Colbert’s name became synonymous with the young Padres. After coming through the St. Louis farm system and appearing with Houston, Colbert was San Diego’s ninth selection in the 1968 expansion draft. A great fastball hitter with a strong, compact swing, Colbert devastated NL pitching, crashing 163 homers in his six seasons with San Diego. He led NL first basemen in assists in 1972 and 1973 and was an All-Star three times, 1971-73.
Colbert was the Padres’ offense in 1972, driving in 111 of the 488 runs the club scored, and, for the second time, belting 38 homers, more than one-third of the Padres’ total. On August 1, in Atlanta, he hit five homers in a doubleheader to tie the record set by Stan Musial, and drove in 13 runs, the most ever in a twin bill. Coincidentally, Colbert, a St. Louis native, recalls having been in the stands that day in 1954 when Musial hit the five homers.
Traded to Detroit in November 1974, back problems forced Colbert’s retirement in 1976 at age 30.