raymond albert kroc was, among other things in his lifetime, a milkshake mixer salesman when in 1954 he met the mcdonald's brothers and recognized the potential for expansion that their hamburger business offered. kroc eventually bought the brothers out of the business and took the restaurant worldwide. in 1974, he used some of the money he had made from his mcdonald's empire and bought the san diego padres. after he died of heart disease in january of 1984, the team added his initials to their left sleeves in tribute.
here's a 1985 topps steve garvey card that shows the memorial worn in 1984, the first year the padres appeared in the postseason
and it shows up on garvey's 1985 topps record breaker, too.
but i've got this 1984 star steve garvey card in the memorial binder as the 1984 example of the memorial
the padres wore the memorial again in 1985, perhaps inspired by the chicago bears who had begun wearing george halas' initial on their uniforms following his death in october of 1983 and continued to do so the following year. in fact, the 'gsh' on the bears jerseys has never been removed since it was first added over 30 years ago. anyway, here are some examples of the memorial from the 1985 season.
1986 leaf dave dravecky
the ramirez card is in the binder, too.
the pads wore the memorial in 1986 as well, and there are some 1987 cards that show it fairly well.
1987 fleer garvey
1987 topps tony gwynn
1987 topps carmelo martinez
1987 donruss randy asadoor
and 1987 donruss ed wojna
those last two cards feature a nice dodger stadium, so they are both in that binder, but i have the wojna card in the memorial binder, too.
although the padres did not wear the memorial beyond the 1986 season, it has shown up on a few cards since then, like this 1992 fleer ultra tony gwynn commemorative series card
and this 2013 topps archives gwynn card
and, when the padres wear their 1984 throwbacks, the memorial makes a return as well, as evidenced by yorvit toerralba's 2010 topps update card
kroc, who once apologized to fans over the stadium loudspeaker for the padres' poor play, was a benefactor to many charities, including those involved in the research and treatment of various diseases, including alcoholism. he also oversaw the development of the ronald mcdonald house charities and was a member of the inaugural class in the san diego padres hall of fame.