No Place Like Home
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.