My indoctrination into baseball fandom can almost be entirely attributed to my grandfather. From an early age I recall him having "the game" on frequently at his house and I was over there quite a bit as we (my immediate family) lived next door in the rear house of a 2 house property in Pacific Beach in the early 80s. I suppose the most vivid of those memories was during the 1984 NLCS vs. the Cubs because about 30+ people gathered at our house to watch the clincher game. Since it was obviously an extraordinary situation in this town, my curiosity piqued enough that I got swept away in the fervor. My grandfather must have been swept up too because the next season he bought season tickets and we became regular fixtures in the LF stands at "The Murph".
Our seats were literally right next to the Padre bullpen so I got familiar with the pitchers and was even on a first name basis with the few who took the time to patronize me. That pretty much cemented me as a Padre fan forever. Even if Goose Gossage did ignore my pleas for attention most of the time.
Oddly enough, my grandfather was a Dodger fan, having grown up in LA. He would wax poetically about guys like Snider, Koufax and Drysdale, which registered very little to me until later in life. We had a nice playful rivalry as time went on, of which the '96 playoff clinching game is pretty much my lone shining moment. Truth be told, even though he was a Dodger fan by birthright, I think he had been charmed by the allure of the underdog over the years and was more of a Padre fan.