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 in 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!

Trevor Time returns to Petco Park!

Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big video board.
Padres fans enter Petco Park before a home game against the Diamondbacks to watch the induction of Trevor Hoffman into the baseball Hall of Fame live on the big videoboard.

Trevor Hoffman was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame today. I headed down to Petco Park before the early afternoon game to watch the induction ceremony in Cooperstown live on the big Petco Park videoboard.

As game time approached, more and more fans filled the seats. All eyes were watching the live ceremony. Then Trevor took to the podium to accept the highest honor in all of baseball.

It was Trevor Time once again!

Trevor spoke many moving words during his speech. He remembered and thanked his family and his past teammates. He honored members of the Padres family who have passed into history, including Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman. He thanked the military, an important part of our city, and reminded all that freedom is not free. He closed by telling his sons that character is more important than reputation.

Thank you Trevor, not only for being a Padres baseball hero, but for being a hero for all of San Diego.

Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
Another beautiful, sunny day in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is particularly special.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
San Diego Padres legendary closer Trevor Hoffman is inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, 2018.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Six great MLB players form the Class of 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Cooperstown, New York is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Class of 2018.
Trevor Hoffman, who spent his record-breaking career as closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
As Hoffman is introduced during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, video is shown of Padres fans holding a banner proclaiming Trevor Time.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame.
The MLB Network live feed on the Petco Park videoboard shows Trevor Hoffman shortly before he gives his speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
The determined eyes of the Major League Baseball pitcher who was first to achieve 500 and 600 saves.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Footage shows Trevor during a game with his Padres teammates on the field.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
Trevor doffs his cap to his San Diego fans as he achieves a baseball pitching milestone.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The face of Trevor William Hoffman immortalized in bronze at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman, master of a mystifying change-up, became the first pitcher to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
Trevor Hoffman poses during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with other legendary baseball players all around him.
It's Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park.
It’s Trevor Time one more time at Petco Park!
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Thanks for the memories Hoffy.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
Trevor begins his acceptance speech. He thanks his dad and mom.
He adresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
He addresses his brothers, who are watching the ceremony at Cooperstown.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Padres fans enter Petco Park as an historic event occurs on the other side of the country.
Trevor Hoffman thanks Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry--a special bond.
Trevor Hoffman thanks his old manager Bruce Bochy, and his past teammates. Those teams had great chemistry–a special bond.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Trevor thanks his wife.
Fans thank Trevor.
Fans applaud Trevor.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Another day, another game of wonderful baseball. Young and old now fill the Park at the Park beyond the outfield.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Trevor is honored on the video board in the Park at the Park.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
Meanwhile, kids who might not know who Trevor is simply love playing baseball.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman's impressive baseball achievements.
My soda cup with Trevor Hoffman’s impressive baseball achievements.
The game will soon start. Trevor's induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
The game will soon start. Trevor’s induction speech is repeated on video screens throughout Petco Park.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
I saw many Hoffman jerseys.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer's day in 2018.
Trevor Time has returned to Petco Park on a summer’s day in 2018.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Fans were posing by some new Trevor Hoffman Hall of Fame graphics on a wall along the Petco Park concourse.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Trevor graphics ascend the side of an escalator.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Hoffman jerseys were a hot item today.
Trevor Hoffman's plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend in San Diego, among many others.
Trevor Hoffman’s plaque in the Breitbard Hall of Fame. A sports legend who made San Diego his home, among many other world-class athletes.
Photo of Trevor Hoffman achieving his 479th save, surpassing Lee Smith, in the Padres Hall of Fame in Petco Park.
Historic photos of Trevor Hoffman in the Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park. When he achieved his 479th save, he surpassed Lee Smith as Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
A boy looks up at a Trevor Hoffman jersey in the Padres Hall of Fame.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of Trevor Hoffman.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.
The smile of a San Diego baseball hero.

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!

The fun 2018 Padres Opening Weekend Block Party!

A Rabbitville bunny on display at the 2018 Padres Opening Weekend Block Party is painted with images of Tony Gwynn and Randy Jones!
A Rabbitville bunny on display at the 2018 Padres Opening Weekend Block Party is painted with images of Tony Gwynn and Randy Jones!

Here’s a bunch of photos I took this evening during the first day of the 2018 Padres Opening Weekend Block Party!

The family-friendly event stretches from the Gaslamp Quarter into East Village, along J Street between Sixth and Tenth Avenue. You’ll find it just north of Petco Park, adjacent to the Park at the Park. As you can see from these photographs, there’s tons of food and entertainment, plus one large section devoted to adult beverages. And sprinkled throughout there’s some very cool artwork! Every year this block party seems to get larger and more popular.

The Padres Opening Weekend Block Party continues tomorrow so head on down if you’re in San Diego!

GO PADS!

Padres fans enjoy walking along four blocks of J Street near Petco Park. It's the Opening Weekend Block Party in San Diego!
Padres fans enjoy walking along four blocks of J Street near Petco Park. It’s the Opening Weekend Block Party in San Diego!
Lots of people were lined up to spin a California Millions prize wheel.
Lots of people were lined up to spin a California Millions prize wheel.
It appeared to me that all of the Gaslamp Quarter's Rabbitville sculptures were out on display. This cool one pays homage to CW superheroes and Comic-Con.
It appeared to me that all of the Gaslamp Quarter Association’s Rabbitville sculptures were out on display. This cool one pays homage to CW superheroes and Comic-Con.
Some folks were singing their hearts out doing Street Karaoke.
Some folks were singing their hearts out doing Street Karaoke.
Kid throws a perfect strike!
Kid throws a perfect strike!
More fun rabbit sculptures in front of Bub's.
More fun rabbit sculptures in front of Bub’s.
Ladies at one table were showing off the East Village-opoly board game!
Ladies at one table were showing off the East Village-opoly board game!
These guys were playing table soccer at a fun TV station's booth.
These guys were playing table soccer at a local TV station’s booth.
A Padres fan wearing a Garry Templeton jersey is interviewed live on a Mighty 1090 sports radio program.
A Padres fan wearing a Garry Templeton jersey is interviewed live on a Mighty 1090 sports radio program.
I was seriously tempted to grab a Dunkin' Donut!
I was seriously tempted to grab a Dunkin’ Donut!
Nobody was playing giant Jenga when I happened to pass by.
Nobody was playing giant Jenga when I happened to pass by.
Cheerforce San Diego is trying to get to the World Series of Cheerleading. Read their sign if you'd like to help!
Cheerforce San Diego is trying to get to the World Series of Cheerleading. Read their sign if you’d like to help!
A family of Padres fans is interviewed at the Opening Weekend Block Party.
A family of Padres fans is interviewed at the Opening Weekend Block Party.
Another side of the first Rabbitville bunny! I believe that's Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman. Padres and San Diego are celebrated with a very cool event as baseball season gets underway!
Another side of that first Rabbitville bunny! I believe that’s Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman. Padres and San Diego are celebrated with a super fun event as baseball season gets underway!

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!

Baseball dreams on banners at Petco Park!

20 Carlos Asuaje 3B
20 Carlos Asuaje 3B

Time flies! Only two days until the start of the Padres’ 2018 season! San Diego ended up with a record of 15-10 in spring training, the second best preseason record in the National League!

Expectations have risen greatly for the coming season. The team has a crop of young, hungry, super-skilled players, many rising from what is arguably the deepest and most talent-rich farm system in baseball. A sprinkling of outstanding veterans with great leadership skills are also in the mix, including newly acquired Eric Hosmer. Every indication is that the Padres’ offensive production should be really good. If the pitching is also good, who knows what might happen? It’s fun to dream, right?

During a walk around Petco Park last weekend, I spied 2018 Padres players on lamppost banners. And, naturally, I took photos!

Would you like to dream with me? Take a peek at what might be a very bright future!

3 Clayton Richard SP
3 Clayton Richard SP
4 Wil Myers 1B
4 Wil Myers 1B
7 Manuel Margot CF
7 Manuel Margot CF
12 Chase Headley 3B
12 Chase Headley 3B
13 Freddy Galvis SS
13 Freddy Galvis SS
18 Austin Hedges C
18 Austin Hedges C
52 Brad Hand RP
52 Brad Hand RP
61 Luis Perdomo SP
61 Luis Perdomo SP
64 Dinelson Lamet SP
64 Dinelson Lamet SP
30 Eric Hosmer 1B
30 Eric Hosmer 1B

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!

GO PADRES!

Padres military heroes honored at Petco Park.

Display inside Petco Park's Power Alley honors Manuel P. Hernandez of San Diego. Before the start of World War II he played for the Pacific Coast League Padres. He died in action fighting the Nazis in Germany.
Display inside Petco Park’s Power Alley remembers Manuel P. Hernandez of San Diego. Before the start of World War II he played for the Pacific Coast League Padres. He died in action fighting in Germany.

Exhibits that honor members of the Padres who served in the military can be found at Petco Park. Inside the Power Alley, near the large model of the USS Midway, photographs and words pay tribute to three wartime heroes in particular.

One display memorializes the only Padres player to die in combat, Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez. Born in San Diego in 1919, he attended San Diego High School and played American Legion baseball with the San Diego Post 6 team. After becoming starting left fielder for the Pacific Coast League Padres, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944, joining the 376th Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division. Less than a year later he was killed in action fighting the Nazis in Germany.

Another display honors two Padres baseball legends: Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman. Both were Marine aviators during the Korean War. Ted Williams, a San Diego native who played for the PCL Padres at Lane Field, became arguably the best hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. Jerry Coleman, after playing with distinction as a New York Yankee (1949 American League Rookie of the Year and 1950 World Series MVP), became a beloved broadcaster for the San Diego Padres.

Should you ever enjoy a game or special event at Petco Park, walk through the Power Alley section behind right field and linger for a moment near this important bit of Padres history.

Manuel P. "Nay" Hernandez was born in San Diego in 1919. He graduated from San Diego High School, played semi-pro baseball, and went on to start in left field for the PCL Padres. He is the only San Diego Padres player to be killed in combat.
Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez was born in San Diego in 1919. He graduated from San Diego High School, played semi-pro baseball, and went on to start in left field for the PCL Padres. He is the only San Diego Padres player to be killed in combat.
A nearby wall in the Power Alley lists the many Major League Baseball Players Who Served Their Country.
A nearby wall in the Power Alley lists the many Major League Baseball Players Who Served Their Country.
Historical photographs in Petco Park honor The Pride of San Diego. Two legendary Padres players, Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman, are shown on the baseball diamond and serving as pilots during the Korean War.
Historical photographs in Petco Park honor The Pride of San Diego. Two legendary Padres, Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman, are shown on the baseball diamond and serving as pilots during the Korean War.
Captain Ted Williams, USMC, manning his Marine Corps F9F-2 Panther jet in Korea, circa 1953.
Captain Ted Williams, USMC, manning his Marine Corps F9F-2 Panther jet in Korea, circa 1953.
Captain Jerry Coleman, USMC, on the wing of his Marine Corps F-4U Corsair in Korea, circa 1952.
Captain Jerry Coleman, USMC, on the wing of his Marine Corps F-4U Corsair in Korea, circa 1952.

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!

Science questions that curious kids can ask.

How was Earth made. How many skin cells do we have.
How was the Earth made? How many skin cells do we have?

Thousands of kids attended the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering EXPO Day event today at Petco Park. The annual festival of STEM learning features all sorts of fun activities and demonstrations presented by dozens of local schools, universities, businesses and organizations.

Kids wandering from booth to booth were encouraged to ask a variety of fascinating questions. Young minds learned about physics, medical research, information technology, space exploration, environmental science . . . The number of scientific subjects seemed unlimited.

Fun experiments were performed. Conclusions resulted. More questions arose.

That’s how science works!

As I wandered about the festival I discovered some questions that curious kids might ask…

Thousands of curious kids attend EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
Thousands of curious kids attended EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development?
What is in snot. How does mucus neutralize an invading virus.
What is in snot? How does mucus neutralize an invading virus?
How does a snake move.
How does a snake move?
Why is math important. Why are puzzles so much fun.
Why is math important? Why are puzzles so stimulating?
What are amino acids.
What are amino acids?
What is symmetry. Why is it found in plants and animals.
What is symmetry? Why is it found in plants and animals?
Can creative people and scientists be superheroes
Can creative people and scientists be real superheroes?
Can science be fun. Can you make a rap song about something scientific.
Can science be entertaining? Can you invent a rap song about something scientific?
What is a molecule.
What is a molecule? What is an atom? Is anything smaller than an atom?
What is oobleck. Where did the word come from. How do you make it.
What is oobleck? What Dr. Seuss book did the word come from?
How do you make a secret code. How do you decipher a code.
How do you make a secret code? How do you decipher a code?
Can little robots destroy cancer. Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases.
Can little robots destroy cancer? Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases?
What is light.
What is light?
How does a flamingo become pink.
How does a flamingo become pink?
What is static electricity.
What is static electricity?
What are comets made of.
What are comets made of?
How was the first cell created. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
How was the first cell created? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
What is the extracellular matrix.
What is the extracellular matrix?
How does your heart work. How do you keep it healthy.
How does your heart work? How do you keep it healthy?
How do we stop pollution.
How do we stop pollution?
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind.
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind?
How can we remember many things like language. Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short.
How can we remember many things like language? Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short?
Why does a jellyfish glow.
Why does a jellyfish glow?
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish.
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish?
How does the Earth stay in orbit. How can people help the Earth stay healthy.
How does the Earth stay in orbit? How can people help the Earth stay healthy?
What is it like to be in space. How do you become an astronaut.
What does it feel like to be in outer space? How do you become an astronaut?

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!

New turf and big dreams at Petco Park!

In late February, trucks haul in rolls of turf to resod the grass playing field at Petco Park!
In late February, trucks haul in rolls of turf to resod the grass playing field at Petco Park!

I was walking past Petco Park this morning when I noticed a long line of trucks waiting next to the ballpark. Each of the trucks was transporting rolls of sod.

It must be that time of year–about a month before the start of the season–when the field receives its brand new turf!

Beautiful new grass fits perfectly with the promise of a brand new season. Not only do the Padres have a team full of talented, hungry young players, but they recently signed baseball phenom Eric Hosmer.

Many of the people I speak to are dreaming of a much improved year ahead. Is it possible that the Padres will contend in 2018?

I can’t wait to find out!

Rolls of sod are lifted up and brought into Petco Park. Spring can't be far away now!
Rolls of sod are lifted up and brought into Petco Park. Spring can’t be far away now!
I took this photo a couple weeks ago from the Park at the Park. Workers were busy preparing the ball field for the Padres' 2018 season.
I took this photo a couple weeks ago from the Park at the Park. Workers were busy preparing the baseball field for the Padres’ 2018 season.
Numerous trucks were lined up all around Petco Park this morning. A promising new season is around the corner, and the outfield is getting a lot of fresh new turf!
Numerous trucks were lined up all around Petco Park this morning. A promising new season is around the corner, and the ball field is getting some fresh new turf!

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!