You may have heard that the Traveling Jersey is in Cooperstown this week, for obvious reasons. But you may be wondering what it had been up to before that. If you don't follow me or @gaslampball on Twitter or Instagram you probably think it's been laying dormant for the past several months, but in fact it's visited (and revisited) many different places in that time. I'm long overdue for this, but I'm here now to catch you up on the latest SotTJ adventures!
Last August the jersey spent Players Weekend in Miami with Greg Tish. He then sent it back to San Diego where the aptly-named ThisIsSanDiego took great care of it for the next few months and then took it out on its first public outing of 2018 - back in its birthplace at Padres FanFest, where it reunited with GLB friends and other SotTJ members.
Just over a month later we learned of the Padres' acquisition of Eric Hosmer from the Royals. Over this past year I've spent a lot of time reacquainting myself with the history of the SotTJ, poring over the old fanposts and reminding myself who and where the different pins and patches came from, and I've noticed how connected our community remains. When news of the Hosmer signing hit us, I immediately thought of the jersey's trip to Kansas City in its first season. RoyalsFan took it to Kauffman Field to take in a Royals game and fittingly added a Hosmer jersey patch to it's small but growing collection of mementos.
Now forward to a couple of months later. I reached out to This Is San Diego to set up a jersey handoff and we arranged a meet-up on April 5th. It happened to be my birthday, and the final game of the Padres' first homestand of the season. We met up downtown before the game and it felt so good to have the jersey back in my hands.
It was an overall great day at the ballpark, although Joey Lucchesi and the Padres ultimately lost to the Rockies. My boyfriend and I took turns wearing the jersey throughout the afternoon while hanging out with some wonderful ballpark friends, like Bobby Cressey and Neil the Beerman.
But the main reason I wanted to get the jersey back was because the next day we were going on a trip to Las Vegas with my family. It wouldn't be the jersey's first trip there, as kevintheoman took it on some unique adventures back in 2013. My plan heading into the weekend was to take in some (future) Padres baseball and hopefully have the jersey bring us some luck.
The purpose for this weekend in Vegas was to spend some quality time with my family for my birthday, and I did a lot of that. But the Padres' Triple-A team, the El Paso Chihuahuas, also happened to be in town that weekend to play the Mets' affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s. So while the rest of my family went to dinner that Saturday night, my boyfriend and I headed out to Cashman Field sporting our Padres/Chihuahuas gear.
It was Star Wars night at the stadium, and the 51s brought in lots of people dressed as various characters. It was also Girl Scout Night, and for most of the game we obnoxiously cheered on the visiting Chihuahuas while we sat by a bunch of girl scouts and their families. And our team gave us plenty to cheer about, defeating the 51s 8-3 in the third game of their four-game series.
Among some of the more notable performances of the game were Franchy Cordero, Luis Urias, and Javi Guerra; each of whom had two hits on the night while driving in four runs altogether. But perhaps the greatest performances of the night came after the game's end, when a bunch of the aforementioned Star Wars impersonators took to the field for some choreographed lightsaber battles (see for yourself below). All in all it was a really fun night getting to visit a new ballpark and watching these future Friars at work.
We headed back home the next day, and along the way we stopped by Seven Magic Mountains. If you've never been to or heard of it, it's a public art installation about ten miles south of the Strip, composed of brightly-colored stacks of rocks. It's a nice little detour on the way to or from Vegas. And it does a great job of highlighting all the different-colored patches and pins on our jersey!
It wasn't too long after our Vegas trip that the Traveling Jersey hit the road again, but this time much closer to home. On April 12th we set out to the Diamond for Lake Elsinore Storm's Opening Day. They are celebrating their 25th season this year, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see even more Padres prospects in action, especially since the Storm had offered up $4 tickets to Opening Day. Now those guys know how to give their fans a good deal.
The Storm gave us a good show in their season opener. They beat the Lancaster JetHawks 6-2 behind a masterful start from right-hander Reggie Lawson. If you've never had a chance to visit the Diamond in Lake Elsinore, you should definitely try to at some point, especially if you're in driving distance. You really can't beat the value and the fan experience offered by the Storm. And no, this isn't some kind of sponsored post. I just really enjoy going to these games. And the cherry on top was running into some familiar faces - GLB's very own roydjt and his now-fiance Angela.
After that action-packed week, the jersey recuperated in my closet for the next couple of months until it was time to go on another adventure. Stay tuned for part 2!