The first time I ever saw you live was June 23, 2005, at my first Padres game. I wasn’t a Padres fan, in fact, I thought baseball was kind of boring. I had heard of you before, who in San Diego hadn’t? You were the only person I associated with the Padres. I don’t remember much about that game. But you did pitch that day, in the 10th with the game tied. You’ve always been horrible in tie games. (Note to Milwaukee: whatever you do, do NOT put Trevor in to pitch in tie games!!) This game was no different. You gave up the winning homer. I don’t remember seeing you pitch, but I can say that I was there.
In 2006, I attended another game, and after that, I was hooked. One of my best experiences involving you was your record-breaking 479th save. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon near the end of the season. I was in my room with the radio cranked. My parents had their radio way loud, too. It was so amazing to hear the call of the save, and to hear the interview and analysis afterwards. I was so happy for you that I almost started crying. I remember wishing so much that I could be there. I still have the newspapers from that wonderful weekend. You were my favorite player.
I went into the 2007 season as a Padres fan. You had a great year. There are so many stories I could share, but let’s just say that I was super excited when you got a save, and pretty disappointed when you blew one. The day you got #500 was very exctiting for me. I didn’t get to hear it live, but I’ve watched it a lot since. In September 2007, I headed down to PETCO with my sister and two friends to celebrate my birthday. We got BP balls from the groundskeeper, and when we got into the stadium, we went towards the right field line. There you were, streching near the visitor’s bullpen. I was so excited to see you. I was pretty much awe-struck. When you were done streching, you stopped by to sign autographs. And I got it, on my BP ball. I think I squeezed in between a bunch of people, and just stuck my hand in there. It was so cool, and that ball is very special to me.
Game 163 hurt, badly. I was really confident in you, but you blew it. That was truly devastating, hearing you fall apart on that field. But the way you handled the situation, taking the blame, and giving no excuses was just incredible.
On August 14, 2008, I finally got to see Trevor Time. In the bottom of the 8th, the score was 3-1 Pads. My Padres got Kouzmanoff on, but I desperately didn’t want Chase Headley to get a hit! He didn’t, and so the game headed into the top of the 9th. One of my goals in 2008 was to see Trevor Time. I wanted to see it before you retired. And there I was. I had been watching you warm up in the bullpen. I could tell it was you by the leg kick, and the way you pitch. It was incredible to watch the Trevor Time, to hear “Hell’s Bells”. I was screaming like crazy and taking countless pictures. You did give up a home run to Mike Cameron, but you did it. You closed your 550th save. I am so thankful that I was able to be there, to see it before you left.
Trevor, you are a Padre. No matter where you go, you are and always will be a Padre. You’ve been here for 16 years. In 1998, “Hell’s Bells” debuted and you became San Diego’s hero. Over the 16 years with us, you collected 552 saves. You broke the all-time saves record right here in San Diego. You got 500 and 550 here. You represented the Padres 6 times in the All-Star game. You’ve been here for so long, done so much for this team, and how are we supposed to say goodbye to you?
We love you. We love Trevor Time. We love your humbleness, your humor, and the way you play the game. The front office is eager to let you go, but we aren’t. We aren’t ready to watch you walk away. We want you to stay, to end your Hall of Fame career here. It’s not going to happen, but we wish so much that you could have stayed. We will miss you so much.
It will be so different without you here at PETCO. I will miss you so much, but I hope you have a great year with the Brewers. I will be following all you saves. I miss you, Trevor.