SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — It seems like we have been waiting forever, but the wait is finally over and it's time to watch Padres baseball at Petco Park. The team was supposed to open the season at home, but a lockout by the owners pushed the Padres home opener until April 14. So let's take a look back at some vintage clips of the San Diego Padres in seasons past.
San Diego Padres Opening Day in 1979
The first game of the season is always an exciting one with the smell of popcorn and hotdogs in the air and the San Diego Stadium was filled with 50,000 anxious fans, said CBS 8 reporter Janet Zappala. The first time for anything is always exciting and the first home game of the season is no exception. Baseball fans began trickling into the stadium and from a spectator’s point of view was hard to tell what was more important – get a seat or buying popcorn. Perhaps it was preparing that mouthwatering hotdog that taste the best prepared at games and amusement parks. On Opening Day, spirits were up and so were the balloons then it was onto some serious baseball watching.
San Diego Padres 1980s opening day highlights
In 1990, CBS 8's John Culea reviewed highlights from San Diego Padres home openers from 1984 to 1989.
San Diego Padres Home Opener in 1984
It was an opening day worthy of what would be a championship season. Fireworks in honor of the late Padres owner Ray Kroc, and the Navy’s leapfrog team parachuting into the stadium kicked off the game. Ushers wore white tuxes and the San Diego Chicken arrived in style stepping out of a limo. Fans were pumped up and optimistic. Food even tasted better. They beat the Pirates 5-1—a great start to a most memorable season. CBS 8's Susan Lichtman mixed it up with the fans.
Inside the San Diego Padres locker room in 1984
On April 3, 1984 Opening Day, CBS 8’s Hal Clement went inside the locker room before the players arrived. The uniforms all neatly lined up in a row with the familiar names of Gossage, Garvey, Gwynn, Flannery, Nettles…the Padres who made it to the World Series that year. For the first time the jerseys were button down—not pullovers. Equipment manager Ray Peralta told Hal he would probably be sewing on buttons every day. And on the sleeves “RAK” the initials of the late Padres owner Ray Kroc. He died January 14, 1984 and missed the chance to see his team’s championship season.
San Diego Padres fans tailgating on Opening Day 1997
Prior to opening day for the San Diego Padres April 1, 1997, News 8's Jody Hammond hit Qualcomm Stadium to see how tailgaters were getting ready.
Ballpark food favorites at Petco Park in 2004
In 2004, our very own Marcella Lee went to Petco Park to try out all of our ballpark favorites with the sizzling sound of hotdogs and nachos loaded with cheese. She also tried the specialty garlic fries along with the posh burgers served on a potato bun. There was also the Randy Jones BBQ sandwich eaten by the man himself. At the Pacific Wok, there was a variety of Asian cuisine, too! You could get a lot more for $5 bucks back then.