Morning of 2019 Padres Opening Day!

IMG_8322z

It’s the morning of 2019 Padres Opening Day! Things are beginning to get exciting around Petco Park!

Optimism is sky high for this new season. It’s the 50th Anniversary of the San Diego Padres and the new roster is loaded with promising talent and baseball superstars!

Here are some quick photos that I took while walking past the ballpark!

GO PADS!

IMG_8319z

IMG_8302z

IMG_8310z

IMG_8332z

IMG_8315z

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Getting ready for a new Padres season!

New graphics for the 2019 Padres baseball season are now being applied around Petco Park.
New graphics for the 2019 Padres baseball season are now being applied around Petco Park.

Everyone is hustling to get ready for the 2019 Padres baseball season. Opening Day is a week from tomorrow!

I’ve noticed all sorts of preparations now underway at Petco Park, and at businesses on surrounding streets. Petco Park has been getting a new paint job and new player graphics are being applied to the rear of the two big videoboards. One major theme this year is the recent signing of superstar Manny Machado.

Will 2019 be the season the Padres turn the corner and become a winning team?

Fingers crossed!

The first street lamp banners to go up promote the free, family friendly Opening Day Block Party. The annual event will take place Thursday and Friday next week in East Village.
The first street lamp banners to go up promote the free, family friendly Opening Day Block Party. The annual event will take place Thursday and Friday next week in East Village.
A new Manny Machado shirt is now on display in a window of the Padres Team Store.
A new Manny Machado shirt is now on display in a window of the Padres Team Store.
We Who Reign graphic on a vendor cart inside the Park at the Park.
We Who Reign graphic on a vendor cart inside the Park at the Park.
Great progress is being made in erecting the new permanent concert stage in the Park at the Park.
Progress is being made erecting the new permanent concert stage in the Park at the Park.
A worker was welding when I walked past.
A worker was welding when I walked past.
Various restaurants and bars in East Village and the Gaslamp Quarter are putting up Padres banners and posters.
Various restaurants and bars in East Village and the Gaslamp Quarter are putting up Padres banners and posters.
GO PADRES
GO PADRES
Manny Machado has appeared in a window between Will Ferrell and Eric Hosmer!
Manny Machado has appeared in a window between Will Ferrell and Eric Hosmer!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Building a permanent concert stage at Petco Park!

A new, permanent concert stage is now being built at Petco Park!

I walked through the Park at the Park today and saw workers erecting the large stage behind the wall-like batter’s eye, where temporary stages have been set up for special events in past years.

A couple mornings ago I walked around Petco Park looking for new banners, graphics and cool stuff in anticipation of the 2019 Padres baseball season. I spoke to a Padres employee who was doing some maintenance, and he indicated that the new stage will be operated by Live Nation, and will be used as a venue for concerts and other fun events throughout the year!

Great idea!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

One very cool “San Diego” graffiti mural!

A very cool graffiti-style "San Diego" mural at 20th Street and Imperial Avenue painted by Dyse One.
The very cool “San Diego” mural at 20th Street and Imperial Avenue painted by Dyse One.

Check out this cool mural painted on the south side of the Universal Radiator building at 20th Street and Imperial Avenue. Local artist and clothing designer Dyse One spray painted an immense “San Diego” in an elegant graffiti style!

The west side of the same building was painted by Dyse One and Haslr, and contains elements that represent America’s Finest City. I see images of the Coronado Bridge, a trolley, and the Padres’ mascot, the Swinging Friar!

Very cool!

A mural on another side of the same building pays tribute to America's Finest City. By street artists Dyse One and Haslr.
A cool mural on the west side of the same building pays tribute to America’s Finest City. By street artists Dyse One and Haslr.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Petco’s “San Diego Section” honors local teams!

In 2018 there was a cool new addition to Petco Park, baseball home of the San Diego Padres. Walk past Section 114 and you can’t miss it!

Displayed on the wall of what is now called the “San Diego Section” are plastic versions of high school baseball caps. Every high school in San Diego County with a baseball or softball team that competes in the CIF San Diego Section is represented!

To honor the achievements of local teams and their individual players, two interactive screens in the San Diego Section allow fans to search by high school. Basic information is displayed for each school, such as team logo, colors and mascot. The years the school won a California Interscholastic Federation Championship are also shown, as are the names of students who’ve have gone on to compete in Major League Baseball!

How cool is that?

I checked out Petco Park’s inspiring San Diego Section today during the 2019 Padres FanFest and took photos!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

“There is no shortcut to true success.”

Statue of National Baseball Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
Statue of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

“There is no shortcut to true success.” Those are the words of Trevor Hoffman, 2018 inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He is remembered as one of the greatest players in the history of baseball.

The wise quote adorns the base of his bronze statue, which was unveiled this summer at Petco Park.

Great achievements require hard work and persistence. Achievements that endure the test of time must be built game by game, inning by inning, pitch by pitch.

The San Diego Padres have honored two of their Hall of Fame players with magnificent statues at Petco Park. Both Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are now immortalized in bronze. Both sculptures were created by artist William Behrends, who has been referred to as the Sculptor of Sporting History.

I posted a few photos of the Tony Gwynn statue five years ago here.

Neither Trevor Hoffman nor Tony Gwynn chose the easy path. Both worked constantly, studied the game, and never stopped honing their skills.

“There is no shortcut to true success.” To those who have high aspirations, important words to remember.

A sculpture of Trevor Hoffman overlooks the Padres bullpen, just beyond left field at Petco Park.
A sculpture of Trevor Hoffman overlooks the Padres bullpen, just beyond left field at Petco Park.
There is no shortcut to true success. Trevor Hoffman.
There is no shortcut to true success. Trevor Hoffman.
The high leg kick of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman immortalized in bronze.
The high leg kick of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman immortalized in bronze.
Two legends of baseball intersect at Tony Gwynn Drive and Trevor Hoffman Way, just outside Petco Park.
Two legends of baseball now intersect at Tony Gwynn Drive and Trevor Hoffman Way, just outside Petco Park.
Bronze sculpture of Trevor Hoffman, by artist William Behrends.
The bronze sculpture of legendary pitcher Trevor Hoffman, by artist William Behrends.

Model of Lane Field stadium at Petco Park.

Completed model of Lane Field stadium in the garage of baseball historian Bill Swank. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.
Completed model of Lane Field stadium in the garage of baseball historian Bill Swank. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.

A fascinating scale model of the Lane Field stadium, home of the Pacific Coast League Padres from 1936 to 1957, is now located inside the front lobby of the San Diego Padres business office. The model was built by baseball historian Bill Swank, author of several books, including Echoes from Lane Field : A History of the San Diego Padres 1936-1957.

Fans of the early Padres used to head to Lane Field to see their favorite team in action. Many fond baseball memories were made in downtown San Diego near the waterfront, at the end of West Broadway between Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway. Today the area is occupied by two hotel buildings and Lane Field Park, which features a small baseball diamond, plaques that honor an era of local baseball history, and three colorful banners that celebrate former players at Lane Field, including legendary hitter Ted Williams.

Bill Swank created the detailed model of long-vanished Lane Field to preserve a bit of San Diego history for the enjoyment of Padres fans. The model is in 1:128 scale and made out of basswood. Care was taken during its construction to maintain a high degree of accuracy.

According to Bill Swank, the model is “so accurate to scale that it’s even 87’ from home to first base. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a groundskeeper measured the distance and discovered it was only 87 feet… and had been 87 feet since 1936! I believe the mistake was made by taking the measurement off the hastily drawn blueprint.”

Bill Swank has provided the following additional information concerning his model:

January 1997: Because I had blueprints for Lane Field, San Diego Hall of Champions Historian Don King asked if I would like to participate in building a scale model of the original home of the San Diego Padres to be displayed at the Hall of Champions.

May 1997: It took me longer to finish the model than it took the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to build the actual ballpark. Bill Lane signed an agreement to relocate his Pacific Coast League Hollywood Stars to San Diego on January 28, 1936. A ballpark had to be built at the northwest corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway in less than two months, because the renamed “Padres” first game was scheduled for March 31, 1936. The cost of construction was approximately $25,000. (San Diego beat the Seattle Indians, 6-2, on Opening Day.)

July 1997: My Lane Field model was unveiled at the San Diego Hall of Champions on the Prado.

September 2000: The model was transported to the remodeled Federal Building after the Hall of Champions moved from the Prado.

April 2017: When the Hall of Champions closed in 2017, a new home was found for the model at Petco Park.

February 2018: The Lane Field model went on display in the front lobby of the Padres business office.

I have enjoyed an up-close and personal look at this very cool model. Here are several historical photographs of Lane Field, followed by a few photos of the model beneath glass that my camera captured.

With a little imagination one can almost see fans in the stands, players on the field, and hear the crack of a batted home run…

Lane Field (1936) before the grandstand roof was added. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Lane Field (1936) before the grandstand roof was added. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Panoramic view of Lane Field includes long ticket line for 1954 PCL Championship game with Hollywood Stars (Padres won, 7-2). Photo by Ray Hacecky, Sr.
Panoramic view of Lane Field includes long ticket line for 1954 PCL Championship game with the Hollywood Stars (Padres won, 7-2). Photo by Ray Hacecky, Sr.
Opening Day, March 30, 1940. Southpaw Wally “Preacher” Hebert took the mound and beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-1. Photo from the Hebert Family.
Opening Day, March 30, 1940. Southpaw Wally “Preacher” Hebert took the mound and beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-1. Photo from the Hebert Family.
A new attendance record (13,466) was set on May 2, 1948 for a game with the San Francisco Seals. During the game, fans stood and sat in the outfield against the fence. A ball that went into the crowd was a ground rule double. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
A new attendance record (13,466) was set on May 2, 1948 for a game with the San Francisco Seals. During the game, fans stood and sat in the outfield against the fence. A ball that went into the crowd was a ground rule double. Photo from the Bill Swank collection.
Model of Lane Field as it appears today.
Scale model of Lane Field stadium, displayed in lobby of the Padres business office.

This model was built to honor the men who played baseball at Lane Field and the fans who loved them.
This model was built to honor the men who played baseball at Lane Field and the fans who loved them.

Memories from San Diego's baseball past live on at Petco Park.
Memories from San Diego’s baseball past live on at Petco Park.

Many thanks to the San Diego Padres, the super friendly Petco Park Navigators and Bill Swank who made this fun post possible!

Go Pads!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!