Demolition of San Diego Stadium is underway!

San Diego Stadium, built in 1967, once home of the baseball Padres and football Chargers, which has been known over the decades as Jack Murphy Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, and most recently SDCCU Stadium, is presently being demolished!

I walked down Rancho Mission Road this afternoon to take a couple of photographs through a construction fence surrounding the old stadium parking lot.

I see the big mural at the back of the scoreboard titled The Fan Game, by artist Mario Uribe, is still standing. If you want to see photographs of this cool sports mural from earlier this year, click here.

Eventually the area occupied by the stadium and its parking lot will be transformed into a huge extension of San Diego State University. I’ve heard the new campus referred to as either SDSU West or SDSU Mission Valley. A new 35,000 person capacity Aztec Stadium will also be built at this site, as well as a beautiful new river park.

To read more about the project, click here.

UPDATE!

Here are more photos I took a couple weeks later. Most of the mural is gone, and a larger chunk of the stadium is missing!

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!

Padres fans watch playoff game at Petco Park!

The Padres faithful have converged around Petco Park for the second game of the playoffs–a Wild Card game versus the St. Louis Cardinals!

I watched part of the game late this afternoon from a spot beside Gallagher Square. When I walked home through East Village and the Gaslamp, I saw many people at bars and restaurants watching the game.

As I write this, the Pads have come back by scoring 5 runs, making it 7-6, giving us the lead! Fernando Tatís Jr. contributed with a huge 3 run homer. Will we win?

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!

Downtown readies for the Padres’ playoffs!

It’s been an unusual year in Major League Baseball. A shortened season and unusual rules because of the COVID-19 pandemic . . . and the San Diego Padres are in the playoffs! For the first time since 2006! And the Friars are widely considered one of the favorite, most exciting teams, too!

Restaurants, bars and shops in downtown San Diego have begun to put out signs, banners and merchandise in anticipation of the first playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which begins at Petco Park with Game 1 tomorrow afternoon. And I noticed Padres employees and team players are getting ready at the ballpark, too!

I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp Quarter this afternoon to see what I might see. Check it out!

Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who've purchased special tickets will be able to watch playoff games together from the safety of their cars.
Big video screens have been erected in the Lexus Premier Lot next to Petco Park. Fans who’ve purchased special Padres Postseason Watch Party tickets will be able to enjoy playoff games together from the safety of their cars.

I noticed a couple of buses were parked by Petco Park. Did they drive all the way from St. Louis?
I noticed a couple of buses were parked next to Petco Park where visiting teams arrive.

Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.
Padres employees round a corner of Petco Park in San Diego’s East Village getting everything ready for the start of the MLB postseason.

Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.
Fans were enjoying a nice afternoon at Gallagher Square, watching Padres batting practice from a distance.

National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.
National League Wild Card graphic splashed on the video screen that faces Gallagher Square.

A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.
A photographer captures images of the Padres during batting practice.

My small camera caught a pitch on the way, player ready to swing!
My small camera caught a pitch on the way, with the batter ready to swing!

Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park's outfield proclaims: Let's Go Padres.
Banner on high balcony overlooking Petco Park’s outfield proclaims: Let’s Go Padres.

Bub's At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!
Bub’s At The Ballpark has several banners out. Go Padres!

UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!
UNION Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp has a SLAMDIEGO Special: The Padre Burger with a pint of Ballast Point Friar Ale!

Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.
Several shops in the Gaslamp have Padres apparel out on display.

Another example!
Another example!

Okay, here’s something really cool. I’d left the Gaslamp and was walking up Sixth Avenue toward home when I noticed the door of Centre City Sports Collectibles was open. So I stepped inside.

Wow! My eyes almost popped out of my head! If you’re a sports collector or enthusiast and you haven’t checked this place out, you need to pay a visit! The place is jammed floor to ceiling with so many collectibles that I don’t know how Henry, the proprietor, keeps track of it all. And by the way, he’s a really nice guy!

He called the stacks and stacks of stuff in every direction a mess, but I’m not sure why. The place is like sports fan heaven!

He let me take a few 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!

Tony Gwynn street art in East Village!

San Diego Padres hero Tony Gwynn, painted as street art not far from Petco Park.
San Diego Padres hero Tony Gwynn. This fantastic street art is not far from Petco Park.

San Diego loves Tony Gwynn. Look at his face as depicted in this recently painted street art and you can sense why. It’s all in his smile. He was a friend to everybody. He was simply a great human being.

And, of course, Mr. Padre was one of the best Major League Baseball hitters of all time!

I spotted this amazing electrical box today while walking near the intersection of Park Boulevard and Market Street in East Village. It stands near another box painted with legendary musicians. I shared those photographs in my previous blog post.

The artist’s signature is identical on both boxes, but I’m not a hundred percent sure who it might be. If you know, leave a comment!

Remember these two things--play hard and have fun. Tony Gwynn.
Remember these two things–play hard and have fun. Tony Gwynn.

If you work hard, good things will happen. Tony Gwynn.
If you work hard, good things will happen. Tony Gwynn.

The smiling face of Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Fame baseball legend.
The smiling face of Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Fame baseball legend.

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!

Watching a coronavirus game at Petco Park.

During this shortened coronavirus pandemic baseball season, is it possible to actually watch a Padres game at Petco Park? Assuming you aren’t positioned in one of the nearby high-rise buildings? Well, sort of…

Today after work I headed to Petco Park, knowing a Padres afternoon game would be in progress. I was curious to see whether anything interesting was going on at the ballpark–if there was anything to see at all. The Padres and other Major League Baseball teams have taken many steps to protect the public and their staff from the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

I did see the Arizona Diamondbacks buses parked outside. I did hear the distant announcer vaguely calling plays, music playing between at-bats and innings, and recorded cheering.

When I walked around to Social Tap and the nearby entrance of Gallagher Square (which used to be called Park at the Park), I noticed some fans were hanging out behind the fence bordering the kids’ small ball field.

I joined them.

We could see the video screen that faces Gallagher Square, and one of Petco Park’s faraway scoreboards. We could clearly hear the game–as one would hear it on television, without the play-by-play or commentary. Through a teeny tiny gap in the fence it was possible to see the tops of the heads of visiting bullpen pitchers, the pitcher’s mound and a little tiny bit of the home dugout. But you really couldn’t tell what was going on.

What was fun was the idea that I was actually at the ballpark, with a few other devoted fans!

I happened to walk up as the Padres were trailing the Diamondbacks 1-2. Right after I arrived, a huge rally began and the Padres were soon leading 6-2. Everyone cheered.

Even though nobody heard the few of us.

The Pads won!

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!

Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp!

Cecelia Linayao produces Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp Quarter during the first weekend of the 2020 season.
Cecelia Linayao and a team of artists create Padres baseball chalk art in the Gaslamp Quarter during the first weekend of the 2020 season.

Even as I post these photos, chalk art that celebrates the start of the Padres 2020 season is being created in the Gaslamp Quarter!

I walked down Fifth Avenue about an hour ago and admired four chalk murals that are the work of San Diego artist Cecelia Linayao and her team of friendly helpers!

The Padres are 1-0 so far and play their second game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at nearby Petco Park this evening. But fans can’t attend. It’s the year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Go Pads and stay healthy!

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!

Watch a Padres preseason game at Petco Park!

This afternoon I watched a couple innings of a Padres preseason Summer Camp game at Petco Park!

I and a few dozen other fans watched Padres team players get ready for the season in an intrasquad game. We sat on the grassy hill of Gallagher Square, the area beyond the outfield that until December last year was called Park at the Park.

Unless you had binoculars, you couldn’t really tell who was up at bat, because the ballpark video board is unfortunately out of sight. But you could see some sharply hit balls, and some smooth fielding, and one really bad throw to first base by an infielder! The hurriedly thrown ball hit the ground and the hustling runner was safe!

It was fun to sit in the sun for a while with other excited, cheering Padres fans.

Most watching the game in Gallagher Square kept socially distanced and wore a face mask. That’s the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, nobody will sit in the stands this pandemic-shortened 2020 season. But we can still watch some great baseball action on television, or perhaps from afar!

During Padres Summer Camp and upcoming preseason games, bring a picnic and watch your team in action!

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!

Sculpture and mural at San Diego stadium.

Those who’ve attended events at SDCCU/Qualcomm/Jack Murphy/San Diego Stadium might have noticed two works of public art outside. One, situated between the trolley station and stadium, is a sculpture of Jack Murphy and his dog. The other is an enormous, very colorful mural on the back of the scoreboard.

According to a plaque at its base, the Jack Murphy Sculpture, created by San Diego artist A. Wasil, debuted during the rededication of Jack Murphy Field on January 21, 2003.

A. Wasil was a sculptor who became known internationally for his work in cast bronze. He created several major pieces. Many of his sculptures have religious themes, such as the installations at Mission San Luis Rey and Notre Dame University. His bronze bust of Christ was accepted by The Vatican.

His 16 feet tall Jack Murphy Sculpture depicts the San Diego Union sports editor and columnist who advocated for a new San Diego stadium. Jack Murphy influenced Barron Hilton, who would move his Chargers football team from Los Angeles to San Diego. In 1965, a 50,000-seat stadium in Mission Valley was resoundingly approved by San Diego voters. Jack Murphy also helped convince baseball owners to bring the minor league San Diego Padres into the National League. The Padres would play at renamed Jack Murphy Stadium until 2004, when they moved to the new downtown Petco Park.

Given current plans to redevelop land under the old stadium and its enormous parking lot into SDSU West, this historic sculpture might not remain here for long. But who knows?

The sculpted Jack Murphy is accompanied by his Labrador Retriever, Abe.

That huge colorful mural on the back of the stadium’s scoreboard is titled The Fan Game. It was created in 1989-1990 by artist Mario Uribe.

The 13 panel mural measures 45 feet by 150 feet, and depicts excited fans cheering in the stands. The mural is so huge it can be seen from both Interstate 15 and Interstate 8!

Mario Uribe’s fine art has been collected by many museums, and he has created other notable works of public art. Learn more at his website here.

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Petco Park readies for a strange season!

Images of baseball stars Fernando Tatís Jr. and Manny Machado anticipate the 2020 season at Petco Park.
Images of Padres stars Fernando Tatís Jr. and Manny Machado anticipate the 2020 baseball season at Petco Park.

Major League Baseball will indeed have a season in 2020. The news was announced yesterday.

There will be 60 games this year, and teams will travel less and observe complicated new safety rules because of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be no roar of the crowd. No fans will fill the stands.

It’s going to be really strange.

This morning I walked by Petco Park, the home field of the San Diego Padres, to see if there are any preparations underway for the shortened season.

From atop the hill in the Park at the Park, I saw the ball field being groomed. As I passed the main box office and neared the trolley tracks, I looked up at workers on a crane who were applying the second of two huge wraps to Petco Park.

The very unusual 2020 season will begin on July 23rd or 24th.

Go Pads!

Petco Park is newly painted and empty as the grounds crew prepares the field for Padres baseball. No fans will be in attendance this shortened season.
Petco Park is newly painted and appears pristine. The grounds crew is preparing the field for Padres baseball. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, no fans will be in attendance this shortened season.

Large wrap on Petco Park celebrates Jackie Robinson. Diversity. Equality. Unity.
Large new wrap on Petco Park celebrates baseball legend and civil rights hero Jackie Robinson. Diversity. Equality. Unity.

Workers on a crane at Petco Park prepare for the unusual 2020 Major League Baseball season--which begins in July!
Workers at Petco Park prepare for a very strange Major League Baseball season–which will begin in July!

UPDATE!

I snapped this photo several days later…

Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Johnny Ritchey and current Padres stars. Together As One.
Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Johnny Ritchey and current Padres stars. We Are San Diego. Together As One.

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!