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Away at the Park: Experience it!

Tony Gwynn Statue
Tony Gwynn Statue

I had been meaning to stop by Away at the Park for awhile and since I was downtown yesterday it seemed like a good opportunity. With a big series against the Giants I figured it would be a playoff atmosphere at Petco Park.

On the drive down 10th I saw Bob Scanlan waiting on the corner.  I was worried about Scanman, he hasn't blogged or tweeted in over a week.  I rolled down my window and yelled "Hey Scan!" in this shrill feminine voice and waved frantically.  He gave me a big TV smile, waved and ran his hands through that hair.  Just thinking about it now, it feels like somebody is tickling me.

I parked right at the back entrance of the Park at the Park and stepped out into the bitter cold.  I didn't have a jacket, but my Padres spirit would keep me warm for a few minutes.  I planted myself on the grass between a group of homeless people.  There were about 7 of us there, not counting the two security guards and a number of children at the playground.  I looked around and tried to blend in with the homeless, embarrassed somebody I knew would see me.

If I was homeless I would go to every game and become the biggest fan.  Back in the early summer of '98 I got in a heated argument with a homeless guy at Jack in the Box in La Jolla.  I told him the Padres would play in the World Series and he told me that they sucked.  We yelled at each other for a little bit and then I bet him two tacos.  I never saw him again, but you better believe that I check every time that I drive by and fully intend to collect my tacos.  I digress...

So there I was... the bone chilling wind was whipping down the pedestrian thoroughfare and I was huddled in the fetal position.  I decided I wouldn't be able to last long in the cold, so I told myself that I just needed to survive one inning then I could go home.  The 1st inning ended up lasting about an hour.

Another guy came down from the gym, he had shorts on and a big white sweatshirt.  He sat near me and tucked his knees up under his sweatshirt.  We kept looking over at each other wondering if we should be friends since we were the only people there that weren't homeless.  We decided against it.

At the end of the 1st inning a family came into the park with folding chairs and big blankets.  Next time I'll come prepared like they did, with blankets and friends.