How’s this for a laid back Sunday on the west coast – sleep in, go for a long beach walk (with a delicious mid-stroll stop for a feed of crab), then an early evening baseball game… pretty good vacation day eh? I’m always excited to visit a new stadium, and Petco Park in San Diego is one of the nicest I’ve been to. Like usual, we arrived early to wander around, but unfortunately, there was no batting practice to watch. As you can see by my face, that didn’t faze me too much.
Like most of the newer ballparks, Petco doesn’t really have a bad seat anywhere. At least on our exploring, we didn’t come across one. Deep down the first base line, these seats would be ok by me:
The high-priced seats behind home are really nice. You’ve got a spectacular viewpoint for the game, and a nice backdrop as well. In left field, they incorporated the Western Metal Supply building into the park. I didn’t get up to that deck overhanging the field but can image that would be a great place to watch a game.
Those seats behind home also have a view of part of the San Diego skyline just beyond the outfield fences. If you’ve ever been to San Diego you’ll know that their airport is crazy close to downtown. Every few minutes, you’ll see a plane cross this view just on the other side of those buildings on final approach to the airport. No plane in the background when my wife snapped a quick picture of me here before we headed off in search of a bite to eat.
In my mind, a summer-like evening at a ballgame is pretty close to a slice of perfection. Add to that a delicious Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale in my hand from a dizzying selection of craft beer and I’m that much more happy. Then, make it pure bliss with these pretty tasty carnitas street tacos. Sun, beer, tacos and baseball… if I lived here I’d have season tickets.
Those tacos weren’t the easiest to find, but the food stand down the third base line meant my meal would have this view of the park. Again, a pretty decent seat.
We headed up to our seats for the game on the second level, and got to see our picture on the scoreboard in left field a couple of times during the pre-game festivities (I tweeted the picture of us earlier in the afternoon). I think we look pretty good up on the big board!
Sunday Padres games are “Adoption Sundays” which is a nice touch when your ballpark is named after a pet supply store. Watching this video of older dogs up for adoption on the scoreboard made us think of our adopted guy back home.
It was finally time for some baseball and given I had no rooting interest, I became a fan of the hometown Padres for a day. They were taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates who had a row of their fans in town in front of us. Here’s the Padres starter, Odrisamer Despaigne, throwing the game’s first pitch:
I loved the seats we had – second row of the second deck club level. We had a wonderful view of the game and of the city skyline. Having been to a number of major league parks, Petco was right up there with San Francisco for my favourite stadium. San Francisco might have the edge on the basis of their delicious garlic fries.
The game itself wasn’t the most competitive with the Padres jumping all over the Pirates’ starter for seven runs in the first four innings. Two of those runs came on a rocket home run shot to left field by Will Middlebrooks. Here he is completing his home run trot around the bases to make the score 6-0:
After another run to make it 7-0, the Pirates had enough of their starting pitcher. That led to an early pinch-hitting call for the Pirates Corey Hart. He did not show up to the plate wearing his “sunglasses at night”. I wondered if anyone in the park knew of his Canadian namesake or why I was chuckling as I sang that song as he walked to the plate. 7-0 game, you gotta make your own fun sometimes!
The Pirates got one run back on a home run to right field by Polanco in the 7th but that only spoiled the shutout as the Padres won the game 7-1. That sent the home town crowd and one “Padres fan for a day” home happy. It was a pretty nice way to cap a great day in San Diego!