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Why I’m a fan of the Padres, even though it’s hard sometimes

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Welcome to the refreshed Gaslamp Ball! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

It’s hard to be a Padres fan.

I wasn’t always one. But that’s only because I wasn’t always a baseball fan. I didn’t grow up in a sports-watching household. I vaguely recall having the television turned to the World Series in 1998, but it was just background noise while my family was having dinner in the next room. I only started getting into sports when I was in middle school, around the early 2000s. I had friends who were on the school’s basketball, volleyball, football, and baseball teams, and I would go watch them play. This continued into high school, and grew into a full-fledged obsession. Not only did I attend every sporting event possible at school, but I started to closely follow professional sports too (mainly football, but I was a budding baseball fan at this point as well).

Football was my true love for a long time. I lived and breathed Chargers. But as I grew older I became more and more interested in baseball, and of course, the Padres.

I say “of course” like it’s a given. Growing up in San Diego, you’d think it would just be natural to root for the Padres. And yet I would constantly get asked, “Why do you like them?” Not just by people who weren’t native to the area, but by born-and-raised San Diegans. They liked other teams, for various reasons. Sometimes it’s because their parents or grandparents grew up in another part of the country, so they passed down their fanhood. Other times they just cheered for whichever team was doing well that year, or had the coolest logo, or best colors. (Way to uphold the stereotype of San Diegans being bandwagon fans, guys.)

But for me, it was a given. I don’t have a cool story about how I became a Padres fan. I just was, and am. Every season I watch them dwell in the NL West cellar, and every offseason I count down the days until Spring Training and Opening Day. I find little things to root for, and get attached to random players who eventually end up back in the minors or on other teams, or become perpetual free-agents.

And, pardon the cheesiness, but Gaslamp Ball makes it a lot easier. I love having a place full of people who care about the Padres as much as I do and knows what it feels like to root so hard for a team that most of the rest of the country ridicules or just forgets about altogether. I don’t know if I’d be as big of a fan as I am today if it wasn’t for this place.

Being a Padres fan isn’t easy. But I don’t ever regret it.

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