San Diego High
graduate Carlos Hadaway was a seaman apprentice in 1961 when a superior
told him about a contest being held by the Padres. "I wanted to do
something with a Padre swinging a bat," recalled Hadaway, who had
experience drawing a comic strip called "Square dat Hadaway" for a Navy
newspaper called The Hoist. The 19-year-old came up with a few sketches of
a brown-robed friar. After his sketch was approved he was asked to draw a
larger version of his Swinging Friar. He presented it to Padres General
Manager Eddie Leishman, which became the lucky charm of the club.
Unfortunately Hadaway was paid a nominal fee for his Padres sketches.
Friar is a cartoon-like character dressed as a friar, swinging a baseball
bat. He is a chubby, cute hairless man and is always grinning. For the
past 40 years the friar has always worn the attire of a medieval beggar.
He wears a dark hooded cloak, sandals and a rope around the waist. He uses
both of his hands with equal ease since it was reported in some years he
swung lefthanded and in others he swung righthanded, and he even wore a
glove for a season. He lost his halo as he grew up during the 1960s.
He is an
enigmatic personality who cracks a mean bat. The origin and of the little
guy goes back so far that nobody exactly know when he was born. But the
fans are satisfied with this aspect that this holy man still supplies the
blessings. His eternal smile is simply mesmerizing. The Swinging Friar's
motto is "Keep the Faith", or the gospel note, which forms the basis of
the lives of Franciscan friars, "I come to serve."