Dex and Jon met Pad Squad Vanessa last year and found she was a delight. Jon and I saw her again at the last Padres home game and decided it had been far too long since we've had a Pad Squad Interview. Vanessa was nice enough to agree. It's important to get to know your Pad Squad. Let's jump right in!
Gaslamp Ball: Gaslamp Ball broke your trust last season. We posted sensitive information and are terrible people. We're genuinely really sorry!!! What can we do to make it up to you? We'll do anything. Do you want us to go to the next Pad Squad Pajama party and play silly games, because we'll totally do it. Let us make it up to you!
Vanessa: Don't sweat it, it's in the past. I love you guys! Let's never fight again. Truce?
Gaslamp Ball: The relationship between Gaslamp Ball and the Pad Squad has been uncomfortable at best. We used to find the Pad Squad annoying, but then your Pad Squad sisters treated us like human beings, melted our cold calloused hearts, and filled them with love. Still, there is some tension. We're all Padres fans. How do we unite in our common goal to root for the Pads? Help us bridge the gap. Tell us what to do.
Vanessa: Yeah, I don't know what that is. When I started out on Pad Squad I loved the Padres but I wasn't sure why. After reading Gaslamp Ball I got excited to learn about the team and it's history. Do I know every detail and every statistic and what they mean? No. But I'm eager to learn and that's where GLB comes in. I feel like we have a similar cause and that's reaching out to the Padre fan base. Whether it's providing witty, insightful commentary on the team or giving a squishy ball to a kid who is at the park for the first time, we're just here to connect. That may sound cheesy but trust that it's from the heart.
Gaslamp Ball: What advice would you give to the young girls or little gentlemen who dream of being Pad Squadders?
Vanessa: Stay active, keep healthy. It's A LOT of running around the ballpark and up and down stairs.
Gaslamp Ball: You're at the ballpark more than the average fan. Does any of the between inning entertainment get on your nerves? What changes would you suggest to maximize Major League Memories?
Vanessa: Honestly, we are so busy trying to get to visits and interacting with fans that I don't notice the in-games that much. I'm a romantic at heart though so I am a fan of the kiss cam:) I like when they show Grandma and Grandpa status couples and they just go for it! Its funny that you bring up suggestions because Veronica and I were talking a while back and thought it would be funny if they played "...to the left, to the left..." from the Beyonce song "Irreplaceable" when a visitor struck out. In the view from behind home plate players walk to the left to go back to their visiting dugout. Or maybe a High-Five cam. How funny and awkward would that be? hahaha.
Gaslamp Ball: By your best estimation, who is the nicest Padre player? Why?
Vanessa: The nature of our job doesn't really call for interaction with the players. And if there is any it's just at different events like meet-and-greets and even then we are working. They all seem nice enough though. Lots of family men which is always admirable.
Gaslamp Ball: As a ballpark pro, do you have secret tips for the fans?
Vanessa: I believe its Club 19 that has THE BEST burrito. The meat is so tender and they put just a touch of sour cream on it. You don't even need to chew.
Gaslamp Ball: Describe your perfect day as a Pad Squadder at the ballpark.
Vanessa: That's a good one. While close games are exciting to watch I'm a big fan of late inning comebacks. I love how your Padre faith gets tested when some visiting runs start stacking up and you have to just keep believing. I think any Padre fan knows that a comeback is always possible, if not in 9 innings then in extra innings. Huge bonus points if my Mom, Dad and Sister are at the game and I can run over and say 'hi' really quick. There are some nights at the park where you can just tell that people are there with the ones they love, whether its blood relatives or people you take on as family members. It's cool looking at the person next to you after a win and going "I KNEW we were gonna pull through! I KNEW it!"
Gaslamp Ball: If both Marcus and Brian Giles required medical attention, needed mouth-to-mouth, and you were the only one around? Who would you lock lips with first?
Vanessa: Ha, I don't think the boyfriend would appreciate either.
I talked to my boyfriend (who is a huge padres fan) and he said who ever seemed to be more valuable to the team at that time.
Gaslamp Ball: The t-shirt bazooka bat really scares me when the Pad Squad waves that thing around. Do you guys receive proper training? I swear I'm gonna get shot point blank in the face. That's not how I want to go out, though my way of going out does happen to involve the Pad Squad. Have there been any close calls with the bazooka, sling shots or Franken Friar going berserk?
Vanessa: They instruct us on how to use it but I have yet to take that on. I'm terrified. I would be the girl who pushes the one wrong button and blows her hand off. There are a couple Pad Squadders who always do the cannon and they are really incredible for it. One of them is Teshia and she used to be a Marine so I am all for letting her shoot it. She's amazing to step up to that challenge everytime she works.
And don't even get me going on Franken Friar. I have been late to visits because I cannot help but watch him! It's so fun to watch kids interact with him too. They want to run up and see what he's about but they are just so mesmerized by his size. It's great! I am a big fan of Franken Friar.
Gaslamp Ball: If you were a Padres player, what would your at bat music be? That question can tell you a lot about a person. I've always said mine would be "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, but here's the catch... The Princess Diana version. Your thoughts?
Vanessa: I CANNOT believe you just asked that! Its my favorite question in the world! I seriously ask ever single fan I encounter that question! I have been thinking about that since I was a little kid and I'm still at a loss. I have to go top three on this and then I would let the entertainment booth choose.
- "Are You Experienced?" by Jimi Hendrix (I love the intro)
- "Perfect Exceeder" by Mason vs. Princess Superstar
- "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash
Thanks Vanessa! High Fives all around!