We're celebrating our 10 years of Gaslamp Ball, here's my Top 10 memories:
10. Jamie Kotsay and Former Padre Mark Kotsay discuss Top Gun
I'm bummed because all of our pictures on the blog prior to like 2008 are gone. Something about when SB Nation switched blogging platforms. I took a bunch of "screen shots" (with my camera) of Jane Mitchell's One-on-One with Mark Kotsay. Mark's wife Jamie joined him on the couch in the episode. Dex had some software that put comic book speech bubbles on both Mark and Jamie and made them talk about Top Gun. I remember it fondly but it belongs to the ages now. WAIT! I just found it on Wayback Machine!
9. Postcards from the Edge
This was kind of a happy accident. I made a throwaway joke about how Dex and I would send readers a postcard from our Spring Training trip if they emailed us their addresses. Three of you were brave enough to actually do it, which was a surprise. On the drive out we thought it'd be a good idea if instead of getting Padres players to sign memorabilia for us, we'd instead ask them to write a postcard to you. It turned out much better than we expected.
8. Petco Park Stadium Secrets: Western Metal, Eastern Mettle. A Seafaring Tale
Let's face it Dex is my favorite Padres blogger. I'm not sure who else could write a Padres blog post like this. It's so weird, yet so creative. I was there and Jon's story wasn't this interesting. I'm amazed that he took that boring story and turned it into this seafaring tale. We got a lot of responses from people asking wtf was wrong with us, which is the best kind of response.
7. Mom is missing or Local Blogger saves reader's mother, proclaims himself Hero
I remember being at a wedding five years ago and getting a phone call from Dex explaining the situation he was in. It happened EXACTLY like Dex wrote in this blog post. This is the type of thing you don't expect to happen when you start a blog, but you become a resource for some of your readers. Still you don't expect something like this. Once I knew "Mike's" mom was safe, of course, I don't think I've ever laughed harder than reading Dex's dramatic retelling of his heroism.
6. Padres Social 2
Every time we get a chance to get together with the Padres, the fans and other bloggers it usually ends being a pretty good time. This one was particularly good. I have very fond memories of this evening. There was a great feeling of community and fellowship that night. We also met Jerry Coleman.
5. Sisterhood of the Traveling Jersey
This was just one of those crazy ideas that we never really thought would succeed. I purchased a batting practice jersey at a Padres garage sale and with your help we sent it around the world in an effort to connect us all like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants did for four teenage girls. Gaslamp Ballers took the jersey on road trips and to foreign countries on vacation. People still ask from time to time what happened to the jersey. It's currently hanging in my closet covered in commemorative patches and pins. It traveled for two full seasons and part of a third, if memory serves. Problems arose towards the end when we'd send it to fans and they'd never write up their adventures together. After a handful of those failed trips it kind of killed the momentum. We had talked about retiring it someday, perhaps donating it to Hodad's at the ballpark if they wanted to hang it. I'm not opposed to letting the jersey travel again one day though.
4. Gaslamp Ball goes to San Francisco
Probably the coolest thing to happen to me as a blogger happened in the final series in San Francisco in 2010. I went to visit a friend in SF. We caught a game together but the following day he had to attend a wedding so I went to the second game in the series by myself. I had a standing room only ticket and no friends to speak of. Sometime in about the third inning, I saw the Padres President at the time, Tom Garfinkel, walk up from behind home plate. He recognized me, asked who I was with and told me to follow him. Moments later I'm sitting in the front row behind first base with him and Moorad, the owner. A few innings later I'm in the Padres suite with a bunch of Padres employees, with only one game to win to clinch the NL West. It was so surreal and so awesome. The next day sucked though.
3. Our first Media Night
I'm a sucker for Padres events. I think my all-time favorite was the first time we were invited to Media Night. Dex, Jon and I played infield with Channel 4 host John Weisbarth for about three hours. I was so excited to be on the field I barely ate and the next day I could barely lift my arm from all those throws from shortstop. We also talked to Jane Mitchell, which was a dream come true.
2. Lunch with DePodesta... OH SNAP! WHAT!?
Our best interview by far was with Paul DePodesta when he was with the Padres. We felt real legit for a minute there. We had lunch with him at the Tin Fish near the ballpark and interviewed the hell out of him. Probably our finest moment. All our Pad Squad interviews come in second place.
I know how cheesy this sounds, but we've met so many good people over the past 10 years. I can't imagine how life would be different if we'd never started blogging. It begins with you guys, the readers, the other GLB authors who keep the site alive, everyone at SB Nation, the media and the Padres employees. I've also found that while sometimes we may disagree that being Padres fans we are all more or less the same. Feels real good.