would score a touchdown to close to a one-point deficit; then, running the same play with which they had just scored a touchdown, they succeeded with the game-winning two-point conversion.
- The above two calls would help send the Chargers to a 4-8 record and the Broncos to an 8-4 record by Week 12 of the 2008 season, with little hope for the Chargers to win the division. However the Chargers rallied to win the remainder of their games, while the Broncos did the complete opposite. The Chargers capped the rally with a 52-21 win over the Broncos in Week 17, clinching the division. The Chargers won their Wild Card game against the Colts 23-17, but the momentum would end with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 35-24.
- In 2009, the Chargers finished the season with a 13-3 record and the #2 seed and a first round bye in the AFC Playoffs, with an 11-game winning streak, the longest active win streak at the time. In the divisional round, the Chargers hosted the New York Jets. Some argued that the Jets made it to the playoffs by default, as their last two regular season games were played against teams which sat their starters (as they had locked up their divisions). However, with the #1 rushing offense and passing defense, the Jets were able to beat the Chargers, 17-14. The Chargers had 10 penalties, most of which were personal fouls. Nate Kaeding, despite having the title of most accurate kicker in the league, missed three key field goals, and during a key play, a pass from Philip Rivers bounced off the cleat of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and landed in the chest of cornerback Darrelle Revis while he was on the ground. Adding more dismay to San Diego fans, this turned out to be LaDainian Tomlinson's last game as a Charger, as he signed with the Jets the next year. In that same postseason, former Chargers quarterback Drew Brees went on to lead the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl victory and received game MVP honors.
- On October 15, 2012, the Chargers led 24-0 at the half over the Denver Broncos. The Broncos then scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to win 35-24. This was the first time in NFL history that a team led by 24 points and then lost by double digits.
- On November 25, 2012, the Chargers led 13-10 over the Baltimore Ravens with 1:59 left in the fourth quarter when, on a 4th and 29, Ray Rice of the Ravens caught a short pass just beyond the line of scrimmage and eventually made the first down. This would be the longest conversion on a 4th down since 2001. The Ravens kicked a field goal to tie the game at 13 going into overtime, and they kicked another one late in overtime to win 16-13. This was the second time in as many months that the Chargers gave up the lead late in the second half and went on to lose the game.
- On November 3, 2013, the Chargers blew a 10 point lead in the second half and were trailing 24-21 in a game against the Washington Redskins when, with less than 0:30 left, quarterback Philip Rivers completed a pass to Danny Woodhead, who was tackled by David Amerson at the goal line. The referees initially called a touchdown, but, upon further review, the ball was ruled short by 6 inches. The Chargers had two time outs to use in the final seconds of regulation, but they still failed to take advantage on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs with the ball on the goal line and instead had to settle for a field goal, tying the game at 24. The Chargers then lost the coin toss in overtime, giving Washington the opening drive, and the Redskins went on to score a touchdown to take the game by a final of 30-24. Making matters worse, a victory in this game would have given the Chargers an all-time winning percentage (while based in San Diego) over .500, but it was not to be.
- The most successful head coach in Super Bowl history by number of victories (Chuck Noll), as well as two of the three head coaches in second place (Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs), served as assistant coaches for the Chargers before going on to their head coaching triumphs elsewhere.
San Diego Rockets
- The very first player drafted out of college by the expansion San Diego Rockets was Pat Riley, who later went on to win (with other teams) one NBA championship as a player, one as an assistant coach, and five as a head coach.
- Guard Jon McGlocklin was a prominent member of the Rockets during their inaugural season, when they set an NBA record for losses. He then moved to the Milwaukee Bucks and in 1971 helped them to win their only NBA championship.
- Like McGlocklin, guard John Barnhill played for the Rockets during their inaugural season. He later wound up with the Indiana Pacers of the pre-merger American Basketball Association and was with them for two ABA championships in 1970 and 1972.
- Guard Art "Hambone" Williams played for the Rockets during their first three seasons. He then moved to the Boston Celtics and helped them to win an NBA championship in 1974.
- Forward John Trapp started his pro career with the Rockets and played for them during their final three seasons in San Diego. He then moved to the Los Angeles Lakers and won an NBA title with them during his first and only season there (1971–72).
- Hall-of-Famer Elvin Hayes began his pro career and became a major star with the Rockets (first in San Diego and then in Houston), but he won an NBA title only after being dealt to the Baltimore/Washington Bullets.
- In order to draft Elvin Hayes in 1968, the Rockets bypassed Wes Unseld, who was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets instead and went on to beat out Hayes for not only Rookie of the Year, but also league MVP. However, the two became teammates when Hayes was traded by the Rockets (then in Houston) to Baltimore in 1972, and they led the Bullets to the NBA title in 1978.
- Two players bypassed by the Rockets in the 1970 NBA draft (Dave Cowens and Nate Archibald) went on to become NBA champions and gain election to the Basketball Hall of Fame, while a third (Dan Issel) went on to become a Hall-of-Famer and an ABA champion.
- The Rockets played in San Diego for only four seasons (1967–71) before being sold and moved to Houston, presumably due to lack of support. The futility of this move was demonstrated when the team's average home attendance then declined from 6,774 to 4,966 and fell even further for two years after that.
- Finally, twenty-three years after the Rockets relocated to Houston, they won two consecutive NBA finals in 1994 and 1995. The coach of those Houston teams was Rudy Tomjanovich, who had been the first-round draft pick of the San Diego Rockets in 1970.
San Diego Conquistadors/Sails
- The San Diego Conquistadors played in the American Basketball Association for three years (1972–75). Unfortunately, during their first two seasons, they were shut out of the San Diego Sports Arena, forcing them to play in tiny replacement venues, resulting in average home attendances of 2,247 and 1,843, respectively. A plan to construct a new major-league facility was narrowly defeated in a referendum in late 1973.
- Before the 1973–74 season, the Conquistadors signed Wilt Chamberlain to a multiyear contract as a player-coach, but the Los Angeles Lakers sued to block him from playing for them, limiting him to coaching duties. He left after serving only one year in that capacity.
- Before the 1975–76 season, the team was sold and its name was changed to the Sails, but the franchise then folded after only 11 more games.
San Diego Clippers
- The Clippers played for six seasons (1978–84) in San Diego after leaving Buffalo and before moving on to Los Angeles. While in San Diego, they had only one winning season (their first), despite the acquisition of San Diego native and high school legend Bill Walton. Walton had already won an NBA championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, and he would win another with the Boston Celtics after leaving the Clippers. The sense of ineptitude established by the Clippers in San Diego stayed with the team long after the move to Los Angeles, and the team would not win a title of any kind until 2013. As of 2013, at 41 seasons, the Clippers are the oldest active NBA franchise to have never made an NBA Finals appearance.
- The futility of the Clippers on the court in San Diego was mirrored by a nearly 50% drop in attendance (from 7,605 per game to 3,875) between their first year and their fifth. The number improved somewhat to 5,578 during their final season, but the team left town anyway.
Golden State Warriors
- While the Warriors have never actually been based in San Diego, they did play six home games at the San Diego Sports Arena during the 1971–72 season (thus accounting, at least in part, for the name Golden State rather than simply Oakland, where the team had moved from San Francisco). However, this dual-city experiment was abandoned (although the name was kept), whereupon the Warriors won an NBA championship three years later.
San Diego Mariners
- The San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association were led by star center André Lacroix, the all-time WHA leader in points and assists, during all three years of their existence (1974–77). They also had goalie Ernie Wakely, the all-time WHA leader in games played (as a goaltender) and shutouts. Their player/coach during their first year in San Diego was future Hall-of-Famer Harry Howell. However, the team never made it past the semifinal round of the playoffs before the franchise folded in 1977.
- Despite being a respectable team on the ice and having a winning overall record, the Mariners on average drew fewer fans per game (6,110) than did their immediate predecessor in the San Diego Sports Arena, the minor league San Diego Gulls of the Western Hockey League, even though the Gulls had a losing overall record.
San Diego Toros
- In their single season of existence (1968), the San Diego Toros of the original North American Soccer League reached the two-game (home-and-home) league championship series after finishing at the top of the regular season table, but they then choked and lost to the Atlanta Chiefs. The Toros failed to score a goal in either game, the first and only time in the team's 36 game NASL existence that they were shut out in back to back games. Their home field was Balboa Stadium, where the Chargers had been shut out in the 1965 AFL championship game.
- The leading scorer for the Toros during their one season in San Diego was Cirilo “Pepe” Fernandez. After the Toros folded, Fernandez moved to the Kansas City Spurs, who had been beaten by the Toros in the 1968 playoffs. He proceeded to lead the Spurs to the 1969 NASL championship and for this was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
San Diego Jaws/Sockers
- In their single season of existence (1976) under that name, the San Diego Jaws of the original NASL had a losing record, finished last in their division, and failed to make the playoffs. After moving to Las Vegas for a year, the franchise returned to San Diego as the Sockers. During their seven outdoor seasons (1978-84), they made the playoffs every year but once, yet they never managed to win a league championship. Strangely, the team won ten championships in eleven years while playing in indoor leagues.
San Diego State Aztecs
- Despite 5 conference championships, 4 conference tournament championships, and 10 NCAA tournament appearances, no Aztec baseball team has ever advanced to the College World Series.
- In the 2010-11 season, the Aztecs were ranked as high as #4 in the country while putting up a 34-3 record. They then lost in the Sweet 16 to eventual champion, and worse-seeded, Connecticut.
- In 2011-12, the Aztecs made their second consecutive (and second-ever) appearance in the end-of-season AP Men's Basketball Poll, being ranked 22nd (after peaking at 13th). In the NCAA tournament, however, they lost their first game to worse-seeded North Carolina State.
- The Aztecs won or shared three consecutive national championships in the NCAA College Division from 1966-68. Their high-powered passing offense instituted by future Chargers head coach Don Coryell eventually sent five successive quarterbacks (Don Horn, Dennis Shaw, Brian Sipe, Jesse Freitas, and Craig Penrose) to the pro ranks. However, since the Aztecs moved to Division I (what might be called the major leagues of college football) in 1969, they have achieved only one end-of-season Top 25 ranking, namely 16th in 1977.
- In 1990, the Aztecs faced the top ranked Miami Hurricanes, and SDSU placekicker Andy Trakas missed three field goals in the 4th quarter (including the game winner) in a 28-30 loss. Andy Trakas missed many field goals in his collegiate career, creating a phrase often referenced by Aztec alums of that era with "I Trakas'd it" or "He totally Trakas'd it."
- However, the Aztecs convincingly beat Navy in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, with a final score of 35-14. The win, combined with the lopsided score, might mean that Aztec football is no longer affected by the curse. Then again, the Aztecs lost their bowl games in 2011 and 2012, so the 2010 game remains their only bowl victory since 1969.
- It could be argued that the San Diego sports curse now extends even to the U.S. Open golf tournaments (for both men and women), the most prestigious American events on the calendar. In the nine years from 1958 to 1966, the tournaments were won by San Diego natives seven times: once by Gene Littler, twice by Billy Casper, and four times by Mickey Wright. However, in the 47 years since then, the only victory by a San Diegan has been the one by Scott Simpson in 1987. This might still seem unremarkable were it not for the fact that Phil Mickelson, another San Diego native and arguably the second-most accomplished player of his generation, has won the other three major championships (five times in all) but never the U.S. Open. Instead, he has finished second a record six times.
- The America’s Cup in sailing was held by the New York Yacht Club for 132 years (1851–1983). This was commonly regarded as the longest period of unbroken domination in the history of sports. The string was finally broken when the challenging boat Australia II, representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club, defeated the defender Liberty, which was skippered by San Diego native Dennis Conner. Liberty managed to lose despite moving out to a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
- By August of 1996, the great thoroughbred racehorse Cigar had won 16 consecutive races and was tied with Citation for the longest North American winning streak of the 20th century. However, despite being heavily favored, he lost his next race, the Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar, on the northern outskirts of San Diego.
- In 1973, heavyweight boxer Ken Norton fought the heavily-favored Muhammad Ali in Norton's adopted hometown of San Diego. Norton won the fight and in the process broke Ali's jaw; unfortunately for Norton, however, this was not a world title fight, as Ali had earlier been stripped of his title and was then defeated by champion Joe Frazier in an attempt to regain it. In 1976, after Ali had succeeded in retaking the title from George Foreman, he and Norton met in the ring once again (actually for the third time), but on this occasion Ali was declared the winner in a very close and hotly disputed decision. When Norton finally became WBC champion in 1978, it was only as the result of an utterly anticlimactic procedural dispute. Then, in his first title defense less than three months later, Norton was defeated by Larry Holmes in another extremely close decision. In short, despite being one of the most successful and respected heavyweight fighters of his time, Norton never had the satisfaction of winning a world title fight in the ring.
- Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open golf championship at Torrey Pines in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. This was the first time that the tournament had been held at Torrey Pines. At that point Woods had won 14 major championships in less than 12 years and was well on his way to matching the all-time record of 18 held by Jack Nicklaus. However, during the tournament Woods aggravated pre-existing knee and leg injuries, forcing him to undergo surgery soon afterward and miss the rest of the season. He has not won a major championship since.
- Like the original Sockers of indoor soccer, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson (from San Diego suburb El Cajon), skateboarder Tony Hawk, and snowboarder/skateboarder Shaun White appear to have been exempted from the curse. No explanation has been offered.
Untimely player deaths
Several players on San Diego teams have had untimely deaths.
- Former Padre Alan Wiggins died from AIDS in 1991, former Padre Eric Show died of a heart attack in 1994, Mike Sharperson was killed in a car accident on his way to join the Padres from AAA Las Vegas in 1996, and Mike Darr was killed in a car accident at the age of 25 in 2002.
- Former Padre Clay Kirby, well known for his near no-hitter in 1970, died of a heart attack in 1991 at age 43.
- Ken Caminiti died from a drug overdose in 2004, three years after his retirement from MLB. He won the National League's MVP award as a Padre in 1996.
- Emil Karas, star linebacker for the Chargers in their AFL years, died of cancer in 1974 at age 40.
- Former Charger Jacque MacKinnon died accidentally from a fall in 1975 at the age of 36.
- Leon Burns, the first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 1971, was murdered in 1984 at the age of 42.
- Running back Ricky Bell, who was the first overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft (by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and whose last season was with the Chargers, died of heart failure in 1984 at the age of 29.
- The 1994 Chargers defeated the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1994 AFC Championship game. Within 18 months, Chargers running back Rodney Culver (age 26) was killed in a plane crash in Florida and Chargers linebacker David Griggs (age 28) died in a car accident. Linebacker Doug Miller (age 28) was fatally struck by two bolts of lightning in July 1998 in Colorado. Center Curtis Whitley and defensive lineman Chris Mims both died in 2008, at age 39 and 38, respectively. Defensive lineman Shawn Lee (age 44) and linebacker Lew Bush (age 42) both died in 2011 of cardiac arrest. Star linebacker Junior Seau (age 43) committed suicide by gunshot in his Oceanside home on May 2, 2012. In total, 8 members of the Chargers' only Super Bowl team have died, none of them having made it past the age of 44.
- Former San Diego Charger Paul Oliver passed away on September 24, 2013, at 29 years old. He was the victim of an apparent suicide.
In addition, tennis great and San Diego native Maureen Connolly, winner of 9 Grand Slam singles titles and 3 Grand Slam doubles titles in the space of 4 years (1951–54), died of cancer in 1969 at age 34.
- "Something's missing". SignOnSanDiego.com. February 11, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "A Life After Wide Right". SI.com. July 12, 2004. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Martin, Cam. "Not In Cleveland: America's Longest Sports Curse Actually Belongs To San Diego". The Post Game. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- "San Diego Padres Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- "San Diego Chargers Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- "Super Bowls That Were Never Played". mmbolding.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "John Smallwood: Philadelphia sports and the curse of the inauguration". philly.com. January 21, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "LA Chargers SD Chargers Articles". conigliofamily.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "These curses live on". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Rays’ cycle makes Padres only team with no-cycle, no no-no". NoNoHitters.com. October 3, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Padres Single Game Records". mlb.com. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- "THE LIST: Most notable no-hitter droughts". The Washington Post. June 17, 2007.
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: Houston Astros 2, San Diego Padres 1 (1)". retrosheet.org. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- "San Diego Padres Attendance Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Cassavell, AJ (July 18, 2013). "Padres await first no-no, 41 years after closest call". padres.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Antonen, Mel (June 13, 2012). "Despite close calls, Padres only members of the no no-hitters club". SI.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "San Diego Padres (1) St. Louis Cardinals (0) - 5/19/1975". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "The Galveston Daily News". Newspapers.com. June 5, 1982. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "The Palm Beach Post". news.google.com. June 3, 1982. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "20 Game Losers—2 Guys Talking Mets Baseball". 2guystalkingmetsbaseball.com. June 12, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". MLB.com. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- "Kaeding struggles in playoff loss - NFL Hot off the Wire". USA Today Sports. January 18, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "NBA Home Attendance Totals". apbr.org. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Attendance Project: WHA". kenn.com. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- "San Diego Gulls Statistics and History [WHL]". hockeydb.com. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- "College Poll Archive". collegepollarchive.com. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- "College Poll Archive". collegepollarchive.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Cigar Loses At Del Mar". The Washington Post. August 10, 1996. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Associated Press (November 2, 2004). "Drugs ruled as cause of death for Caminiti". NBC Sports.
- Jenkins, Chris (October 16, 2008). "Ex-Charger Chris Mims found dead at L.A. home". San Diego Union-Tribune.
- "Seau the latest chapter in sad legacy of 1994 Chargers". NFL.com. August 3, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- The San Diego Curse
- Seasons of Wither: The Curse of the San Diego Chargers
- Something’s Missing.
- No-four leaf clover here.
- Couch Commentary: Are The Chargers Jinxed?