Saturday, May 23, 2009 ... one of the supreme great nights I've had as a Padre fan. I already mentioned that I was in town for the 84 NL Champions Weekend and I attended the games Friday and Saturday. Both nights were stellar - not the least because the Padres brought home wins over the Cubs each night - but Saturday was particularly choice as members of the '84 Padres squad were in attendance to sign autographs and participate in a pre-game ceremony.
What a beastly evening.
The players and coaches were set up at tables in groups of two or three around the Park at the Park starting about 5:30. By 5:35 many of my fellow beast Padre fans were already lined up and waiting for autographs. I grabbed a Coors Louie and jumped in the first line I saw - a particularly long line - and started to wait. After about five minutes I realized the line wasn't moving.
A few minutes later a Petco Park employee walked up and said that this line was the Steve Garvey line and there were shorter waits at other tables. I asked one question: "Where's Bevacqua?" He pointed me off toward the east side of the Park.
I walked over and moments later was standing a few feet away from a couple beasts by the names of Kurt Bevacqua and Greg Harris. As you can see below Kurt is a double-tasker, able to sign autographs and talk on his cell phone at the same time.
Another shot of Bevacqua. He hasn't changed much.
Dave Dravecky was also in attendance. I didn't have time to get his autograph but I did snap a few photos as he signed. Incidentally, before I made my way to Dravecky's table I got autographs - though no photos - from Ozzie Virgil, Tim Lollar and Craig Lefferts. Tim and Craig provided one of the funniest moments of the evening. The guy in line ahead of me was complimenting Craig on his pitching, saying that Craig had a great "screwball." Lollar heard that, looked over at Lefferts, and deadpanned, "He's not talking about your pitching."
Another shot of Dave. What a monster.
Terry Kennedy was in the house as well. I think that's Norm Sherry next to him but I could have that wrong. How's that for chasing down the facts?
McReynolds. Still looked like he could suit up and knock a few bombs if needed.
Wait. Is that Garvey or Ronald Reagan?
"Yes, I did hit a home run off Lee Smith to win Game 4 of the '84 NLCS. But let's not make too big a deal out of it."
Before the game started the '84 players and coaches rolled out along the warning track in two white limos.