How About Those Padres?

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Fever Pitch” with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. My family can totally relate to Ben, the main character in this film about baseball, and his obsession with the Red Sox because we were on the same boat but with a different team — we were ardent San Diego Padres fans.

Yup. We WERE loyal fans, but since the Padres made all those trades; they let Bochy go and Peavy and Giles are gone, the team just wasn't the same for us. As much as I dislike to admit it, we were fair-weather fans. However, the Padres are lucky because they do have some unbending admirers who will stick with them through thick and thin.

“You love the Red Sox, but have they ever loved you back?” is one of the movie lines I took to heart — it really struck a chord with me then because it summed up the tangled mess of emotions fans feel for their particular teams, but are quite misunderstood by those who don’t share a similar passion.

Well, my friends, I'm about to prove to you this is not true — professional teams DO show their affection for fans in special personal ways.

We are still huge baseball fans in our household and were die hard Padres fans for years; we had season tickets; wore the regalia to every game and for our family Christmas card photo; we even celebrated our daughter's 11th birthday by going to a game and arranging a scoreboard surprise message for her.

Scoreboard Surprise at PETCO Park

We had many wonderful close encounters with players, foul balls and the occasional behind the scenes opportunities like singing the national anthem while standing on the field at PETCO Park sandwiched between players Ryan Klesko and Mark Sweeney.

Padres Ryan Klesko, Bianca, Mark Sweeney

One of my son’s best recollections is being escorted through the tunnel onto the field to be part of a special event honoring his dear friend Denay Williams, who had Muscular Dystrophy and lost her battle five years ago, to meet the players and then go into the announcer’s box to help her announce Dave Roberts, the next batter in the lineup.

Alex, Denay and Padres player Phil Nevin

And, just like in the movie, we also had our group of regular season-ticket holding friends who we saw year to year from opening to closing day and who were always prepared with a box of giant cookies to share with our kids. (A couple of years we even got to see each other in post season play when our Pads won the Pennant and went on to the playoffs!)

Our friendship grew beyond our close seats on the Toyota Terrance; we would meet for lunch, share our family stories, visited each other’s homes and sent each other cards on special, or not so special, occasions. Baseball, and our love (and frequently disgust) for the Padres is what we have in common.

Over the last two years, we've strayed from our ball team, but have kept in touch with this dear couple and have witnesses them become grandparents twice since we met, and also have their share of health issues.

Recently, the young grandfather and loyal fan had to undergo bypass surgery and missed Opening Day plus a few Padres games while he was in the hospital and now while at home recovering. 

This morning, I got this e-mail from them:


The Padres must really miss US being at the games as much as WE miss being there…..

Now this is a classy way of Padres management showing their fan appreciation……

Hmm…wonder how they knew about his surgery?

Look at this gorgeous flower arrangement they sent with the card saying:

We hope to see you back at the ballpark. 
Get well soon!
Your friends at the San Diego Padres”

(This exotic arrangement is from Allen’s Florist, the new flower shop on Market & 6th)

I’m sure this kind gesture from the excellent Padre’s PR team will help our friend recover faster so he can be back at PETCO cheering and jeering his favorite team!

Now that our Pads are doing great (I think they're in first place, and hope they hold on to it!) I wanted to share this heartwarming story with everyone for two reasons: First, to let you know fans are appreciated by big league teams, and second, for all the skeptics out there who don't let themselves get emotionally invested in sports teams, you’re missing out on some very rewarding life experiences.

If you have a similar story, share it with us!



  1. Anonymous says:

    That is so cool!! So smart of them too!
    I am a huge fan of the Braves (yes, the 17-2 hurt) and have been since I was a little girl watching the Richmond Braves play in Virginia. I got to see the big Braves (that's how we distinguished between them and Atlanta when I was growing up) play in the National League Championship Series and then World Series, two events I will never forget.
    I hope you get to have the same experience with the Padres. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very cool of the Padres–smart business decision too!
    I am a Braves fan and can so relate to what you have written about your love of the Padres! I started watching the Richmond Braves when I was a little girl (from Richmond, Va.) and became a fan of the big Braves (that's what we called Atlanta) as the local players were called up to the majors.
    My best baseball associated memory was seeing the Braves play in the World Series in 1991. I hope you have a similar experience with the Pads!

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