It was really, really tough narrowing down this list to only ten. Even though I've only been around for a little over half of Gaslamp Ball's lifetime, there have been so many memories that have stuck out to me over the years. Many (most) times these memories have little to do with the Padres, but everything to do with the GLB community. So without further ado, and in no specific order, here are my top ten memories from ten years of Gaslamp Ball:
GLB commissions a project to send fan mail to a Padres clubhouse attendant.
While watching an episode of Padres Weekly, jbox was inspired by a particular segment in which Padres clubhouse attendant James Bigler told Annie Heilbrunn that he had never received any fan mail. He took to Twitter his suggestion to send Bigler some fan mail, and then blogged his idea on GLB. It took a little while for things to pick up but, along with some help from Lobshots, Bigler ended up getting a fair amount of fanmail.
If you've never seen what Bob Scanlan looks like with Jon Weisbarth's hair, well you're in luck. Back before the days of Fox Sports SD, there was Channel 4 SD. One night after the Padres had defeated the Dodgers 10-5 in what ended up being a super long game, Dex for some reason requested in his game recap that someone photoshop Bob Scanlan's hair onto John Weisbarth, and vice versa. Steve (Grey Suit) came through in the comments of that game recap. Then Jonny Dub requested a photoshop of Mark Grant with Dick Enberg's hair, and Steve came through again. To this day, those pictures still make me laugh out loud, literally, any time I see them.
I don't really remember too much about this particular "brawl" back in 2010. But I do remember Dex's re-telling of it in lieu of a full game recap. It was one of the greatest things I had ever read. Jbox said in his Top 10 post that Dex is his favorite Padres blogger, and I have to agree.
My 21st birthday / Opening Day 2010 / Away at the Park
In 2010 the Padres opened their season on the road. But the Park at the Park was being opened to the public and the game was to be played on the big screen behind the batter's eye. The Padres called it "Away at the Park" and I took the opportunity to go down there to meet up with some Gaslamp Ballers and celebrate my 21st birthday. I got my very first ballpark beer (it was a Coors Light and it was the best thing they had on sale at their limited concessions that day) and then settled in to watch the game with the few Gaslamp Ballers that showed up. Jbox also tried to give me a can of chewing tobacco that he had found, as a birthday present. But I didn't want it despite his trying to convince me that it had probably belonged to a Padres player. After the game ended, some of us headed over to Proper Gastropub, right next to the Park at the Park, for some more drinks and some laughs. Just a really fun time all around.
Meeting Tom Garfinkel for the first time.
In 2011, I got a chance to go to the Padres Town Hall Meeting. It was a fun night and I got to see lots of Gaslamp Ballers out at the ballpark, but the highlight for me was meeting Tom Garfinkel for the first time. I was a little starstruck, especially after jbox introduced me and Garfinkel said he had recognized my name from the blog. We all stood around talking for a while and then the most amazing thing happened. John Gennaro reminded Garfinkel of a time on Gaslamp Ball when the two of them traded Austin Powers quotes in the comments section, and Garfinkel responded by reciting the entire Dr. Evil group therapy monologue from the first Austin Power movie. The. Entire. Thing. Word-for-word, by memory, as the rest of us just stood in silent awe. It was incredible and something I will always remember and look back upon fondly.
Dex and jbox go to Padres Spring Training 2010.
I wasn't around at GLB for Dex's first run at vlogs, but thankfully I was around when these premiered. I just really loved following jbox and Dex on their Spring Training journey in 2010. They told us about the smells (literally), tastes, and sights of their drive out to Phoenix. Some of my favorite highlights: "We're comin' up on some windmills." "Jbox worked the [McDonald's] dollar menu. Jbox is a dollar menunaire." Watching Dex gradually drink an entire date shake. Catching a glimpse of jbox's hand. It was all so magical and made me feel like I was in the car going to Spring Training with them!
Later that Spring Training trip, Dex and jbox sent me a postcard from Buddy Black. I've always been a fan of Buddy. So when I received a postcard from him in the mail, I was ecstatic and so thankful to them for making it happen. When jbox threw out the idea that they'd mail out postcards to anyone who was willing to give them their address, I volunteered mine without hesitation. I figured I'd be moving out of that house in a few months anyway so if they decided to use my address to play a prank or something, it'd be someone else's problem! I thought a postcard from these guys would be awesome and hilarious and I couldn't wait to see what they'd write. But they went above and beyond in making three Gaslamp Ballers very happy with their Postcards From the Edge. I still have my postcard sitting on a shelf in my room along with my other favorite Padres memorabilia.
Hoffy Day, Breakfasttown, and retired numbers tshirts.
I know this day was all about Trevor Hoffman, but this was a GREAT GLB-centric Gaslamp Ball memory for me. Firstly, I wasn't able to get a ticket for the game that day, and I was p sad. But THEN, Gaslamp Baller dubsco mentioned that he had an extra ticket and he let me have it and I was V HAPPY. Next, Dex and jbox had some sort of surprise/secret for Gaslamp Ballers. It was all very exclusive, but very exciting and I couldn't wait to find out what it was. Turns out Tom Garfinkel had invited us Gaslamp Ballers out to a sectioned-off area at the Park at the Park before the game to have breakfast. I was so excited I made a bunch of cupcakes to bring to the ballpark that day.
Garfinkel also HAD BRAND NEW RETIRED NUMBERS TSHIRTS MADE FOR US!! Plus I finally got to meet Drama which was kind of a historical moment. And this was all before the pre-game ceremony even started! The Trevor Hoffman number retirement ceremony was incredible and tear-inducing (in a good way) and just lovely all around. Later during the game, I met up with even more Gaslamp Ballers near Tony Gwynn's statue. It was like a giant GLB friendship orgy.
The end of the 2009 season when the Padres ruined everything.
I first started coming to GLB in August of 2009. It wasn't long before I started commenting and participating in game threads every night. I remember my roommates at the time would always kinda laugh when they'd see me on the couch every night watching the Padres game while typing away furiously on my laptop and laughing to myself. The Padres' season had already gone down the drain pretty much, but hanging out in the open threads on GLB made it so much more worthwhile to keep watching. There was a two-game home series against the Dodgers at the end of September. It was the second-to-last series of the season, and the Dodgers needed one more win to clinch the NL West title. They came out to Petco Park and had champagne on ice waiting in the visitors' clubhouse in the event that they clinched against the Friars. But our boys came out to fight that series. They outscored the Dodgers 8-1 in those two games, preventing them from clinching in our house. Gaslamp Ballers proclaimed "WE RUIN EVERYTHING," which became a rallying cry for us that we still use all the time.
Dex and jbox let me cast their ballot in the SB Nation Baseball awards and chaos ensues.
I remember when jbox messaged me to ask if I wanted to cast Gaslamp Ball's ballot in the annual SB Nation Awards. He said something like, "you watch non-Padres baseball more than I do," which was true, so I agreed to do it and didn't put much thought into it. When the voting results came in, Clayton Kershaw and Roy Halladay came out TIED for first in the NL Cy Young Award voting, which would have probably been fine had people not been able to see the vote distribution. But they did, and they were PISSED. Because I had voted Clayton Kershaw 5th and was the only reason he didn't win the fake award outright. Like, people were sincerely angry about this and were calling out Gaslamp Ball for not taking it seriously enough and for being a bad blog in general, and I felt terrible because everyone took it out on the two guys who make GLB the place we know and love so well: Dex and jbox.
I thought it would all blow over in a few days and was ready to just laugh at some of the comments calling GLB incompetent and, when they thought about the possibility of the person who cast the ballot being a girl, making some sexist remarks. But the next day, Dex came out with his Gaslamp Ball Rationale to try to explain the thought behind all of it. Turns out that just made people even more angry. Commenters from all over SBNation came to GLB to take out their anger on us. At one point we even got accused of choreographing the entire thing just to get more traffic to the site and to get people to register usernames on GLB.
But on the other hand, it brought Gaslamp Ballers together to defend one another and the place we call our internet home. I sometimes go back and read the comments on this thread and I'm so humbled and proud about the whole thing. A sense of humor and unwillingness to take baseball too seriously is at the heart and soul of what we do here, and why so many people are so loyal to it, and I don't know if I had or have ever seen a better example of that than this whole Kershaw Co-Winner thing. TL;DR GLB rules and Dodgers drool.
The Gaslamp Ballers.
I think I kinda summed it up above, but you guys - Dex, jbox, Jonny Dub, Kev, all the writers, all the readers and commenters, old and new - make Gaslamp Ball what it is. You welcomed me into the comments section with open arms back in 2009 and you welcomed me as your game thread writer in 2011 and all these years you've made GLB such a fun and weird and awesome place to hang out on the internet. I've met some of the best people I know through Gaslamp Ball. Some people who have become huge parts of my life and have shaped me to be the person I am today. I've gotten so many opportunities and experienced so many new things I wouldn't have been able to had it not been for Gaslamp Ball. It's like SUPER CHEESY but it's 100% genuine. So thank you for the past ten years and thank you for all the years to come.
I always enjoy hearing about Dex and jbox's Spring Training trips. This particular year they saw a man unashamedly sunbathing shirtless in the Arizona sun. It turned out that they weren't the only ones who had taken notice of the man. Some Padres reporters and media people whom Dex and jbox had run into later in their trip noted that they, too, saw the sunbather in all his glory. I think my favorite thing about this story was Bob Scanlan's take on it. I must say, Scan is one of my all-time favorite GLBers.
From its conception, to its inception at Petco Park on Sundays, to the still rampant use of the idea of San Diego being a breakfast town today. It's all been a wild ride. Thank you, Tom Garfinkel.
Last Summer I was interviewed by a writer for the New York Times who was writing a piece about the 2014 Padres having close to the worst offense in history. I got my name and the quote, "WE RUIN EVERYTHING" (in regards to a Clayton Kershaw start, no less) in the New York Freaking Times. It was awesome.