I was listening to Craig Elsten and John Gennaro's Padres podcast "Make the Padres Great Again" as I always do. This time however, due to no fault of theirs, I fell asleep before the end. This morning I caught the last 8 minutes where they started talking about a Gaslamp Ball blog post from 2010 about when our friend Jonny Dub purchased a portion of the NL Western Division Champs sign from 2005 at a Padres garage sale. They got a few of the facts wrong but it only made the story more colorful. I figured I'd tell you the last part of the story that I don't think I ever revealed.
On February 13th, 2010 Jonny saw the sign at the Padres' annual garage sale. On the outside of the rolled up 60 pound sign was written "WMS Building NL Sign" which immediately made Jon think that he was purchasing the "Division Champs" sign based on it's size and weight for only $10!
We took turns teaming up carrying the sign around for the remainder of the Padres FanFest. The signs were covered in dirt so it was nasty business. Jon didn't want to open it until he got it home since he'd need a lot of space to unroll it, he'd get filthy in the process and it'd undoubtedly be a pain to roll up again.
When he got it home it turned out that he'd only purchased the NL portion of the sign that hung on the side of the Western Metal Supply Building, the smallest portion, but still huge. He stuck his cat on it and took a picture, because that's what Jonny does when he's disappointed.
Jon rolled up the sign and put it in the rafters of his garage. He concluded that the Padres had sold the sign since they knew they'd forever suck. Months passed. To everyone's surprise the 2010 Padres were in first place. Nobody could figure out why they were so good, but they just were. They were going to win the NL West and they might have need for the sign after all.
Sometime in September a Padres employee was in a meeting where the Padres executives were planning for the eventuality when the team would clinch the NL West pennant. They talked about how they'd once again unfurl the banners over the Western Metal Supply building as they had in 2005. She read Gaslamp Ball so she knew that they didn't have all the pieces. They asked her if she could contact me and get it back since they had sold it mistakenly.
I got the phone call and told her how it was tucked away in Jon's garage. The only problem was that Jonny Dub got married sometime in September and left for his honeymoon to the southern hemisphere. He was in Australia or New Zealand, literally the other side of the world. I told her I'd see what I could do. I emailed Jon asking if there was any way I could get access to his house. He replied that his new sister-in-law had the key to his house and the Padres could take the sign, but he'd want playoff tickets in return. When Jon sees a deal happening he always wants to wet his beak. I told him that I was just going to give them the sign and reminded him that he was in Australia and couldn't even use playoff tickets if he got them.
The plan was in place but we waited in a holding pattern as it started to become unclear if the Padres could win. The heart breaking defeat to the Giants took our toll on us all, but it also robbed Jonny Dub and his cat of an opportunity to save the day. That would have been a great story, much better than this one.