Ah, the official kickoff of the baseball season for me: The 2013 San Diego Padres Fanfest! The opportunity to see the stadium I have missed and catch up with fans I have gotten to know over the last couple of years. We lined up at 8:10 and waited for the gates to open. At 8:35, the lines started moving and it was time to once again be inside Petco Park. Sales racks at the top of the stairs greeted us as did the 50% off sign. Our season ticket rep Hayley Hallum was at the season ticket area and she greeted us with a big hug and a welcome back.
We walked quickly down to the Padres Foundation sale to pick through items for sale by the team. What a selection we ran into! I ended up grabbing a Portland Beavers jersey for my son along with 3 flags that were flown at Petco Park; 2 Marine and 1 Coast Guard. I checked out the player worn jerseys and thanks to The Baseball PHD, got a Andrew Werner jersey for $100.00! There was so much stuff and it was organized very well! After paying for our stuff, we walked upstairs and over to the 50% area, where my son scored a Padres hat that he loved. Great style, unique design.
After our purchase, we headed over to an autograph line, when a Padres worker walked up and asked if we were Padres members. They had noticed my son Alex wearing his season ticket lanyard and invited us to a special autograph signing, with free wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks! I don’t need to have my arm twisted to go to that! We walked in the room and Tom Garfinkel was going a Q&A with fans about different aspects of the team. I asked him at the end if there was chance we would see an Old Timers Game in the near future and he said that, “it had been discussed with Kurt Bevacqua and Dave Winfield” and that it might happen. After he was done, in walk Nick Hundley and Dale Thayer. Dale Thayer was one of 2 players last year who I asked who his favorite player was that said, I don’t know.” I asked him again on video who it was and his reaction was priceless. Hoping to post the video at some point, but I want to ask his permission before I do.
After leaving the room, we proceeded back downstairs and ran into some of the Padres Pub bloggers, who noticed we were drinking wine and asked us about doing a video for them. We spend a couple of minutes talking about Fanfest and our love for baseball. We walked on the field, all around the stadium, looked at the shortened fences in right field and overall, had a relaxing day at Petco Park.