The San Diego Padres will face the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday in their 10th home opener at Petco Park, billed as a celebration of baseball in San Diego, its past present and future.
Greg Vaughn, the team’s Most Valuable Player in the 1998 National League championship season, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Carlos Hernandez, a catcher on the 1998 team, now the Padres Spanish-language television analyst.
Pregame festivities are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., with the game starting at 3:40 p.m.
The pregame ceremony will include:
- Former reliever Trevor Hoffman paying tribute to the late bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who died last year following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
- Miss California 2010 Arianna Afsar singing the national anthem.
- Sailors from the USS Russell and the USS Boxer unfurling the Holiday Bowl’s giant American flag.
- Two San Diego Police Department helicopters conducting a flyover.
- A celebration of the second year of the Padres Youth Baseball Initiative – 25 players from the Lemon Grove Little League will accompany Padres starters onto the field during line-up announcements.
All gates, including Park at the Park, will open at 1:30 p.m. Because of the sellout crowd – the stadium can seat more than 43,000 people – fans from Coronado and throughout the county are strongly advised to arrive early and use public transportation:
- The Metropolitan Transit System will run extra trolley trains on the Green Line beginning at 1:30 p.m. between Qualcomm Stadium and downtown San Diego. Enhanced service will begin on the Blue Line starting at 1:45 p.m. from San Ysidro.
- The first 150 fans boarding trains at Qualcomm Stadium, Spring Street Station in La Mesa or H Street Station in Chula Vista after 1:30 p.m. will receive a free soft drink and box of Cracker Jacks while supplies last, according to the MTS.
- There also will be 5,000 free “park and ride” parking spots available at the Qualcomm Stadium Mission Valley stations.
Fans who do drive are encouraged to pre-purchase parking passes at padres.com. Padres parking lots are expected to fill up by 1 p.m. Thereafter, fans are encouraged to park along Harbor Drive and utilize the pedestrian bridge from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.
Suggested routes and maps can be found at the Padres website.
Before the pre-game ceremonies get started, the annual East Village Opening Day Block Party will be held. The event, which begins at 11 a.m., will feature live entertainment and food along J Street between Seventh and 10th avenues.
If you aren’t heading over to the game, but want to see it as it happens, some restaurants will feature it live, including Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, which will have specials all day in honor of the home opener.
– City News Service