Friday my wife called me to tell me that the jersey had arrived at our house. I finished the rest of the day at the bookstore and drove home to see the jersey. When I pulled it out of the envelope I was amazed at the things that had been added to it, a Oaxaca ribbon, a patch from Belgium, a Bring Back the Brown patch (where can I get one of those?), Randy Jones and Mickey Mouse autographs, and various other things. As I packed to drive from Portland to Eugene, to visit our son, his girlfriend and our granddaughter I began to think about where I would take the jersey, besides a baseball game.
We got to Eugene and spent some time visiting and shopping, always gotta go to Goodwill and St. Vinnys, and having lunch at a great deli called Jiffy Mart, my son, our exchange student and I headed out to take pictures. Eugene is the Padres short season A team so this is where many of the players drafted by the Padres start their professional careers. This is also the town where I began being a Padres fan.
Our first stop was my high school, it was the longest I ever went to one school. We spent three years in Eugene while my Dad went to college after retiring from the Navy. I managed to make it to 10 schools in 12 years in 4 states on two coasts. This is where I became a Padres fan, my first day of school I learned that one of my classmates was the younger sister of Padres #1 pick David W. Roberts. That was the day I began following the Padres and have ever since.
Then we crossed the street to Civic Stadium, where the Eugene Emeralds used to play. It was built in 1938 and the Ems played there from 1969 to 2009. The Ems have been the farm team for several major league teams including the Phillies from 1969-1974, as their AAA team. We got to see Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa and Bob Boone all play. In 2001 the Padres moved their A, short season team to Eugene. I remember going to an Ems game game when the Spokane Indians came to town, Flan was the Indians manager. He asked me to get him some matches, I did and he lit a smoke bomb and dropped it in his own dugout and then yelled at his players for not taking things seriously. They won. You can see where they Ems logo used to be on the stadium wall. Saw Joe Randa play here and got Sandy Alomars' auto here.
Then we headed to PK Field at the University of Oregon, PK field is named after the former Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny, although many people think it refers to Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike and Oregon Alumni. The Ems have played at PK since 2009. We got there early because we wanted to get our Prefontaine Bobbleheads.
Once we got inside we asked around to see if any of the Ems were signing. The person at the info booth told us that several of the players were hanging out at the bottom of the stairs seen in the photo above. So I went down and talked to five pitchers and told them the story of the jersey and they all wanted to sign it. So Matthew Chabot, Joe Church, Tayron Guerrero, Genison Reyes, and Collin Reynolds all signed it and told me where I might find some other players signing. Went there and they were already gone.
Joe Ross was in town on a rehab assignment and was the starting pitcher. You can kind of see him in this picture.
We only stayed for two innings since we had to go do some other stuff in Eugene before driving back to Portland. Here is a picture of my son holding the jersey at the game.
I bought an Ems pin and added it to the SD on the front of the jersey. There were banners of former Ems all around the stadium, several of whom have been playing for the Pads and several of the upcoming players. We had fun with the jersey and it was an fun and profitable trip. I put my Prefontaine bobblehead that I got at the game on ebay and sold it for $225. There are more pictures over at my other blog, padrographs. We got home late Saturday and I mailed the jersey off to Winfields' Ghost on Monday.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Jersey
The Sisterhood is Born
The First Steps
Spring Training Bound
With the Pad Squad
Welcome to Mexico
Braving the Beat Down
On to San Francisco
Going the Distance
All the way to Belgium
Beer and Baseball in Colorado
The California Coast
Makes its way to Cincinnati
In Cincinnati and on TV
Pittsburgh and LA Adventure
Oregon where Padres begin