In its final season of adventuring around the world with Gaslamp Ballers, the famed Dave Staton jersey traveled to Chicago, Colorado, Washington D.C., and throughout southern California. I decided to keep it close to home in San Diego for the month that I had it at the end of this season.
My journey with the jersey really started back in April. It was the day of Padres Fan Fest 2015. I donned the jersey for the very first time during the Padres’ exhibition game against the Mexico City Red Devils. Our Friars went on to win that game 8-0, so I was pretty stoked about the beginning of my SotTJ journey.
After Fan Fest, I took the jersey to one more game - the home opener at Petco Park - before passing it along to another new member of the Sisterhood. I met up with crazy_charisma at an In N Out for the handoff, so I think it was able to absorb some delicious burger smells before heading off to Chicago for the Padres’ series at Wrigley Field.
When Charisma got back from Chicago, I met up with her at Petco Park during a game and got the jersey back from her. I also promised Charisma I would sew on her Wrigley Field patch while the jersey was under my care again. So over the next week or so I spent some time sewing and re-sewing many of the patches whose stitches had begun to loosen. Next it was scheduled to spend some time in Colorado with MellyMelT. So I put together a nice little care package with some Gaslamp Ball stickers and other things, and I said "See ya later" to the jersey once more.
And then I went about four months without seeing the jersey again in person. It went on lots of adventures with Gaslamp Ballers during that time.
Fast forward to September. The Padres are all but eliminated from the postseason picture and most fans have abandoned the bandwagon. I continue to keep the faith, but mostly I have to find other sources of excitement in my life outside of Padres baseball. Thankfully Weezer was coming to town, and if you’ve followed Gaslamp Ball for any significant amount of time you probably know that they are my favorite band in the entire world.
Psssst. Exactly two days 'til Weezer. ⚡⚡⚡⚡ =w=— Jodes Paranal (@jodes0405) September 5, 2015
As I counted down the days until their concert in Del Mar, it occurred to me that this was my chance to finally do something remotely cool with the jersey!
Unfortunately this epiphany didn’t come to me until about two days before the concert, and the jersey was still in the hands of Padres Jagoff, who showed Staton a good time out in Washington D.C. I frantically messaged him, hoping I could meet up with him and snag the jersey, but he was out of town that weekend and wouldn’t be back in time for the concert. I was pretty upset with myself for failing to plan properly. But Padres Jagoff came to the rescue! He graciously arranged for his house-sitting neighbor to leave the jersey for me to pick up on my way to Del Mar for the concert, and I was so excited!
On the day of the concert, I was getting ready when I received a message from my buddy and friend-of-the-blog, Cesar, who told me he happened to have two extra VIP passes for the Weezer concert that night. I could feel the jersey’s magic already working! I headed out to pick up the jersey at Jagoff’s house, which I discovered was just ten minutes away from me. It was like fate! I arrived at his house and there was the jersey, waiting for me by his front door. I left a thank you note and a Gaslamp Ball pin and finally headed down to the race tracks for a day of horse races and Weezer.
Thanks to Cesar and his VIP passes, I no longer needed to head to the concert venue early to get a good spot for the show, so I was able to spend most of the day enjoying some adult beverages and watching the races. And I didn’t lose ANY money betting on the horses all thanks to the jersey. Okay, I didn’t actually place any bets. But still.
Finally it was time for the show, and as always, Weezer put on a great one. This was my eighth Weezer concert, and I have yet to grow tired of them. It was the first of their concerts I’ve been to since they released their latest album almost a year ago, so I got to hear a couple of new songs that I loved. Weezer nights are always the best nights, but this one was made even more magical thanks to the jersey.
No one else had asked for the jersey for the rest of the season, so I got to hang on to it for almost all of September. I wore it to a few Padres games, notably the final home weekend of the season. Saturday, the 26th, was Star Wars Night at Petco Park and the Padres were giving away Star-Wars-themed tshirts for people who bought special promotional tickets through padres.com. The ballpark was decked out in Star Wars everything, people came to the game dressed up as their favorite characters, the Pad Squad wore stormtrooper-inspired outfits, and the incredible Padres production team tied everything together with amazing promo videos and photoshopped player photos.
The crowd seemed to be really into everything and it just made the game so much more fun. And to top it off, the Padres won!
The next day I headed down to the ballpark again, this time for the third ever SD Social Summit. Of course I brought the jersey along with me, and was excited for the day’s festivities. The Social Summit crowd got to hear from various Padres employees - Mike Dee, Jesse Agler, Mark Grant, Josh Stein, Don Welke, and Cody Decker. We also had some fun doing a scavenger hunt around Petco Park and mingling with other Padres fans before heading to our Toyota Terrace suites to take in the final Military Sunday game of 2015.
Throughout the day, the jersey made its rounds with some of the other Social Summit attendees and Padres employees.
I also finished sewing the last remaining patches onto the jersey, because what else do you do between innings at a Padres game?
My contribution to the jersey was a homemade "SD loves Weezer" patch that I crafted. You can see me wearing one as a headband in my pictures from the Weezer concert.
The Padres went on to lose that game, and again the following Tuesday night, my final game of the season and my last night with the jersey. The next day I met up with jbox to hand the jersey over one last time so that he, Jonny Dub, and Dex could take it to Closing Day on Thursday.
I’m glad I was finally able to show the jersey a good time while it was in my care. This has been such a rad little project for the Gaslamp Ball community. I’m proud to be able to call myself a member of the Sisterhood, and I’m looking forward to what Jonny Dub has in store for the jersey’s retirement.