by Photo courtesy of San Diego Padres

All-time San Diego Padres revered slugger Nate Colbert died on Thursday at the age of 76. 

In a statement from the organization, Padres Chairman Peter Seidler said, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Padres Hall of Famer Nate Colbert. Our hearts go out to his wife, Kasey, and the entire Colbert family at this very difficult time."

No player in the 54-season history of the franchise hit more home runs than Colbert's 163 in a Padres uniform from 1969-74.  Adrián González follows Colbert with 161, followed by Phil Nevin's 156, Dave Winfield's 154 and Tony Gwynn's 135.

Described as a “ fearsome power hitter” who regularly launched titanic blasts, Colbert averaged 30 home runs per season for the Padres from 1969-73, even while the team played its home games at spacious San Diego Stadium.

His five-homer outburst was part of a spectacular 1972 season, perhaps the best in Colbert’s 10-year big league career, which also included stints in Houston, Detroit, Montreal, and Oakland, according to Padres.

He launched a career-high-tying 38 home runs and finished eighth in voting for the National League MVP Award in '72.

A St. Louis native, Colbert was born on April 9, 1946, and attended Sumner High School, just north of Sportsman’s Park.

He was originally sighed out of high school by his hometown Cardinals in 1964 but was selected by the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft the following year. According to the Padres, he made his MLB debut with Houston in 1966 before being selected in 1968 by the Padres in that year’s Expansion draft. 

Colbert also spent time with the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos, and Oakland Athletics over 10 seasons in the big leagues.

In 1999, he was inducted into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class.

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