We went to a ton of games in 1996. Those Padres were my coming of age team and I loved them, maybe more than any other. I have a very clear memory of trying to tune into 760 KFMB on my radio dial in LA during the Fall so I could follow the games while I was at college. It was mostly static, but I listened for hours in an attempt to hear Ted and Jerry call a play. It was the sports equivalent of trying to see a scrambled boob on cable.
I attended game 162 and sat in the bleachers at Dodger Stadium. I remember during batting practice Tony Gwynn lined a HR to right field just a few yards from us. To my amazement the ball put a dent in the wooden seat back, I traced it with my fingers. I sat nervously for the rest of the game and couldn't relax until Chris Gwynn doubled and alligator clapped at second base. The Padres had needed to sweep the Dodgers in LA to win the NL West and they did it.
When the NLDS came around, it was on TV and I was so psyched, but the Pads just couldn't find a way to beat the Cardinals. I remember this game in particular when Eck came in to close it out. I couldn't watch, it was too painful. I cared back then, maybe too much. Fortunately, I'm mostly dead inside now, so I can watch the Padres lose now without any trouble.
Let's start watching the game together at 6 p.m. PST.
Catch up with the 1996 roster in this quiz while you wait.