No Place Like Home

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IMG_0703.JPGSaturday’s Padres FanFest was incredible. Oh my goodness. I had a BLAST!!

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!

IMG_0595.JPGI’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:

IMG_0610.JPGAnd we thought it was women who were so worried about their appearance!

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 :(

IMG_0643.JPGWe walked down the third base line and decided to get out pictures taken at home plate. As we stood in line, Ted Leitner walked right past us! I didn’t get a chance to say hi, but that was very cool.

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:

IMG_3601.JPGAnd this is the actual one that I bought. Who knows? This might have been the one hanging there!

IMG_0756.JPGI 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!!

IMG_0753.JPGWe 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!

IMG_0683.JPGI 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.

IMG_0714.JPGWe 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:


IMG_0749.JPGI miss you dude.  

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.

GO PADRES!!!

8 Comments

That sounds awesome..I wish the Sox would do something. I love PETCO, I really wish I had the chance to walk on the field and in the club house. I bet you had a blast!

Kaybee, it looks like you had a great time! And a beautiful sunny day, no less! I’d gladly trade you some of the snow in my yard for a little of that sunshine!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Fan Fest was so much fun! I miss it a lot already. Too bad we couldn’t get Hairston bros’ autographs. But hey, I took pictures for you :) Glad you have Kouz banner! It’s full of win. Can’t wait to go to Petco again during the season!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Awesome post….it was nice meeting you!!

Glad you had a good time at the fanfest :). It was a great experience!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

Nice photos…and the bathroom shot is awesome! Now I don’t feel so bad about the time I spend on my hair…lol

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

What a great summary of FanFest! My husband and I went also, and we had a great time! We went to the Mat Latos/Sean Gallagher autograph session and I asked Mat to write “Here is your tall latte.” on my card because my nickname for him is Mat Latte. He asked me how to spell “latte” (Mat said he’s never been to a Starbucks) and Sean said to him, “Dude, you don’t know how to spell latte? We need to get you out into the real world!) It was hilarious! And so cute!

The Hairston brothers: We were walking up through the stands back up to the concourse and we ran into a small crowd blocking the stairway. My husband was ahead of me and he was like “why do these guys keep stopping and blocking the stairs? We started to worm our way through the people and we realized it was Scott and Jerry Hairston signing autographs! By that time I was brushing up against Jerry while trying to squeeze through the crowd. We were both like “oh my god! Sorry we were rude!”

I like your tribute to Kevin Kouzmanoff! I miss him too! During Spring Training we went to the Padres/A’s game and I wore my Kouz t-shirt, except that on the front I used yellow electrical tape to cross out “Padres” and underneath used the tape to write “A’s”. I wanted Kevin to see it. It was a split squad day and we saw him running out to his Jeep to go to the other game, but I called out to him and he turned around for a second and I yelled “We miss you!” He yelled back “Thanks!”

Sorry this is so long. I know this is supposed to be a comment section, not a novel, but I thought you would enjoy hearing my stories.
-Miss Smee

Thank you soooo much for sharing those stories, Miss Smee!! Those were so much fun to read about. I miss Kouz so much! I’m still really sad that he got traded :( But that’s so cool that you got to see him at Spring Training. Mat is so funny :) I love to hear stories about him and all the pitchers. Did you read the stories about the guys in the bullpen in the Union Tribune yesterday? That was some great stuff. Thanks so much for commenting, come back again soon!
Kaybee

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