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)
Yesterday was an off-day. It was very different not having a game, but I was still catching up from Sunday, so it was all good. I did get some exciting news, though: Hyun Young is treating me to a Padres game in July…in these incredible seats!
It’s going to be so much fun, and I’m already planning it all out. I can’t wait for July 18th! That’s going to be the third game in a series against the Rockies, so maybe Tom and Jen will be there that night. I know Hyun Young and I will have so much fun cheering for our Padres and cheering against the Rockies 🙂
Thanks Hyun Young!! 🙂
On Saturday, I went to my brother’s last regular season game. His team won 24-8. I was keeping score, and it was absolutely crazy. They got nine runs in the first inning, and 12 runs in the fourth. It was insane to keep score, but I survived. Well, pretty much. I did get a terrible sunburn on my arms. Thankfully, we were in the shade most of the game on Sunday, so it didn’t get worse.
Tonight we are playing the Giants, thankfully still at home. My best friends and their family are going to be at the game! I am so excited for them, and hopefully they’ll take lots of pictures for me.
It will be interesting to see how my Padres do tonight. We’ve got the momentum from the sweep over the weekend, as well as a day of rest. Chris Young is going to be starting, and hopefully he can give us a solid outing.
Last time out in Chicago, he gave up four home runs in only a few innings. But I think he will be much better at home, without the Wrigley wind. Last time the Giants were in town, we swept them in three. Hint hint…
Even with the sweep over the weekend, we are still 10 games behind the Dodgers. But we are in third place. I think we moved up a few spots, but that’s probably because the Rockies and Diamondbacks are not doing well down there. Hey, if we were able to sweep the Giants in this series, we would gain a few games on them at least.
Well, if we just keep that pitching and hitting from the weekend, we will be in good shape.
(photo credit: Hyun Young/padres.com)
Wow, what an incredible event! I hardly know where to begin, but begin I will!
Jen soon joined us. We got in contact with Hyun Young, who had been there early. We would meet up with her later.
We ran down to the field because some players were signing near the Padres dugout. Unfortunately, the players ran off the field just as we got down there. So, we missed most of the workout. Oh well.
Next we went to the Jake Peavy autograph line, which was full. We decided to take a gamble and went into the overflow line. We waited for about an hour, watching the scoreboard and listening to the music that blasted through the stadium.
It wasn’t looking great for us in the overflow section though. We had certainly taken a gamble. We were only about five rows in, so we were close. But if Jake didn’t get to us, we wouldn’t have time to go anywhere else. We would either get Jake’s autograph or none at all. We took a huge risk!
It looked very unlikey. They said the first two rows of the overflow would get to go, and that was it. But Jake is an incredible man. The next two rows got to go, and ours was next. We were begging to ourselves, “Just one more, just one more!”
Well, we got it. They told us to get up, and we got to join the line. It was so cool. After going through that range of emotions, worry to disappointment to panic to joy! Very cool. We walked down the steps, watching Jake as he signed for the people ahead of us. They were moving people through very quickly. A guy would take your one item to be autographed, put it in front of Jake, you step in front of Jake as he signed, and then you were gone. It was very quick.
Jen was ahead of me, and as Jake signed her ball for her, she told him that though she is a White Sox fan, he was her new favorite Padre. As I stepping in front of Jake, I said, “We love you, Jake!” I think he said something in reply, but I couldn’t hear what he said. Oh well.
Let me rave a little about this guy. He went way above what he should have done. I knew he would sign extra for as many fans as possible. What class this country boy has! I love him. I mean, he’s starting tonight! Any other ace might have opted out of an event like this in order to prepare for the game. But this guy was incredible. He really shouldn’t have done as many autographs as he did. What a great guy! Well, at least now if he gets traded I’ll have his autograph! This guy has great class. I am very thankful for this one autograph.
Next we went to the Padres’ garage sale, which benefitted the Padres Foundation for Children. There was a lot of cool stuff for a really good price. I got three baseballs, a coffee-tabe type book about Petco Park, a Sports Illustrated magazine with Trevor on the cover from 2002, a music sheet of the Padres’ official song, and a poster, all for under $15. I was really impressed. A lot of the stuff was from years ago, but it was pretty cool. I really enjoyed “shopping”.
After that, we went to the Cox/Channel 4 table. There was this wheel thingy that you could spin and win strange things. I got sunscreen 🙂
Then we finally met up with Hyun Young. We hung out for a while, talking some baseball. We were still standing near the Channel 4 table, and when we saw some of the postgame guys signing autographs. So we thought, why not?
I went up to the table first and laid a piece of blank Padres paper on the table in front of John Weisbarth.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“A piece of paper.” I replied.
He stared at it for a few seconds. “Would you like me to sign it?”
“Sure!” I exclaimed.
So he did, asking me my name and then trying to think of something clever to write on it. “Thanks 4 watching!” was what he came up with. Isn’t that brilliant? He thought that was really good. He passed it on to his comrade Steve Quis, who signed it as well, putting a “+” between his name and John’s.
The Hyun Young gave him a piece of (Jen’s) notebook paper to sign. John told Steve that he had to come up with the witty saying this time. Steve couldn’t think of anything, so John wrote the “thanks 4 watching” again. And something else with their signatures. But Jen’s…wow. I’m going to let her tell you about that one. We laughed and laughed and laughed.
Things were winding down. Hyun Young left, and then we prepared to leave as well. But before we left, I noticed a guy who I’ve heard and read about. He kind of stands out in a crowd, as he had prosthetics for arms. His name is Alex Montoya. He was born without arms or one of his legs. He published a book about his life last year, and as it happens, I’ve been reading it!
He grew up in San Diego, and his dream was to work with the Padres. Well, he’s finally working for them, and he’s at the ballpark all the time. I first heard about him when 4SD had a feature about him. It was really cool to meet him, to shake his hook, to talk to him about his book. He was a really nice guy. Meeting him was definitely a highlight of my day.
It was soooo much fun to be there at PETCO Park! We had a great time. I really enjoyed it. It was so great to get out and support my team, check out how they are doing.
I have Spring Break this week, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to concentrate on the Padres as they open the season tonight. I am so excited!!
Here are some random pictures from yesterday:
Tonight is the opening game of the season for the Padres, Jake Peavy against Hiroki Kuroda. It’s going to be so much fun to see how my Padres do this year. I am so excited!! GO PADRES!!!
(photo credits: me, tatepublishing.com)
Well. Let’s just say that the players were anxious to get back to San Diego, so they weren’t fully concentrated on the game. We lost to the Mariners 18-3. Yeah. Chris Young threw 3.2 innings and gave up nine runs on nine hits with four walks. Not very good, but of course he was thinking about getting back to his wife and daughter. Scott Hairston hit a homer, though.
Last night, some of the Padres played their Double-A team. The Missions came out on top 7-3. It was not the best game for the Padres, but Kouz had two hits!!
I don’t think I’m going to have the time to blog this weekend, which means that my next entry will be a report on the Fan Day! As you all know, I super excited along with Hyun Young and Jen. I am really excited about getting to go downtown.
I am pretty much obsessed with downtown San Diego. I love just going anywhere near it. I love even going down the highway towards it! We went to a party in La Jolla last week, and we went part of the way that we go downtown. I was pretty excited! Kind of weird, I know. But I LOVE downtown!
I’m sure that the majority of my love for downtown San Diego is because of this:
I LOVE PETCO PARK!!! That place is my favorite place to be. I absolutely love this ballpark. It’s so beautiful! And it’s in downtown San Diego. I live about 45 minutes from downtown, so I’m not used to all the buildings. But I love it! I love how crowded, how busy it is. I love the towering buildings.
I am so obsessed with downtown San Diego. Like I said, I love just going anywhere near it. And on Sunday, I have the extreme privilege of going to the place that I dream about: the gorgeous Petco Park. I haven’t been there in about seven months. I miss that place, and I am so excited that I get to go to Petco Park. It’s going to be so much fun just to be there! I’m going to take so many pictures it won’t be funny. Thankfully, I have room for 1000 pictures on my camera 🙂
I was born in a hospital near downtown San Diego, so I think that’s where part of my extreme love and loyalty for the city comes. I loooooooove San Diego!!!!
Tonight we are playing the Angels at Petco Park in the first of two games in the So-Cal exhibition games. I can’t believe we’re going to be in Petco!! Very exciting!!
(photo credits: farm4.static.flicker.com, history.sandiego.edu, cityinsights.com)
What a weekend! I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but boy is it worth it! Let me just say this: hope is in the air for the Padres!
- Friday: 5-2 Padres
What a great game! Jake Peavy started for the Padres, and as I hoped, he had an excellent outing. He went six innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven. This was definitely the best outing of any pitcher this spring. Newcomer Shawn Hill threw one good inning, but then gave up two homers to Nomar Garciaparra and Jack Cust. I think Hill will do well for us. Edwin Moreno took the ninth, striking out two and inducing a fly ball to center to finish the game.
Scott Hairston was the man of the hour on the offensive side. In the fourth inning, he hit a gigantic three-run homer. In the sixth, he hit another blast, this time a solo. This guy is incredible. I can’t wait to see the impact he makes on the club this season. Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in a run, and Jody Gerut had two hits.
You can’t say enough about Jake Peavy. I mean, he looked so sharp! He did incredibly well on Friday night. This performance proves that we can’t trade him. He hasn’t given up a run in Cactus League play. I think he’s ready. I think he’s been ready for a long time! I don’t know what went wrong in the WBC, but I think it had to do with the pressure to perform and the playoff atmosphere.
So far, it is obvious that he has suffered no ill effects on the WBC. He will start again on Wednesday, and then will be in perfect place to start Opening Day. We just can’t trade this guy. Padres fans are only going to come out to see him. He’s going to have a great season. If the Padres trade this stud, who’s going to go out to the ballpark? We need this guy. He’s incredible.
- Saturday: 11-10 Padres
This game was crazy. It looked really hopeless from the very beginning, but my boys chipped their way to a victory.
Chris Young started, giving up six runs on seven hits before getting an out. He was not very good. We were losing 9-1 by the middle of the second. Cesar Ramos allowed three runs in his 2.1 innings. Justin Hampson had two solid innings. Arturo Lopez, Luke Gregerson, and Greg Burke had solid innings.
Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Headley, and Emil Brown each had a homer. Chase had four hits, including an RBI in the eighth to tie the game at ten. Jody Gerut and Nick Hundley each had two hits. Luis Rodriguez had three hits. Edgar Gonzalez had three hits. In the bottom of the ninth, runner on second, Edgar came to the plate and hit a crisp single to drive the runner in. It was a great walk-off win for my Padres. We did so well! We chipped away until we came out on top. I have hope for this team!
- Sunday: 7-3 Padres
Cha Seung Baek started and did OK. Better than usual, maybe. He threw 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He then left the game with a strained flexor tendon. Oneli Perez gave up one run, but the other four relievers did very well.
We got two runs in the second and four runs in the fourth. We played small ball, driving in guys with singles. No player had more than one hit. But it was a really good offensive game. We kept adding on, lots of singles. We won our third game in a row!
So how ’bout them Padres, huh? They are doing great! The pitching is still average, but the offense is on fire. It’s about time that they are winning! I just hope that it carries into the season.
One week until Opening Day! I am so excited! It will be great to have some meaningful baseball!
My brother played his seventh game on Saturday morning. It was a really great game. The Pirates were down 4-2, but they rallied back to take an 8-4 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the other team (the Red Sox) got three runs, but the Pirates were able to hold on and win the game 8-7. It got kind of stressing there in that last inning, but what a relief it was to win the game! The Pirates are now 5-2. They’ve won five in a row!
One of the weird aspects of the game was that the umpires were told to expand the strike zone. We didn’t know about it, so when the ump was calling strikes on balls that were about three inches from the ground, some of the parents were going nuts. It was pretty crazy for the whole game. The kids had to adjust their hitting. I really wasn’t sure what a strike was, and I don’t know if the umpire was either. He was not that consistent in his calls. Hmmm…
The roster is starting to shape up. I don’t think I want to cover all of it right now, but the big move is that we traded infielder Chris Burke to the Mariners for cash considerations. Luis Rodriguez is going to be our Opening Day starter at shortstop. This move makes it very likely that Everth Cabrera, our Rule 5 draft pick, will make the roster. He has not played above Single-A, so this would be a learning experience for him. He’s got a great arm and a lot of potential. His glove is good too, but he hasn’t had the best defensive spring. I think he would be a good asset for us to have at the major league level.
It will be a very interesting week to see how the roster shapes up. And maybe we can win some more games!
As you all know, Hyun Young, Jen, and I are going to the Padres Fan Day this Sunday. I think it would be really cool if we could somehow advertise our blogs while we’re there. My brilliant idea (haha) is printing out a sign and putting it on my bag or whatever. I’ve ruled out the idea of writing my blog name and URL on a t-shirt because I’m going to be wearing my Padres jersey. If any of you creative minds come up with something, please let me know!
Today we are playing the Indians (Again? No way! I think we’ve played them the most of any team this spring!). Kevin Correia will be starting as my Padres look to continue their winning streak!
(photo credit: majorleagueblog.net)
Back to some Padres baseball. On Sunday, we lost 12-7. I don’t even want to go there because I need to talk about yesterday’s game!
- 9-7 Padres (yes, you read that right!!)
WE WON!!! It was such a cool game. Definitely the best game they’ve played so far this spring. Chris Young started and threw 4.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He also struck out five. It was good to see him go out there and have a fairly good game. Justin Hampson gave up a run in his 0.2 innings of work. Cesar Ramos had three decent innings. He threw two scoreless before allowing three runs in his third inning of work. Edwin Moreno threw the top of the ninth.
The Royals had a four-nothing lead until the sixth. But then the Padres scored four runs in the bottom of that inning to tie the game. Kyle Blanks had a booming two-run double. The Royals went ahead 7-4.
I didn’t listen to the whole game, but I came in around the bottom of the ninth. The Padres are behind by three runs. It’s so cool how you can look back at certain events, certain things that happened in your life, and you can remember exactly what was going on, what you were thinking. Well, this bottom of the ninth was one of those for me. Ah, I wish I had a play-by-play recap of that inning! I’ll try to remember it as best as I can. I think we got two runners on with one out. A guy popped out shortstop, I think. Then Kyle Blanks came up. Kyle had already had a hit and two walks when he came up to the plate. He promptly hit a run-scoring single to tie the game. Then Chase Headley came up.
During this inning, I knew we were going to come back. Like, I had that feeling, but I didn’t let myself get my hopes too high. But I knew. I told myself to enjoy the inning, no matter what happens, because something big might very well happen right now. With two outs, you’re always cautious about getting your hopes up too high. But I knew that Chase could hit a walk-off homer. So cool that I thought about that! I think Ted Leitner called it. It might have been the batter before, but he mentioned that if one of these guys could just get one into that wind, which was blowing out, they could give the Padres a walk-off win. He TOTALLY called that.
Well, what do you know. After a pitching change, Chase Headley stepped into the box. With a count of 3-1, he hit a NO-DOUBTER right out of the park. It was so cool to hear the excitement in Ted’s voice as he called it. He didn’t have to tell us it was a no-doubter; we could hear it in his voice. I was sooooo excited!! Come-from-behind walk-offs are the best! I love love love them!!! It was so exciting. I mean, we won for the first time in a realllly long time. And this time, the hitting was able to catch up with the pitching.
Catcher Josh Bard got signed by the Nationals over the weekend. I really hope he can get some playing time!
Yesterday the Padres got a couple new players. We signed pitcher Shawn Hill to a minor league deal. He might get a rotation spot. We also got pitcher Luke Gregerson as the player-to-be named-later in the Khalil Greene deal.
Josh Geer, Scott Patterson, Joe Thatcher (WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!!), Jose Lobaton, Matt Antonelli, and Will Venable were sent to Triple-A. I feel bad for a few of these guys (not Thatcher), but it will be good for them.
I know you’re all wondering….
You’ve been slogging through all that Padres news to see if there’s any other news…
Yes, my dad read my entry last night…
He talked with my mom this morning…
And the answer is…is….is……………
I am sooooooooooo excited!! It’s going to be so much fun!!!! I can’t wait. My dad won’t be taking me because he has responsibilites at church, but my mom and my little brothers will be going. I might even bring a few friends. Wow, that’s the Sunday after next!! I’m kind of glad that it’s coming up quickly, so that way I don’t have to wait as long 🙂 Hyun Young, it’s going to be great to hang out at Petco Park with you! We need to convince Jen to come too! It’s free, Jen…nice and easy on a student’s budget!!
I wanted to thank you all for all the support, and for all the great comments that I put in my previous entry. I can’t wait to share all the pictures and stories from this event with you! Thank you so much. You guys are the best!!
Today the Padres are playing the Angels in Tempe. Cha Seung Baek is starting. I think he’s due for a good outing. Let’s see if we can carry the momentum from yesterday into today!
Team Japan won the WBC for the second time last night. It was a really great game. I thought the defense was incredible. So, congrats to Team Japan. They made an incredible run, and they are a stellar baseball team.
I’m off to eat a celebratory slice of chocolate cake. I’m so excited!!!
(photo credit: wikipedia.com)