This year’s FanFest was amazing. It just gets better and better every year, and this year was definitely tops in my opinion.
When I got there (after successfully driving myself downtown for the first time, by the way), there was a long line it get in. It was about 10 a.m. But thankfully, I had pre-registered so I got in through a much shorter line.
My first stop was the Padres Foundation Garage Sale, which had a line almost all the way to home plate. It was crazy. Once I finally got in, I found a couple of things. I got the 2007 yearbook, which meant a lot to me because that was my first season as a fan. Then I bought a commemorative coin from the games in China at the beginning of 2008. I remember how insanely excited I was when I heard that we had won one and tied one of those games. It was a fantastic.
I was in the looooong line to pay when Matt Slagle (@matthewslagle), The Telescope’s editor in chief, texted me and said that he was going to get Trevor Hoffman’s autograph. Now, you must stop reading this blog, open this article in a new tab and read it right now. Then you can come back here. It’s an AMAZING article. http://www.friarhood.com/voice-of-the-fan/visitors-pass/1683-a-great-fan-fest-experience-thanks-to-trevor-hoffman.html
Wasn’t that great? Now back to my FanFest experience.
I headed over to the XX 1090 booth, which was on the Beach this year. When I got there, I think Josh Bynes was being interviewed. Soon, Bud Black showed up to be interviewed next, but because there was still time before it was his turn, he started signing autographs for the fans around him. So cool. Luke Gregerson did the same thing when he showed up during Buddy’s interview.
After a while, Colleen @colleen_teresa , the sports and copy editor on the paper, arrived at Petco. I had my official autograph session almost right away, with Jerry Coleman and Joe Thatcher. It was really cool.
Colleen and I then took the clubhouse tour. As we walked into the hallway that leads to the clubhouse, we saw Huston Street about a foot away from us. Unfortunately, he was talking to someone else and then hoofed it down the hallway, away from us. We didn’t even get to see his face. But that would be remedied later.
Being in the clubhouse is always magical, even thought this was the fourth time I’ve seen it. I love it. This year, it had even more meaning for Colleen and I – we’re both sports writers and want to pursue it as a career, and being in the clubhouse was all the motivation we’ll need for a long time. That and being in the dugout and looking up at the press box. Someday…
We then went back to the Garage Sale to see if there was anything new or reduced. Just as we got in, the Pitcher’s Forum started. it was MC-ed by Mark Grant talking to Tim Stauffer, Cory Luebke and HUSTON STREET! I dragged Colleen over and got as close as we could. I then took many, many photos of all three of the guys, but mostly Street. I’m so excited to have him on the team. He’s going to be an excellent closer for us.
After a great forum, we wandered around the stadium, managing to snag three more autographs: Will Venable, Brad Brach and Jeff Moorad. My total for the day: seven autographs.
It was an amazingly fun day. I loved just being at Petco Park with thousands of other Padres fans. It definitely gave me the itch for baseball. I’m ready. I’m so ready for the season to start and to watch some amazing baseball.