Medieval knights mock fight in Balboa Park!

Look what I watched today!

Every Sunday afternoon, on a large area of grass in Balboa Park’s Morley Field Sports Complex, medieval knights come together and engage in mock combat! These brave knights hail from the Realm of Andor. They are a part of the international Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.

Wielding foam weapons like swords, maces and battle axes, these guys get a super fun athletic workout. I was told by a friendly member of the Realm of Andor that the sport is like a mixture of fencing and rugby, with fairly simple rules. When a combatant receives a strike to a critical area, they fall down as if dead. A hit on a limb results in a loss of its use. Two limbs gone, you’re a goner. The last one standing wins!

I watched as the combatants veered all over the place, swinging a variety of formidable ancient weapons. Two or three knights would gang up on another; others would be struck by a sneaky knight from behind. Some of the members, in their cool costumes and bearing shields, appeared to be rampaging extras in the filming of Lord of the Rings. Many make their own weapons. It’s all about fantasy and high energy fun!

If you’d like to learn more, or perhaps join, check out their website!

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!

A fine Saturday walk through the Gaslamp.

A little before noon, I enjoyed a fine walk through the Gaslamp Quarter, mostly down Fifth Avenue.

A lot of people were about for a late Saturday morning. So many exciting events going on today.

The World Cup. Taste of the Gaslamp. The Etsy market at Horton Plaza Park. People out on a walking tour, learning about the Gaslamp’s extraordinary old buildings and lively history. And the tourists, the workers, and downtown residents like me.

Enjoy this small slice of life in San Diego.

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!

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!

Classic baseball publications anticipate new season!

Official baseball Yearbooks on display include one featuring the National League pennant winning 1984 Padres!
Official baseball Yearbooks on display include one featuring the National League pennant winning 1984 San Diego Padres!

There’s a new exhibition on the first floor of San Diego’s Central Library that anticipates the 2018 Major League Baseball season–now just days away! Examples of classic baseball publications remind visitors to the public library why this popular sport is considered America’s Pastime.

These notable publications are selected from the Bill Weiss Archive, of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Collection. The huge collection is housed within the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, located in San Diego’s downtown Central Library. The people of San Diego have easy access to the largest baseball research collection outside of Cooperstown, New York’s incredible National Baseball Hall of Fame!

If you love sports history, Americana or baseball collectibles, you might enjoy this small but very cool exhibit!

Notable Publications from the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Collection are now on display on the first floor of the San Diego Central Library.
Notable Publications from the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Collection are now on display on the first floor of the San Diego Central Library.
Issues of Who's Who in Baseball on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Various old issues of Who’s Who in Baseball on display at the San Diego Central Library.
Who's Who in Baseball was first published in 1912. It was a popular reference for professional baseball stats for over a century.
Who’s Who in Baseball was first published in 1912. It was a popular reference for professional baseball stats for over a century.
Examples of Reach's Official Base Ball Guides and Spalding's Official Base Ball Guides, dating as far back as 1876!
Examples of Reach’s Official Base Ball Guides and Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guides, dating as far back as 1876!
Some classic examples of Baseball Magazine, which was published from 1908 to 1957.
Illustrated covers of Baseball Magazine, which was published from 1908 to 1957.

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!

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!

A very cool tour of Petco Park in San Diego!

Ballpark tours of Petco Park include a behind-the-scenes and on-the-field look at the home of the San Diego Padres.
Tours of Petco Park include a behind-the-scenes and on-the-field look at the home of the San Diego Padres.

Today I went on a very cool guided tour of Petco Park, baseball home of the San Diego Padres. The one and a half hour tour, which is offered to the public seven days a week, provided a behind-the-scenes look at parts of the ballpark that fans usually don’t see.

I was blown away!

A super knowledgeable and friendly tour guide showed our small group why Petco Park is regarded by many as the best ballpark in Major League Baseball. People in our group who were visiting San Diego, and who were fans of other teams, seemed to enjoy themselves just as much as me!

We saw several parts of the unique Western Metal Supply Co. Building, ventured into the Press Box, and got to briefly see the exclusive Lexus Home Plate Club. We walked out onto the field, and everyone took photos while sitting in the visiting team’s dugout. Then we entered a tunnel that led to the visiting team’s locker room. After passing through a service corridor used for Petco Park deliveries and maintenance, we emerged into daylight, entered the Padres Team Store, and finally ended up at the Padres Hall of Fame.

The following photos provide just a small taste of this awesome experience. If you find yourself in San Diego, take the tour! If you love baseball, it’s a must!

People wait by a ticket window for a fascinating ballpark tour at Petco Park in San Diego.
People wait by a ticket window for a fascinating ballpark tour at Petco Park in San Diego.
Paty, our knowledgeable and super friendly tour guide, familiarizes everyone with the history of Petco Park.
Paty, our knowledgeable and super friendly tour guide, familiarizes everyone with the history of Petco Park.
Personalized bricks in the Palm Court Plaza were purchased by more than 10,000 fans when the ballpark was built. The bricks sold out in 5 minutes!
Personalized bricks in the Palm Court Plaza were purchased by more than 10,000 fans when the ballpark was built. The bricks sold out in 5 minutes!
The Breitbard Hall of Fame was recently relocated from Balboa Park's Hall of Champions to the main concourse level of Petco Park. San Diego sports legends and champions are honored with plaques.
The Breitbard Hall of Fame was recently relocated from Balboa Park’s old Hall of Champions to the main concourse level of Petco Park. San Diego sports legends are honored with plaques.
A view of the ball field in January from inside the Western Metal Supply Co. Building. Trucks are getting the field ready for an upcoming Monster Jam event.
A view of the ball field in January from inside the Western Metal Supply Co. Building. Trucks are getting the field ready for an upcoming Monster Jam event.
A Padres fan on the tour checks out the left field foul pole painted on a corner of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building. The tolling of the nearby mission bell connects every game to San Diego history.
A Padres fan on the tour checks out the left field foul pole, which is attached to a corner of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building. The tolling of the nearby mission bell during every game reminds fans of San Diego’s history.
An amazing view of the ballpark can be enjoyed from The Rail, an exclusive seating area high up in the Western Metal Supply Co. Building.
An amazing view of the ballpark can be enjoyed from The Rail, an exclusive seating area high up in the Western Metal Supply Co. Building.
The Loft at Petco Park contains pool tables, a fun vibe and cool elements of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building's history that have been preserved.
The Loft at Petco Park contains pool tables, a fun vibe and cool elements of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building’s history that have been preserved.
As we continue counterclockwise around the upper level of Petco Park, we learn more Padres facts. We hear stories about the players and relive special moments.
As we continue counterclockwise around the upper level of Petco Park, we learn more Padres facts. We hear stories about the players and relive special moments.
A series of photo murals along the upper level depict Padres history. This one from March 24, 1951 shows Whitey Wietelmann out at first base.
A series of photo murals along the upper level depict Padres history. This one from March 24, 1951 shows Whitey Wietelmann out at first base.
As we walk along, San Diego's South Bay comes into view.
As we walk along, San Diego’s South Bay comes into view.
We are about to go behind-the-scenes and check out the Press Box!
We are about to go behind-the-scenes and check out the Press Box!
Inside a lounge area for the press is a glass display case full of memories from Jerry Coleman's life as baseball player, Marine aviator, and Padres broadcaster. The flag was presented to him upon his retirement by the military.
Inside a lounge area for the press is a glass display case full of memories from Jerry Coleman’s life as baseball player, Marine aviator, and Padres broadcaster. The folded flag was presented to him by the military upon his retirement.
We get to sit inside writer's row, where the press watches each game and composes their stories! The official scorer has a special seat in one corner.
We get to sit inside writer’s row, where the press watches each game and composes their stories! The official scorer has a special seat in one corner.
Way to the left we can see the control room for the music, lights and video board, and the spot occupied by the public address announcer.
Way to the left we can glimpse the control room for the music, lights and video boards, and the spot occupied by the public address announcer.
Before the 2018 season begins, some workers are doing a bit of gardening at the ballpark!
A couple months before the 2018 season begins, some workers are doing a bit of gardening at the ballpark!
Here's another fun part of the Petco Park tour. Walking out onto the field!
Here’s another fun part of the Petco Park tour. Walking out onto the field!
We head to the area behind home plate. In addition to other features, we are shown how Petco Park was built to provide close in, direct views of the action from every seat.
We head to the area behind home plate. In addition to other features, we are shown how Petco Park was built to provide intimate, direct views of the action from every seat.
Sitting in the visiting team's dugout! How cool is this?
Hanging out in the visiting team’s dugout! How cool is this?
If you find yourself in San Diego, you should take a cool tour of Petco Park!
If you find yourself in San Diego, you should take a cool tour of Petco Park!

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!

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