Unfortunately, even though the Padres were promoting it as being open, it actually wasn't. There was some private party going on for something or the other. I asked an usher and a ballpark relations person named Kev about it. Any Padres player or coach who's represented in the hall of fame now has a plaque out in center field. It's really neat, they told me. Shades of Yankee Stadium danced in my mind's eye.
Trivia. Let me see if I can remember who all should be represented there... Dave Winfield. Ozzie Smith. Gaylord Perry. Willie McCovey. Rollie Fingers. Sparky Anderson. And ummmm.... Ah I'll have to look it up... Billy Herman is the other one.
I asked Kev if they were planning on adding Ted Williams or Bobby Doerr or anybody like that. He said that they didn't play for the Padres. I said, "Au contraire. PCL. They were minor league Padres."
He laughed a hearty laugh before suddenly poking me in the chest with his finger and saying, "Touche."
Then he got a gleam in his eye and said, "You wanna see it?"
I wagged my eyebrows, squinted, and said, "Answer? Yes."
He said, "Follow me."
I followed Kev as he led me past easily five or six security guards. Each one of them held up a meaty hand in protest, but each time, Kev waved me along and through.
The little entranceway has a plaque commemorating the Hall of Fame where they store the plaques commemorating the players who are thus commemorated with these new plaques at Petco. Everybody scratching everybody's back in thanks for getting their backs scratched. I felt a little itchy.
I wasn't able to walk all the way in as the people in the private party all stared hard at me as I stood in the entranceway. One woman even made a motion with her head as she looked at me to indicated a sign that said, "PRIVATE PARTY". In response to her motion, I balled my right hand into a fist and made a jerking motion of my own just below my belt.
Anyways. I saw the pedestals. According to the paper, they weigh 68lbs. They did look nice from my limited view and the area back there is a little bigger than I imagined. I'm hoping that they somehow commemorate their retired numbers as well. They should also probably stick a couple statues out there. Maybe a Ray Krok bust. Jerry Coleman, of course. Just fill the area with bronze.
I'm not sure if it was open over the weekend, but hopefully by the next homestand we'll be able to check it out properly.