Padres Home Opener-April 9th, 2013

Ah, that day of the year I love!  Regardless of how bad or good my Padres are, I love the home opener.  It’s our chance to show our Padres some love and remind then we’re behind them 100%.  We get to see the changes made to the ballpark (good and bad,) see our friends who work at the ballpark who we haven’t seen since last season, and sample some of the new food and drinks offered at the ballpark.

Arriving at the ballpark at 12:00PM, we sat in the car and drank champagne while waiting for the gates to open at 1:10PM.  After finishing the bottle, we walked to the gate and saw a couple of the Dancing Friars Of The Right Field Mission greeting fans and praying for a Padres victory.  Corey “The Abbot Costello” Menotti blessed me before entering the ballpark (every Padres fan needs a blessing.)  After that, it was off to the Park in the Park entrance where we would finally enter the Padres home called Petco Park.


Once entering the Park, we walked around and checked out the Fox Sports booth and interview stage located near the Tony Gwynn statue.


The field in the distance looked spectacular! The grounds crew had done a marvelous job preparing the field for the upcoming season.  We checked out the new bullpen area.  It’s a 2 tier bullpen with the visiting team bullpen at the top level and the Padres bullpen remaining in it’s original spot.


As we headed to the gates to go in, we ran into a group of the Padres security staff.  One of the men gave his Padres Opening day employee pin to my BFF Rebecca Herman aka the TheBaseballPHD, who added it to her hat that was loaded with pins (and boy, was that hat heavy!)  Upon entering, we started to observe some of the changes made during the off-season;   Ballast Point Beer area, a barbershop quartet singing about things to do in San Diego and how beautiful the city is, the new Jack Daniels right field party area and the field decorated for opening day.  There were Padres Little League Player there to greet the team.  A plaque was mounted in the Padres bullpen during the ceremony for Darrel Akerfelds.  Vin Scully, Jerry Coleman and Dick Enberg were there preparing to announce the games for the clubs.  All was right with the baseball world…


At this point we were all very hungry, so we headed to Hodad’s Restaurant to get a bite to eat.  They’re burgers are excellent! Tasty, juicy, flavorful and make fresh on the spot..  I won’t torture you with pictures that will make you hungry (the thought of one is making me hungry as I type this) but to top all of this off, the owner of Hodad’s was there!  Mike Hardin aka Bossman saw us, walked over and greeted us with hugs and said “welcome home!”  He took a pic with me sporting  his new hairdo and his classic tattoos…


We headed to our seats to watch the game and we weren’t disappointed!The Padres beat the Dodgers 9-3!  Will Venable hit a home run and cleared the bases with a 3 run triple.  The crowd cheered, the Beat LA chants were heard all over Petco.  The Dodger fans that were there were classy and weren’t drunk and obnoxious.  A friend of mine posted a tribute to her mom during the game.  She had passed away but was a HUGE Padres fan and her daughters have committed to always attend the Padres Home Opener in her honor.  I am sure in heaven, she smiled as she saw this image on the new scoreboard…


I hope the Padres keep it up.  It’s a long season, but it is made better by the friends and family you go to the game with.  It’s enhanced by the friends you make at the ballpark who work to make the experience even better.  I love my Padres.


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