I was thinking the other day that we are the unofficial/official home of the Pad Squad, but we know so little about them. Maybe this article can shed some light on the secret society. Here's a really old UT article from 12/8/2002 that compares the Pad Squad to other Cheerleader types in San Diego. It gives us some interesting facts. Let's just call them Fun Facts. By the way the guy they interviewed is pretty funny, and I think he may still be a Pad Squadder.
About the job, hours and pay:
The Pad Squad is hired through the Padres organization. They hold interviews in January.
Pad Squad members make $10 an hour. There are 81 home games a year, but most members of the squad work one or two nights a week. Rudy Gonzales, however, has worked all but one game.
"The only reason I missed it was because it was my family's annual Father's Day camping trip," says Gonzales, also known as Mr. Pad Squad because game regulars greet him by name as he wanders around the stadium.
Speaking about the uniform:
Those over at the Pad Squad have it easy compared with everyone else.
"Basically, our jersey has to be tucked in," says Gonzales.
Because the Pad Squad is more like a public relations group than a dance squad, the only thing they practice is the opening-day ceremony.
The teams were asked about injuries. Gonzales answer cracks me up:
The Pad Squaders, who run around the Q all night long, say they are practically injury-free.
"Once I scraped my knee from jumping over some seats," says Gonzales. "But I shouldn't have been doing that, so it doesn't really count."
Uniforms and comfortable shoes. They walk seven miles a night? That might be right. They are always on the move. The only time I've seen them standing around is when they ring the rally bell or when they man the gates at the end of the game.
The Pad Squad, in baseball jerseys and khaki shorts or pants, are only interested in a good pair of shoes.
"From a logistical standpoint, shoes are important," says Gonzales. "We have to be comfortable. I average about six or seven miles a game, and a third of that is going up stairs."
Music they are associated with:
When AC/DC's "Hells Bells" plays at the Q, it can only mean relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman is coming out to save the game. But the "Trevor Time" song is also associated with the Pad Squaders, who run through the stadium waving giant Padres flags.
All the organizations have rules about not dating or socializing with the athletes when not at work.
"We basically don't speak to the players unless they initiate the conversation," says Gonzales about the Pad Squad's strict rules. "We're not supposed to ask for autographs, you know. We can't have everyone out there before the game."
Can Pad Squad lead to a life of fame and fortune? Perhaps.
The Pad Squad boasts many pageant winners, including Misti a current member who is also Miss Mira Mesa and has competed in several Miss California competitions.