San Diego Padres Game

Among the many construction projects that have reshaped San Diego’s S. Harbor Drive area near the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter is Petco Park. This magnificent stadium is squeezed into space between the new downtown library and the railyards for SMTS. The old stadium was located about eight miles away, depending on the route, while this one is easily in walking distance of both downtown hostels.

The Murph

Jack “The Murph” Murphy Stadium was home to the MLB’s San Diego Padres and NFL’s Chargers until the Chargers left for LA and the Padres moved into the beautiful Petco Ball Park downtown. I went to The Murph once to watch the Padres take on Cincinnati.

I stopped into the bar across from the Navy-Army YMCA about five times during my stay. One time it was offering a deal to go to the baseball on a bus with food and beer. I think it was like 10 bucks – which I had at the time. So, I bought a ticket and figured it be fun.

Jack Murphy Stadium
Jack Murphy Stadium

The game I went to was held on June 25, 1993. For baseball fans, this was the day after the team traded away Gary Sheffield during what has become known as its 1993 Summer Sale. The mood was ugly in the stadium has the fans watched another good player walk out the door and were certain the team was going to fall into everlasting mediocrity (the team actually did pretty well for a few years after ’93 – even went to the World Series in ’98).

Me, I didn’t really care, I didn’t follow baseball. I was just there for the experience, food, and beer. Much like how I approached the game at Petco Park. An experience that was definitely different than the one in 1993.

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First Responder's Night

What I didn’t know when I bought the ticket was that the Padres organization was having a First Responder Salute to honor Cal Fire, CERTs, San Diego Fire Rescue & SDFR Foundation. The whole affair made being the son of a firefighter who also served in the fire service proud. The SDFD helicopter flew overhead, but a little too quickly for me to snap a picture. So, the one I found will have to do.

The organizations being honored were also presenting with checks of support to continue their mission of serving and protecting those living in or visiting San Diego.

The Stadium

Opening on April 24th, the Padres began its inaugural 2004 baseball season at its new digs, Petco Park, downtown. I entered off of K Street and soon found a massive walk-in cooler full of beer! I grabbed two 24-oz Bud Lights at $12.50 a pop and I headed up to the 300-section to grab my seat. The stadium gives you amazing views of downtown San Diego, the railyards, and parts of the bay.

There’s also plenty of food vendors to stop at to grab a quick bite. There is a real focus on offering locally produced food choices to help support the small business community in the area and give a wider variety of food offerings than was available before the initiative started.

“Take a moment or two for yourself, just reflect on your path and where it is leading you. If you are not happy with where it is heading, choose a new path.” 

Nyki Mack.

Gallagher Hill

Known by old-timers as the Park by the Park, I wish I could tell of a great story on why the name is now Gallagher’s Park, but there isn’t one. The park naming rights went up for bid and Gallagher’s Insurance Company bought it. However, it’s still a nice place to hang out on game day, especially if you need space for kids to run around. This is a ticketed area, so you can’t just stop by and watch some of the game from the hilltop while passing by the stadium.