Gwynn public memorial at Petco Park, some fans rooted for Qualco - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gwynn public memorial at Petco Park, some fans rooted for Qualcomm

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Fans are appreciative of a public memorial for Tony Gwynn but some wished it would have been at the Qualcomm aka the Murph stadium where the baseball legend started and ended his hall of fame career.

“We were definitely hoping it would be at Qualcomm. Number one it would hold more people. Number 2 that is where he played,” said Merry Padilla.

She and her husband have been Gwynn fans for years and followed him when he retired in 2001 and started coaching San Diego State Aztec baseball.

“We went there thinking we would watch one game. Well we got caught up in it and we have been season ticket holders ever since,” says Al Padilla.

Although, fans like the Padilla’s do understand Petco Park is a big part of the hall of fame player’s legend.

“That is where he played [Qualcomm] but he is a big reason that this stadium [Petco Park] is here and I don't think it really matters,” Padre fan Kelly Carter.

Some fans who grew up watching Gwynn say the public memorial is more about celebrating his life and not the location.

“I don't think it necessarily matters its more of the meaning,” said Padre fan David West.

Brandon Wanda remembers meeting Mr. Padre while playing on a baseball travel team, “ I made a diving catch in this outfield instruction that he was providing over at San Diego State and it stuck with me and he called me 'Little Lefty'. It put the biggest smile on my face and it will be something I will never forget.”

He believes Petco Park is Gwynn’s new home.

“Having it here at his new home is something that we are all happy have,” said Wanda.

The Padres are planning to have a line with up special guests in Gwynn’s lifetime speak at the memorial.

“I hope they get more of his teammates back here for that so they can talk about playing with him and what type of person he was,” said Al Padilla.

Fans are just grateful they have one more chance to say goodbye to Mr. Padre.

"Just let the Padres do the tribute and let everyone celebrate his life,” said Carter.

CBS News 8 reached out to the Padres staff. A spokesperson did not not return a call for comment on why they chose Petco Park and who would be speaking at the public memorial.

The free event is on Thursday, June 26th at 7:19 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Free parking will be in three locations: Parcel C lot and Tailgate lot along Imperial Avenue.

The lot along the southside of Petco Park and Padres Parkade garage at 10th Avenue and J Street.

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