VISTA, Calif. — The Padres magical season may be over, but there are still accolades to be won. This afternoon Major League Baseball will announce if Manny Machado will win the Silver Slugger Award. In this Zevely Zone, I'd like to introduce you to one of Manny's biggest fans in a story that hits close to home.
Some Padre fans waited decades to enjoy a magical season like 2022. Most people know a Padre super fan, mine just happens to be my mom, Sandy. When my mother isn't in the seats at Petco Park cheering for the Padres, she parks herself in her favorite reclining chair to watch her favorite team and player on television.
"This is our Padre blanket," said my mom while watching the game. "Come on Manny," she yelled. It's clear my mother has a crush on Manny Machado. "Yes, I do and that's why I have his bobblehead here and he talks to me, and he knows if we are going to win," said my mom.
When I asked my mom what Manny says to her she said, "He doesn't speak, it's all in my head." For decades, my mom waited for a season like 2022. I asked her how many games she watched this season. "Oh, we watch all of them," said Sandy.
My mom has been behind on the count with health challenges this year, but even when she couldn't walk, she made it to the ballpark. "Yeah, sometimes, my husband wheeled me in the wheelchair but yes I did," said my mom.
The irony is, for years, my mom couldn't watch baseball. My own pathetic Little League career was to blame for it. "They put you in to pitch one time, you couldn't get anyone out. You were standing out on the base crying and I'm sitting there in the chair like this," said my mom with a look of desperation.
Luckily the 2022 Padres came along and she finally found some true talent to root for. Players such as Trent Grisham. "I'm a real Trent fan," said Sandy. Ha-Seong Kim? "Good, good," said Sandy. Yu Darvish? "Yeah, we like Yu Darvish," said Sandy. Wil Myers? "I love Wil," said Sandy. Joe Musgrove? "Well, we like Joe, in fact, we want to go up to Alpine and have some coffee at his mom and dad's place," said Sandy.
She credits my stepdad, Duane Stevens, for becoming a Padre super fan. "I think it's because of my husband," said Sandy. My mom and stepdad Duane started going to games in 1990 which led to spring training trips to Arizona.
Which somehow led us back to her little sidekick, the Manny Macho bobblehead doll. "I say Manny, are we going to have a good game and he says yes," said Sandy.
They say a mother always knows best, so whether he likes it or not Manny's a mama's boy too. "He's already the hero of the season," said Sandy. "Manny, we are counting on a home run today. Got it?"
My mom will turn 80 on December 5th. She calls 2022 her favorite Padre season ever.
Major League Baseball will announce the Silver Slugger Award winners this afternoon. Other Padres, Brandon Drury, Josh Bell , Juan Soto and Jake Cronenworth are also Silver Slugger finalists for their respective positions.
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