Yesterday was FanFest, and it was so much fun!!!
It was the getting there though, that was not fun.
Someone annoyingly decided to schedule the air show on Coronado on the same day as FanFest. My family and I decided to leave our house around 8 so that we would get downtown around 9. Around 8:40 a.m., we got stuck in the worst traffic that I’ve ever seen. At 10:40, we were finally able to break free and get to our exit. The most frustrating part about it was that we were probably 1 1/2-2 miles away from our exit when we got stuck. Uggghhh.
But, we did make it with plenty of time to see all the attractions at FanFest. I really enjoyed it, but I think next year the Padres need to bring in some more features.
I was shocked at how many people there were, especially since it seemed like the whole city was heading to Coronado (there were actually 70,000 people at the air show!!!!). But there were long lines at Petco for the Garage Sale and the clubhouse tour.
I’ve been to the Garage Sale three years now, and it’s so funny to see some of the same stuff coming out every year! A lot of the old commemorative baseballs have been trying to sell for years, but I doubt that many people are very interested in those.
I didn’t find much, but I did get a “5” patch that potentially could have been on Kouz’s jersey had he stayed with the Padres. Sniff sniff. I also bought a Western Metal Theater shirt, mostly because it was only $3.
I got Clayton Richard and Mike Adams’ autographs, which was pretty cool.
I got to talk to Friarhood, RJ’s Fro, Jane Mitchell, and various other fans. And of course, my Padres buddy Hyun Young. We passed out some blog cards and cupcakes and cake pops that we made ourselves. Mine got really squished, but whatever. It’s the taste that counts.
I also sat in on the Leadership Forum, which featured Dick Enberg and Tom Garfinkel. It was really interesting hearing the questions from the fans and the thoughts of both of these guys. I am especially excited about a game this year where Trevor Hoffman is going to be honored. It’s going to be sweet!!
I was super happy to get out to Petco Park again. It had been way too long, and it was so much fun to see sooo many Padres fans out there. They ended up having over 21,000 people there!!!!!
I can’t wait for baseball season to start. I have a feeling that this Padres team is going to be AMAZING.
Today is Hyun Young’s birthday!!!! Happy birthday Padres buddy!!!! You are amazing 🙂
And, big shoutout to my sports editor and fellow Padres fan, Matt, who I assist on Palomar College’s newspaper, The Telescope. If you have any complaints about this blog, send them to him. Just kidding 🙂 And if you love Palomar sports, the Watercooler, our sports blog, is the place to find all Comets sports coverage.
I am soooo excited about FanFest!!! I can’t believe that it’s only two days away. I’m going to have so much fun, and I’m so happy that I get to go to Petco Park this weekend. Best place ever.
Even though it’s pretty much the same events as last year, I’m still super excited to get out there and recharge my fanhood. It’s been way too long since I’ve seen any baseball, and this is pretty much a celebration of our boys getting ready to get out there and win a title for us.
Hyun Young and I are really hoping to get Mat Latos’ autograph. Out of all the guys on our team, this is one of the most amazing rising stars, and I feel like his autograph is going to be worth a lot someday. I would say that he’s the next Jake Peavy but…look how he turned out.
I’m also excited to see the clubhouse again. I’ve taken the tour twice, but it still has the awe of the first time. Just thinking about the kind of legends that have stood in that clubhouse, like Trevor Hoffman and Kevin Kouzmanoff. Just to think that my baby spent a ton of time in that room…wow. It makes me want to scream or faint or something. That is a very special place.
I really hope that there’s a lot of good stuff at the garage sale, too. Last year I got a Kevin Kouzmanoff banner that had been hanging on one of the lampposts (until they traded him of course). It’s super cool, and I hope that I can find more Kouz stuff and anything else interesting.
And of course, the best part about FanFest is meeting up with other fans who are just as crazy about the Padres as I am! I hope to meet and re-meet a ton of people this year, including but not limited to Hyun Young, John, Gaslamp Ball people, RJ’s Fro people, Twitter people, and Friarhood people. Especially since Hyun Young and I have a very special plan.
I can’t wait. It’s going to be such a fun day!!
First, I have to apologize for being so stupid that I didn’t even know my own blog’s birthdate. For some reason, I was completely convinced that it was the 28th of June until yesterday I dug all the way back in the archives and realized that it was actually the 23rd. Oops. So, this is a little late, but better late than never 🙂
This has been a very interesting year in my fanhood. Only about a month after this blog’s first anniversary, our ace and homegrown boy Jake Peavy was traded. I was extremely upset at the Padres for that, and it was a rough time to go through. Surprisingly, I can look back on that trade and say that it really was for the best. The team has gained a lot more than it lost.
- Missing #44 – Unfinished Business, 8/1/09
It was also during this year that I lost my all-time favorite baseball player, Kevin Kouzmanoff. That was even harder than losing Jake. Even now, I don’t see a good, solid reason why they had to trade my baby. Obviously we did get some good players in return for him (Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham) but I think we could have gone without them. Sigh. We can’t change what happened but no matter where he goes, Kouzie will always be my favorite baseball player.
- Who’s Hot? Kouz!! – Unfinished Business, 8/20/09
- 20 Things I Love About Kevin Kouzmanoff – Unfinished Business, 1/19/10
- Kevin Kouzmanoff and Me – Unfinished Business, 2/2/10
In the second half of the season last year, the Padres really picked things up. I don’t know what it was, but I think it had a lot to do with all the young guys coming up and getting consistent playing time. The youth movement worked really well.
- Kiddie Day At The Ballpark – Unfinished Business, 9/17/09
We didn’t really leave our last-place standing in the NL West, but we were winning consistently, and that was good enough. All through the offseason, the big question was, are the Padres going to keep playing like that next season? Is this second half going to carry over? Is this winning thing really going to stick?
It was in this time of uncertainty that I really started to think about the nature of my fanhood. I’m a die-hard Padres fan. But as I saw all these San Diego icons leaving, I had to really examine what my fanhood was. And in that, I realized that I am a Padres fan. I am a fan of the team. It doesn’t really matter who the players are, as long as there are 25 guys on that roster, I cheer for them no matter what. Kevin Kouzmanoff was a HUGE part of my fanhood, but when he was taken away, what was left? It was just the team. It was just the San Diego Padres.
I think the Kouz trade really did effect my fanhood in a bad way, though. I have not been as motivated to listen to the games, or to blog, or to follow the Padres at all. Obviously, I am a huge Padres fan, but your fanhood is enriched so much more when you’ve got a special player to look out for and to cheer for. Ever since Kouz was kicked out, I haven’t had that. It’s kind of been rough, but I know that my fanhood will pull through and hopefully get a second wind. Hopefull I’ll be able to find a new Padres favorite soon. Lance Zawadzki was getting pretty close to that spot, but then the Padres sent him down. Boo.
- Four Seasons and Counting… – Unfinished Business, 1/6/10
This is my fourth year of being a Padres fan. Isn’t it amazing how fast time goes by? For two of those years I’ve been absolutely priveledged to be a part of the MLBlogs community. It’s been so much fun blogging here. I am so thankful that I got to be in this group of baseball lovers. I don’t think my blog would be doing as well if I was at an independant website. Being a part of this group is so much fun! I am extremely happy to be here and to be celebrating two years of blogging!
- Blogging the Padres in 2010 (My blogging goals and aims) – Unfinished Business 4/5/10
I expanded my horizons a little this year. Instead of promoting my blog exclusively in MLBlogs, I started connecting with some of the other Padres blogs out there like Gaslamp Ball, RJ’s Fro, and the Friarhood. I also extended into Facebook and Twitter for promoting.
I really would encourage you guys to “become a fan” of or “like” or whatever it is they call it these days on the blog’s Facebook page. Every time I put up an entry I post the link on that page. I think it’s helpful to people so that they don’t have to remember to go to my blog everyday, they can just see the link on their Facebook newsfeeds and go straight to it from there.
I don’t really tweet that much, usually the only times I do is when I don’t have anything else to do and I’m listening to the game…which isn’t often. I don’t always post the links to my entries every day either, so the Facebook page would be the better place to go. But I’m going to try to be better about updating both consistently.
Okay, here’s some stats:
Rankings: MLBlogs Latest Leaders List (over the past two years): 44, 30, 21, 25, 24, 31, 23, 22, 36, 29, 31, 31, 21, 19, 15, 17, 21, 19, 22, 18, 10, 11, 11
MLBlogs 2009 Leaders: #20 (out of 100)
Hits: I think I’m getting about 2,000 hits a week.
Here are a few of my favorite entries from the past year:
- Cool of the Night – 7/21/09
Lamenting the heat and our losing trends.
- No Words – 7/11/09
I was soooo upset about the Padres getting no-hit that I abandoned the them for a weekend and fled to the Red Sox.
- Your Last-Place Padres… – 7/9/09
The Padres were able to stay out of last place for quite a while, but all good things come to an end…
Thank you so much to everyone here at MLBlogs. I love this place and it’s been so much fun blogging with you all. Thank you for making this an amazing experience for me. I love reading your blogs!
Thank you so much to all the guys at Gaslamp Ball, RJ’s Fro, and the Friarhood. Your blogs are all so great and so much fun to read. I am extremely grateful to you guys for linking my entires and blog on yours. I know it’s helped my readership a ton and I can’t thank you enough!! It’s a pleasure to be part of such an elite group of Padres bloggers!
Thank you so much to my MLBlogs Padres buddies, Hyun Young and John!! Both of you, it’s so much fun to talk Padres on Facebook and Twitter. Hyun Young, it’s so much fun to hang out with you at Petco and your love of the Padres inspires me. I still want to meet Eck sometime!
Thank you to all my readers. I’ve said it time and time again, but without you guys, there would be no purpose for me to write this blog. Thanks for putting up with me through the good times and the bad. Thank you for all the support and the comments. You guys are amazing!
Here’s a shoutout to everyone I personally know who reads this blog. You know who you are. Thanks so much for supporting my fanhood and this blog. It always thrills me so much when one of you comes up to me and tells me that you’ve been reading it. Thank you thank you thank you!
Thanks to my Twitter followers and my Facebook fans. Thanks to my amazing family and super amazing friends. I love you guys!
Thanks to my Heavenly Father, who has blessed me so much. Without You I am nothing. May I always give glory to You in everything that I do.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Unfinished Business
Happy birthday to you
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
I got to the ballpark with my mom and three younger siblings just before 10 in the morning. We parking in one of the FREE parking lots, which was so cool. We’ve always parked in the convention center underground parking so it was a really neat experience to settle down in the VIP section 😉
We walked the short distance to the ballpark and then walked and walked and walked to try to find the end of the line. It started at Home Plate gate and went all the way around almost to the Padres store area on the left field side. Whoo.
We met up with Hyun Young and checked out the schedule and stuff and discussed what we wanted to do. We decided that we wanted to go for the Hairston Brothers autograph session which was from 12:30-1:30.
Once the line got moving, it didn’t take long at all to get inside. Once we did, I realized that it might be a little challenging to get our tickets for the autograph session. I didn’t agree with the way they distributed those at all. Basically, I think they had to run out of the first few sessions before they put up new ones. So we had no idea of knowing when the Hairston session would become available, and there’s no way we were just going to sit there and wait for it. So, we decided to jump on the clubhouse tour right away and come back to try to get the Hairstons later.
I think we were in the first round of people of the day for the clubhouse tour, which was really nice because it wasn’t too crowded at all. We walked down the long hallway that was flanked by doors on each side. Some of them were labeled, like the family room and x-ray room, but a lot of them were left to the imagination. We went into the weight room, which is so impressive. Some of that stuff is massive! It would be so cool to have access to that kind of equiptment all the time.
Then we went into the hall that led to the main attraction: the clubhouse itself, the home of our San Diego Padres!
I’d been in there before, but it was so cool to see it again! I was shocked and thrilled to see an empty locker on one side of the room that had a nameplate saying “Hoffman 51” on it. That’s so cool!!! I thought that was a great tribute to our guy who needs to come back now. I heard a lady say, “They’d better never take that down.” I agree completely.
We spent a lot of time in the clubhouse, taking pictures. There was some very interesting stuff in Everth Cabrera’s locker: an “I Heart Nicaragua” sticker and a picture of Kouz. Hmmm.
Something that made me laugh was peeking into the bathroom that was across the room and seeing this:
I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s actually an Adrian Gonzalez toothbrush holder in there. LOL!!
After we were done drinking in the clubhouse, we headed out to the dugout, which is so cool. I love it so much! It’s kind of hard to imagine being a baseball player with so many people around, but it was amazing just the same. We then walked the bases, which was very cool. There were a lot of people playing catch in the outfield, which was very neat. I hadn’t brought my glove but that’s something I would love to do someday. When we got to third base, I kind of was sad. I miss Kouz 😦
I’m a little mixed up on the order of how we did things at this point, but hopefully I’m mostly accurate 🙂
I believe that we went to check for the HairBros session again, but it wasn’t there. We decided to grab a ticket for an Everth Cabrera signing, just so that we were sure to get an autograph if the HairBros didn’t work out. After we got that, we went to the Padres Garage Sale.
Earlier, we had seen a lady looking at a Kevin Kouzmanoff banner thingy while we were walking on the concourse. I was like, ahhh I have to go get that! So once we got into the Garage Sale, I went straight for that front porch thingy to look for it. My sister found it for me. So epic! I’m so glad I was able to get it, but it was filthy! Not the best thing to be carrying around while wearing a white jersey.
This is a picture that I took at a game last year:
I also bought a reusable “green” bag that said “Padres Foundation” on it because I never have a big enough bag for all my stuff. Especially when I go to Petco Park. But the selection of stuff this year wasn’t as good as last years, I thought.
While we were “shopping” we bumped into John from The Friar Faithful. It was really cool to meet him!
Next we decided to check out the Media Zone and met the guys from RJ’s Fro on the way over. They were super cool, and we said “I like BBQ” to them and they gave us these sweet posters signed by the RJ himself, Randy Jones! Thanks so much guys!!
We all decided to go talk to Corey Brock, so we hung out around there for a long time and met the guys from Gaslamp Ball. Now that was seriously cool. It was like a mini-Padres-bloggers meetup, in the media zone, no less! Wow. Anyways, all those guys are very cool and I had a lot of fun talking with them. Man I love Padres bloggers.
Hyun Young and I decided to go try for the HairBros again, but I think we got distracted by taking pictures of players who were in other autograph sessions. Mat Latos and Sean Gallagher cracked me up. They switched nameplates and looked like they were having a lot of fun. I love Mat Latos, and I think he’s my new favorite pitcher. Can’t wait to see him pitch a whole season!
I think we walked down to the field again (I don’t remember why) and then we came back up and spent some time at the 4SD area. Hyun Young got her picture taken with Mark Neely and I got a Cox keychain. At least it wasn’t the sunscreen.
It was kind of cool because Adrian and his wife Betsy walked right by and went in the middle of a crowded concourse. I mean, that’s not something you see everyday: the face of the organization walking among the fans. I thought that was pretty cool.
So then I got a lemonade and we went to the Everth line to wait for our autographs. It wasn’t that long of a wait at all. There was this mom behind us who was telling her little son about who’s autograph they were going to get. Then Everth walked by, and the little kid was like, who’s that? His mom went, he’s Everth Cabrera, we’re going to get his autograph. And the kid goes, “Him? I HATE him!!” I was cracking up. Haha it was great!
We got Carlos Hernandez and Everth Cabrera’s autographs, which was pretty cool. Everth was pretty shy, but he’s adorable.
We took more pictures of players who were signing, but we just missed taking pictures of the HairBros at their session. Sigh. But then we decided to go watch their Q&A session, and I thought that I would FINALLY be able to see them!
The front office session was just ending when we got there, and we met Steve from the Friarhood and talked with him for a while. That was so cool! He loved my jersey and picture of Kouz.
We settled down for the Q&A session. And then my phone rang. My mom said that we needed to meet her at the stairs at 2, which was when the session was supposed to start. Sigh.
So, in the end, I never got to see the Hairstons in person. I was chasing after them all day, but never quite caught up. Oh well. I’m sure that there will be other opportunities to meet them later 🙂
As we walked out, I passed right by Mat Latos! I couldn’t really see who it was at first because I was walking into the sun, and then suddenly I saw that tattoos on his arm, and I was like, it’s Mat Latos! He was probably like five inches away. I didn’t have time to react to say anything, but it was still pretty cool.
What a great event. Petco really felt like home that day. I felt so comfortable and like I belonged there. I loved how open the place was. I mean, we could go almost anywhere in the park! I know that place so well and I’m just so comfortable there that it felt like home. I love that place like crazy.
So here’s the famous picture I wore on my sleeve the whole day as a tribute to Kouz:
I’ve got a big announcement to make, but I think I’ll wait a few days 🙂 Build up the suspense a little. Hehehe I can’t wait to tell you guys!!
My inner Padres fan was really renewed by hanging out at the ballpark and interacting with other fans. It’s like the baseball side of me has officially been awakened. I seriously can’t wait to hear some Padres baseball already!!!! WHOOO HOOOO!!!!!
FanFest was incredible. Great job, Padres.
IT’S TRUCK DAY!!!! YES!!!!!
This morning two trucks got loaded up at Petco Park and then headed out to Arizona. They’re expected to get to Peoria by three this afternoon. Man, that’s exciting. I can’t wait for the boys to get out there and get ready for the season. It’s going to be so great. You have no idea how excited I am about the first Spring Training game this season. It’s been so long since I’ve heard a baseball game!! It’s going to be so great to hear the voices of Ted, Jerry, and Andy calling some Padres baseball. Ahhh I can’t wait!!
But before we get that far…we’ve got the Fan Fest tomorrow!!! I am so super excited!!! I can’t believe that in 24 hours I’m going to be at Petco Park. I miss that place soo much, and I can’t wait to be there.
I’m really really excited about interacting with a lot of Padres fans. It’s going to be so much fun to hang out with Hyun Young again (though I doubt we’re going to be just hanging around much; there’s going to be so much to do!), and I really hope that we’ll be able to meet a lot of new Padres fans. If you see us, be sure to say hi! I’ll be wearing my new and improved Kevin Kouzmanoff jersey:
And Hyun Young will be wearing her David Eckstein autographed jersey 🙂
Like I said, if you see us, be sure to say hey. We love meeting new Padres fans!!
I can’t wait to have an incredible day out at the ballpark tomorrow!!
I am getting so excited about baseball! Now that football is finally over, we can jump back into baseball. I’ve kept very busy this offseason, but I’m finally really missing baseball. Football’s great and everything, but baseball is the best.
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about the Padres FanFest this Saturday!! I wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to go until a couple days ago, and now that I know that I’m definitely going, I am just super super excited. I can’t wait to get out to Petco Park again to hang out with other Padres fans and get to interact with Padres players. I’m also really excited about being able to tour the clubhouse and run (or walk) the bases and shop at the Padres Garage Sale. I’ve been to the Fan Fest once and to the Fan Day last year, and both were amazing events.
I’ve been working on my amazing $10 jersey for the past few days. It was originally a Brian Giles jersey, but I’ve, uh, fixed it 🙂 Haha! It’s going to turn out so great. I will reveal it here on the blog next week after I wear it at the Fan Fest. It’s been a lot of fun to work on, and I can’t wait to wear it this Saturday!
Hyun Young’s list of stuff to do at the Fan Fest is amazing, and it’s almost exactly the same as my list would be, but I’m not going to steal her idea 🙂 As you know, it’s her birthday this Saturday, and I can’t wait to hang out with her!! We’re going to have soooo much fun!!
I haven’t been to Petco Park since late September! My goodness, that was a long time ago! You have no idea how excited I am to see Petco again. That’s my FAVORITE place to go and it’s been way too long since I’ve been there.
This is going to be such a great event. I can’t wait to spend a great day there and then come home and share stories and pictures with all you guys!!
And, pitchers and catchers report in nine days!! WOW!!! Hehehehehe I’m sooooooo excited!!!!
It’s going to be so great to have Padres baseball back. I miss it like crazy. Things are going to be different, that’s for sure, but I think it’s going to be a great season.
I hope you guys all had a great Christmas!! I realized how much I’ve been missing blogging yesterday, so I decided to update you guys about the latest San Diego sports news.
Last week the Padres got catcher Dusty Ryan from the Detroit Tigers for cash or a player to be named later. What was really interesting to me is that this guy is only 25 years old. I thought that the Padres were looking for a more veteran catcher who would help Nick Hundley improve and maybe take a few starts, like Henry Blanco did last year. I even wonder if the Padres are going to have this guy on the roster out of Spring Training. Maybe they will still sign a veteran catcher and keep Ryan in the minors in case of emergency.
But if he was on the roster, it would seem that he would not have as much playing time as Nick Hundley. I think that’s a given. Nick is our main catcher right now, and since he’s been working with the pitchers for a full season, he will be our main guy. Ryan could get only one or two starts a week.
Ryan apparently has a very strong arm, which is probably what attracted the Padres the most. Nick’s got a great arm too, but he has room to improve. Anyways, it will be very interesting to see where the Padres go with this young catcher.
The Chargers played an incredible game last night to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. I am so excited about the Chargers right now. I really, really think that they’re going to get a World Series for San Diego. It’s really exciting!
Now, the Padres need to get to work on locking up Kouz, Heath Bell, and Mike Adams for next year. Get it done, guys!!!!
I do have to say, my reasons to keep Kevin Kouzmanoff entry was a little embarrassing. Sorry about that.
GO PADRES!! GO CHARGERS!!! KEEP THE KOUZ!!!
What a great game!! After losing their ninth straight game to the Cardinals on Thursday night, the Padres and their fans needed a win. The ball was placed in Clayton Richard’s hands.
(If any of you are wondering why I did not blog yesterday, I was sleeping in ’til 11. Plus, I didn’t really want to blog about that sick loss the other night. Summer’s ending too soon!! Even though I slept until 11 again this morning, I just had to blog about the amazing game last night!!)
First off, it was Fellowship Night, so church groups could come out for a discounted price. Church groups can go anytime, of course, but this is a special night. After the game, some of the players give their testamonies, and it’s good stuff. I should have been there last night, but our church didn’t get out to it this year. It made me pretty depressed, knowing that I could have been there. Oh well. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for me to go to a game this year.
Now, Clayton Richard. This guy came over in the Jake Peavy deal almost a month ago, and he’s been great. His last outing (against the Cardinals actually) was not the greatest, but he got a no-decision. This time, he was excellent. How’s six innings, five hits, NO RUNS, three walks, and six strikeouts? Pretty good. Then when you get the Padres bullpen in there…wow.
In the second inning, Will Venable doubled and Kyle Blanks singled. Nick Hundley came to the plate. He quickly went down 0-2, but came back to a full count. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, he hit a bomb to left field for a three-run homer. Oh man, I LOVE three-run homers!! So cool.
Nick…I love Nick!! He’s a great person, and he’s becoming a very good player. I love catchers, and Nick is a great one. He’s still young, and he’s still learning, but I think he’s a fixture in the Padres’ future. Great game Nick!!
The Padres didn’t score again until the eighth, but then again, the Cardinals didn’t score at all! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Anyways, with runners on third and second, Kouz lined a single up the middle. T.Gywnn scored easily, but Eck got easily caught by the gun of Rick Ankiel. Wow.
Luke Gregerson threw a great inning. Mike Adams struck out the side in his. Heath Bell pitched the ninth, even though it was not a save situation with our 4-0 lead. Which became our 4-0 win when Heath was done.
What a great game. Will Venable made some excellent plays. Nick Hundley had an unassisted double play, almost a triple play.
So now we have tied up the series at one. My boys need to get at least one more in this series…hmmm…hey, how about tonight!!
Speaking of tonight, our own Hyun Young is going to have the night of her life. Yes, she’s going to the game tonight. She just found out yesterday. Let’s just say that it has something to do with the Ecksteins. I’ll let her tell the story on her blog after the game, but she’s going to have a great, great time. I AM SOOOOOO HAPPY FOR HER!!!!
Speaking of going to a game, I’m getting that itch to be out at the ballpark. It’s been just over a month since I went with Hyun Young and Jen and Kylie, and I really want to get out there again. I’m hoping to get in at least one more game this year. If for no other reason, I think I should go to one for my birthday. That’s a good reason, yes? I guess I’ll just have to see.
Okey dokey. Kevin Correia is pitching tonight against Chris Carpenter. That might be a huge pitching duel if K.Cor can throw strikes. Well, C.Carp, too, but he’s 13-3 and K.Cor is 8-9. Hmmmm. It will be a very interesting game, but the Padres have an advantage: Hyun Young is going to be in the stands!!
GO PADRES!!! WIN!!!!
I’m stealing Jen’s title. Because I can’t think of a better way to describe this entry 🙂
Saturday was amazing. Absolutely amazing. The day itself was pretty miserable, since it was boiling hot in my house and I was watching the minutes go by, but once I got to Petco Park, all that was forgotten. I had a great, great time at the ballpark 🙂
I got to Petco just before the gates opened at 5:00 pm. Jen and her friend Courtney were right outside the gates, and Kylie was already in line. She slipped out, though, and she was really really hyper. It was pretty funny. Hyun Young arrived just as the gates were opening, so we got in right away.
We headed up to the concourse and then split ways. Jen had to cheer for the Rockies in this game (thanks Tom) and Kylie of course is a Rockies fan, so they headed off to the Rockies dugout. Hyun Young and I went to see our Padres. We walked down the stairs towards the field, and what do you know, there’s already a player signing. I just had to smile when I saw who it was.
First of all, Eck’s on the DL. He doesn’t need to be out there signing for the fans. He should be hiding out in the clubhouse recovering. But this guy was out there signing for the fans!! So within five minutes of entering the stadium, Hyun Young had the autograph of her favorite player. Eck was sooo nice. He made eye contact with every person he signed for, asked how they were doing, and smiled at them. What a guy!!
Padres BP was pretty interesting. I wasn’t really watching where all the balls went, but I’m pretty sure that it was pretty lame. At least, compared to Colorado’s batting practice. But it was cool to see the players walking around. But…I had a hard time figuring out who they all were. I saw Chad Gaudin, and I reconized the guys in the cage, but all the dudes in the outfield I had no idea. Oh well.
Dude behind the screen juggling baseballs.
Now, Tom was supposed to be at this game, but things just didn’t work out this time. I can’t say that I really did anything special for him, like Jen and Kylie were doing with their voicemails and all that. But he should be proud that I recognized a Rockies player during batting practice and even tried to take a picture of him. Tom’s been talking about Todd Helton and his 2000th hit picture for a looong time. So, here’s my lame attempt at a picture of Helton.
We definitely missed you, Tom. I hope you can make it out next time 🙂
OK, so during Rockies batting practice, Hyun Young and I went to get our programs. There was this amazing usher at the top of our section. She asked if we got any autographs and obsessed over Eck. She was so nice!! Every time she saw us, she smiled and waved. It was really cool.
We got our 5 for $5 meals, which I forgot to take a picture of again. The hot dog was amazing, the lemonade was amazing, and that cookie is like the best cookie I have ever eaten. I would easily buy five of those for $5. Wow. I even ate the popcorn, though I don’t like popcorn, but hey, Rockies BP was pretty boring so I needed something to do 🙂
After dinner, we went back down by the field. The players were going to start coming out to stretch, and I wanted to be down there to get autographs. Plus, Mat Latos himself was down there talking to some friends.
If you don’t know who Mat Latos is, that’s great, cause I don’t expect you too. But you should know now since I’m going to tell you. Latos is supposedly the next Jake Peavy. He’s the most prized pitching propect in the Padres organization right now. And he made his major league debut yesterday. He was in uniform the night before, though, and met with these people before the game. When Hyun Young and I went down there, we were really close to him, and it was really cool to hear him talk about how he found out he was going to the big leagues and all that. I took a lot of pictures of him, ’cause hey, how often do you get to be that close to a Jake Peavy?
It was really cool to see him. He was adjusting his uniform, hardly believing he was in a Padres uniform. And the guy’s just a kid, you know. He really hasn’t spent much time in the minors. It must have been so surreal for him to be there.
Starter Kevin Correia and the pitching coach walked out to the bullpen.
Macias started signing, and I got his autograph.
Then Edgar Gonzalez came over to sign. I didn’t try to get his autograph that hard, because there were a ton of little kids and he was mostly signing for them. Plus, it was about time for National Anthem and all that good stuff, so I was ready to go back to my seat. But then Edgar left and Kyle Blanks came over, so I got his.
In the bottom of the first though, we got that run back. The first two batters struck out, and they were really frustrated.
But then Adrian walked, Kouz singled, and Will Venable was hit-by-pitch. So, bases loaded. Kyle Blanks walked in the tying run! It was great. Then, Eliezar Alfonso struck out, stranding three. Just great, Alfonso.
And so, the game went on. Kevin Correia threw six innings, allowing only three hits and one run. He walked four and had two strikeouts. He stuggled early on, but he settled in and had a great outing. He did have a lot of very well-hit balls off of him, though. There were a ton of towering shots that seemed like they would be heading out that our outfielders caught. The guys were busy out there. So overall, a great, great outing for Kevin, and he had a beautiful sac-bunt.
Kouz is amazing, by the way.
In the fourth, it was really cool because Correia walked two guys and when one of the guys tried to go for third, he got thrown out! Best thing Alfonso did all night. But the coolest part about it was seeing it unfold in front of my eyes. I knew that the guy going for third was going to be out, because Alfonso had plenty of time. It was great!
In the middle of the fourth, I saw something that I had never seen in San Diego before: Friar Races. Yes, I know you’ve heard about the Sausage Races in Milwaukee, but I bet you’ve never heard of Friar Races. And let me tell you, it was hilarious!! You’ve got these four huge floppy friars, and they’re trying to run. A couple of them tripped, and I think the Swinging Friar came in last. It was soooo funny!! 80’s Friar won 🙂
In the bottom of the sixth, Kyle Blanks stuck out and Alfonso popped out. Then Edgar Gonzalez came up to the plate. I decided to call my sister, who was also at the game, so I was a bit distracted when I heard this sickening sound and saw Edgar just fall to the ground. Oh man he went down fast. He had been hit in the head with Jason Hammel’s 93-mile-per-hour pitch.
It was terrible. Buddy and the trainer rushed out and Edgar was on the ground for at least five minutes. I just kept saying over and over, “Please let him be OK, please let him be OK, please let him be OK.” The people around me probably thought I was muttering an incantation or something, but I was just praying like crazy. It was soooo scary, and I was on the verge of tears.
Then finally an emergency/medical vehicle came and took him off the field. He was able to walk to the vehicle, with help, which was very good.
I kept thinking about Adrian through this whole time. I thought he was in the dugout, but turns out he saw the whole thing on TV, when he was in the video room. He said that he wanted to get up, but he thought he would collapse if he tried to stand. Man, that would have been terrible if he was in the dugout while it happened. I have siblings, so I can imagine what he was feeling. Oh man. Adrian left the game in the next inning, and I think that was definitely for the best. Adrian needed to be with his brother at the hospital.
After this whole incident, Luis Rodriguez came in to pinch-run for Edgar. Jason Hammel left the game after walking Drew Macias, which is understandable. Hammel hit three guys that night, and he was probably really shaken up after hitting a guy in the head. He wasn’t the only one. I was in shock for a couple innings. Everth Cabrera walked, so we had the bases loaded. Then Tony Gwynn came up and lined a pitch that was destined to go up the middle and drive in some runs. But the pitcher caught it. Grrrrrrrr.
In the seventh inning, Greg Burke had a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom of the seventh, it was showtime.
Next up was my baby, and of course he doubled to get some momentum. Two outs later, Alfonso finally did something good and singled in Kouz. Yay for an insurance run!!
Josh Fogg pitched the bottom of the eighth just as the fog was rolling in. Well, it looked like fog, but I think it was some smoke from fireworks or something. But it was still kind of creepy.
We got this alert between the eigth and ninth inning.
I know that’s not funny, but for some reason it really cracks me up. I mean, an “injured head”? Why not a “concussion” or “head contusion” or something more technical?
Anyways, it was Heath time in the top of the ninth. I love his entrance!! It’s amazing. And Heath was great. It was really weird because I kept calling him Heater. I like have never called him Heater, but being out there, watching him try to save a game, it just came out. And so, Heater it is!
Heater was great. He allowed a single to start the inning, but Heath ALWAYS makes things interesting. Then, he got a great double play thanks to Kyle Blanks at first and Everth. It was a great play. Then he struck out Troy Tulowitzki to end the game. Hehehe.
Kouz made two amazing defensive plays. I was very proud of him. And he had two hits. Which was great 🙂 He is soooo amazing!!
And Everth, oh my goodness!! This guy is incredible. I watched him make some great, great plays. I mean, this guy can flat-out play. Sure he hasn’t been hitting much lately, but his defense is soooo good!! Wow. I love Everth 🙂
Oh, and Eliezar Alfonso is officially my most hated Padre. Even if Joe Thatcher was on this team, I would still hate Alfonso more. He was hitting pretty well a few weeks ago, but now he’s like a runners-in-scoring-position killing machine! He’s left so many runners on it’s not even funny. This guy is frustrating me. I can’t wait ’til Nick and Henry get off the DL!!
So, after the game we made our way out, high-fiving the amazing usher on our way. We met up with Kylie, Jen, and Courtney and took pictures, which was really funny because Kylie was still super hyper. And I mean, her team didn’t even win!! We were trying to get a picture of all four of us with the Petco Park sign in the background, and it was amazing.
It was just so funny!! It was great to meet Kylie, watch a game with Hyun Young, and enjoy some Padres baseball. I had a great time. Again, thanks so much Hyun Young for buying me the ticket and all that. We’ll have to do it again sometime 🙂
The Padres ultimately lost the series, 3 games to 1, but I was there for that one. That’s why they won, you know. First, my hypnotising worked, then I was wearing my lucky jersey, and Hyun Young had the baseball that her teacher caught at a game that Correia was pitching. Plus, it was signed by Eck. So, I am 3-0 this season 🙂
It was definitely one of the best games I’ve been to. Bloggers are amazing 🙂
(yay for all the pictures being mine)
We are all struggling in this economic time. Some are just getting by, some are holding tightly to their jobs as their co-workers are cut down all around them, and some are searching desperately and disappointedly for a job. So when a man joined this blogosphere and announced that he was going to sell all his possessions, move into his car, and travel all over the United States watching his favorite baseball team, we were captivated. I mean, this guy must be insane! To give up everything and just watch baseball is probably something we only dream of. We would love to put our worries aside and just watch baseball. Well, Tom Walsh did that. He travelled to nine stadiums, caught many games, and met a lot of people. But the dream didn’t last. Eventually, the economic situation caught up with him. The Baseball Across America journey is not over though. Sure, Tom’s reached a big bump in the road, but I know that he’ll be back out in the Rockies Roadster as soon as he can.
We have gathered here today to give messages of encouragement to our fellow blogger in this time. Tom’s been an inspiration to us all, and well, I’ll just let the messages do the talking.
From Kaybee (http://kaybee.mlblogs.com)
Tom, I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Not because you have great analysis on the Rockies or anything, but because of how much you really put yourself into your entries. When you write about your journey, it’s like we’re right there next to you, experiencing the same things that you were. I’ve had so much fun watching your journey so far, and it is so sad that is temporarily over. But one of the things that has always stuck out to me about you is that you believe that everything happens for a reason. I know it isn’t always easy to believe that, especially when something really hard happens. I believe that these experiences make a person stronger, and even if they can’t see it when they are going through it, these trials in our lives really do happen for a reason. I really admire the way you hold fast to that.
I want to thank you for keeping up your blog, for commenting on my blog, for my support group and my Timeout and all that. You’ve been a great friend, and I really hope your journey can take you to San Diego someday soon. Still praying for you man, and I can’t wait for you to get back on the road.
Baseball Across America PETCO Park: To be accomplished…
From Jen (http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com)
Back in January, you created a support group for Kaybee. Back then, I’d only been blogging for about a month, but you’d been one of my most consistent commenters. And since Kaybee was another one of my consistent commenters and I’d suffered a baseball loss like hers before, I was more than glad to help you out with her support group. Now in return, Kaybee has one for you and Baseball Across America, which I’m more than glad to help with again.
As you started your journey, I looked forward to every entry you made because it was like taking your journey with you in a way. I got to learn about places I haven’t been yet but want to visit. I got to hear about the various fans, and I learned more about the Rockies as well. And so many entries included pictures that just amazed me, as I’ve told you numerous times.
What I don’t think I’ve said numerous times is that your blog is one of my favorites. Because you’re a great writer. Because you’re a great photographer. But mostly because you put so much of yourself into these blogs, and we all get to see how amazing of a person you
are. You gave up everything to find the good in people all across this country. You found it, and you shared it. You’ve had more of an impact on people than I think you realize. It’s definitely more of an impact than I can accurately express.
Your journey is only on a hiatus, Tom. When you can afford it again, I know Baseball Across America will start up again. You’re too good of a person to just let it end. You’ve made some great friends on your journey, some you’ve met and many you haven’t. Until you can
resume this amazing journey, keep writing and keep being Tom Walsh. We’ll always be here.
Baseball Across America Turner Field: Mission accomplished
From Hyun Young (http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com)
I am incredibly sad that your journey has ended for now and I wish you for the best. When I read your post about this, you brought tears to my eyes. Your incredible journey across America inspired so many people not just in blogosphere, but everywhere you went. It is absolutely heartbreaking when something that was so brilliant and exciting comes to an end. It’s almost too scary to turn to a next chapter in life, but it’s something that happens to everyone. For me, going to high school next month is a nerve-wracking thing. I will get used to the new world eventually. The journey did not reach the finish line and it will not for a long time. You have an obstacle that is blocking you right now, but very soon, you will overcome it and keep going on and on. I thank you for what you do for MLBlogs and you have a friend in San Diego. Another chapter will wait and I pray that it will be a very positive one. Every single of us, the incredible bloggers, are here for you anytime, anywhere.
From Jeremy (http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com)
We all run into financial trouble along the way. One way or another, the all-mighty buck can be humbling. Our big baseball trip again this year is Detroit (only 3 hours away, but still a good distance). I think it is amazing that you got experience all those cities, ballparks and places. Your journey has been truly impressive, and I honestly think people should be paying you to do it (i.e. sponsors). I’ve admired the all the places you’ve been to, and all the people you’ve seen along the way. If you were to ever come to the Toronto area, I’d definitely buy your Jays ticket. Good luck with everything! I hope that opportunity knocks for you, and I hope you find something you like. I’m currently looking for the same thing, as I’ve been stuck in an endless cycle of acquiring temporary employment. I lose my job grounds keeping at Mahoney Park in Hamilton, Ontario in late September. Again, what you have done already is amazing, and I hope one day you make all the way north to my area. There will be a Jays ticket waiting for you.
Baseball Across America Chase Field: Mission accomplished
From Jane (http://janeheller.mlblogs.com)
Hi, Tom. It’s She Fan Jane. Or, as you like to call me, Joan Wilder from “Romancing the Stone.” Now listen up. Yes, your trip has stalled and your dream has been put on hold. But that’s how it is sometimes. And you’re not the type to take defeat lying down. Neither am I. When I tried to get my Yankees book published after having written 13 novels, I had lots of rejections. Everybody said, “A baseball book by a woman? It’ll never sell.” I could have given up, but I didn’t. And then along came an editor who said, “I love the book and I’m willing to pay for it.” We can never take no for answer and we can never give up. Somehow, you’ll find a way around your current problems, and solving them will make you even stronger and more
determined. I’m rooting for you!
From Jeff and Allen of RSBS (http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com)
Hold your head up high! The game is not over until you hit the showers and as far as we can tell, you’re still super dirty! Okay, so that was a poor analogy, but you get what we’re saying. Truth is, whether you’re at Chavez Ravine, Busch Stadium or a shantytown at the base of a mountain, as long as you got an internet connection you’re still touching our lives (and even
without one you still are, though the travel and phone bills may add up). We at RSBS proudly support you wherever the journey takes you and if that means you have to give us your views on the Rockies, from Colorado, then so be it. We got your back. Say the word and we’re on it (DISCLAIMER: This support does not include inflicting bodily harm on other humans, animals or
insects, unless said human, animal or insect is wearing a Cubs jersey, in which case, you needn’t say anything else, just ignite the bat signal like I taught you when you were here in Chicago and one of us will go kick some serious tail).
Jeff & Allen
From Emily (http://deconstrucingthoughts.mlblogs.com)
A day at the ballpark with Tom Walsh was a day to remember. How lucky I am to have spent some time with you while you were on your incredible journey. As we go through life, sometimes we encounter random strangers, people who come in and out of our lives, and some of us got to encounter Tom Walsh, a unique stranger with a phenomenal voyage. I have a lot of fond memories of that day, my favorites come in no particular order, but they are just moments that make me smile on the day I encountered Tom Walsh. The first one is when I sat outside those gates behind home plate lusting after that Ubaldo Jimenez shirt. I have got to get me one of these, Tom, you better get here. Fortunately for you, you did get there, and I got a shirt, and all was well in the world. I remember trying to tell you that I was the coolest person you’d ever meet, and it was a sentence that I couldn’t even finish. We got to reminisce on Greality and think about the deliciousness that is Teriyaki Bowl. I got to witness probably some of the best butt pictures I’ve ever seen (not taken on my command though, lest we forget). We talked about my experiment and how dense I still am. We talked about the minor leagues and two dollar Tuesday, maybe that was what it was. Two and Tuesday make sense. You got to meet my weird friends and harass Manny Ramirez. You get a lot of experiences on your road, so you may not remember the events that occurred that evening, but I do. I remember that night fondly and it’s because of the unique encounter with a stranger. The impact that you can have on people is phenomenal and I can only hope that we will all be so lucky to encounter such a unique stranger. I meant what I said when I commented on your blog, kid, you’ll move mountains.
From Julia (http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com)
And sorry I could not travel both
Unlike most of us – you actually took the journey! You did not sit around saying “should of, could of, would of”…you did it! How brave you are to face that unknown. To place that “one foot in front of the other” and walk out the door. It took courage to do that my friend; a courage that few of us will ever find.
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
You did not let the fear of the unknown stop you. You have a deep faith in your fellow man – you knew that you would find friends where ever you went. And you did! You knew that if you took that path a world of adventure awaited you.
Tom, the path you took was different from most. It was unconventional. I’m sure many told you you were crazy to be taking such a journey. But you did not let that stop you. You believed in yourself and in what you wanted to do. You knew this was something you needed to do. It was more than just visiting ballparks around the country. It was about discovering who we are; discovering, in a way, who you are. The stories you told of the people you met! You are right – we all have a story. But sometimes it takes a very special person like you to help us find that story within ourselves. Not many of us our very good at looking inward and seeing what is there. I think because most of us are afraid of what we will find. You gave us the courage to take that look and you inspired us to find the good that is there.
It is rare that we get the chance and go back and take another path in life. Even if we go back to the beginning – we are never the same. Our journeys shape and mold us into different people. You without a doubt are a richer person for what you have done and seen. I know, it ended much too soon. But Tom – as hard as it is – DO NOT BE SAD! Yes, the journey did not end on your terms, but look at what you did! Do you know that you carried all of us who read your blog on your back for the whole trip? You brought to life the people and events that you encountered along the way. You allowed us the opportunity to walk along with you. For that we are all richer. Do you have any idea how much you touched all the lives of not only the people you met on your trip but also the people who followed you from afar? I am so grateful that you let us – me- come along for the ride.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
And that has made all the difference.
You took the road less traveled Tom. And it has made a difference. You make a difference Tom. Please – do not waste any energy over “what ifs”. Build off of what you’ve done. I know you care so very much about the people in this world – take what you have learned from your journey, no matter how brief it might have been, and make it better. That was the message of your journey. Now do it! God bless you Tom and thank you.
Baseball Across America Minute Maid Park: Mission Accomplished
From Kylie (http://kylie.mlblogs.com)
*Tom. I didn’t know what to expect when I shouted that name at a vaguely familiar man in a Rockies jersey, but I was willing to try my luck in hope of finding something good. Come to think of it, that’s precisely what you did when you decided to put all you owned into your journey. You put everything you had into what you wanted to do, and yeah, it didn’t go forever, but damn you did more than most of us could ever accomplish. Because, for once in my life, I’m short on words, I’m going to steal from myself in the comment I left on your blog entry. You wonder if you had an impact, if you made a difference. The way you live your life has certainly had an impact on the way I will be living mine. Anyone who has read your blog can read about the people you’ve met who you’ve changed in some way, and something they read there has probably done the same for them. There’s no need to worry about that, but I’m surprised you would worry at all. Of course, if you were to worry, it **would** be about something unselfish like if you helped anyone else, while I’m here worrying that my Tulo jersey will get lost in the mail (knock on wood!). I know you might also be worried about what’s ahead, even if you would never admit to it, but if anyone can handle it, it’s the guy who threw his whole life in the back of a Taurus and took off across the country without knowing what he’d encounter within the next twenty-four hours. It’s the guy who stayed in random people’s homes and talked to everyone he saw. It’s the guy who loved a team who couldn’t win and watched them become a team who couldn’t lose. You’ve handled everything thus far. Why should the rest of your life be any different?*
*The best piece of advice I’ve gotten recently came from a good friend of mine–“Don’t be so quick to await the destination when you have the journey.” You aren’t quite the awaiting the destination type, but you’ve got journey-enjoying skills, and now’s the time to use them. I’ll be up in Colorado in a few months and if you need anything, I’ll be there. Slowly, because I’ll probably be on the bus, but, you know, eventually I’ll make it.
So go. Shine.*
Tom, we’re all here for you as you go through this tough time. I hope this helped, and that you will eventually get to all the ballparks that are “to be accomplished.” Who knows where life will take us, but let’s enjoy the journey that gets us there.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Psalm 16:9
(Thanks to Tom Walsh for first and last pictures)