Padres Opening Night 2004

There's been a big deal made of the Padres having both an Opening Night (3/30 @ 5:05) and an Opening Day (4/1 @ 3:40) this season.  Did you know that the Padres first regular season game played at Petco Park in 2004 was also an Opening Night?  Take a look at the gallery above.

It somehow seems appropriate that on the 10 year anniversary of the park opening that they open at night again. According to Baseball-Reference the game started at 7:05.  It lasted 10 innings and 3.5 hours, thanks to a Trevor Hoffman blown save, but the Pads eventually beat the Giants 4-3.

We were there, it was kind of a gloomy day for San Diego. Tony Gwynn spoke at the pregame ceremony, though I don't remember what he said. Former owner John Moores had his buddy President Carter throw out the the ceremonial first pitch and then David Wells toed the mound and threw the first real pitch, a strike right down the middle.

Look at how much has changed in the ballpark in the past 10 years.  The Park at the Park is almost entirely grass, no trees and no Tony Gwynn statue.  The wiffleball field doesn't have an outfield fence.  The Showley Bros. Candy Factor is still painted white and fenced off.  The batter's eye is painted green and there aren't any retired numbers on top of it.  The visitor's bullpen was still on the right field line.  The outfield walls were way out there.  The city beyond the park doesn't have any of the tall buildings surrounding the park like it does now.

"10 years come and gone so fast, I might as well be dreaming."

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