The following image was shot March 2, 2004.

My opening day tickets arrived in the mail today. I am happy. (The understatement of the year!)

The following images were shot March 6, 2004 at the first public “open house” at Petco Park.

“People will come, Ray…” This, and the next few images, were shot from the 9th floor of the “P1”parking structure at the northeast corner of Tenth Avenue and J Street.

Candy Factory in foreground, The Park at the Park at right, and Petco Park, with the Omni San Diego Hotel overlooking.

All of the suites are done in the Western Metal Supply Company building. For today’s open house only the second floor suites and balconies were accessible, along with the rooftop. Note the bleachers (see below for closeup).

The rooftop bleachers are movable, to make way for private parties.

The Park at the Park, expected to be ready for the April 8 home opener,  is beginning to take shape.

Left Field tower and suites.
These iconic images depicting position numbers appear on the walls (original size about 4 feet high) near the elevators on each floor of the P1 parking structure, to remind customers of the floor on which they have parked their cars.



A note from the photographer:
Even though I have been “inside the fences” every month for more than two years now, and even though “…Theres no crying in baseball…” I must tell you that when I passed through the turnstiles at Home Plate Plaza today I became quite emotional. Its hard to believe that what we have dreamed of since that magical 1998 season has finally come to pass. As I said to John Moores, owner of the Padres, on September 12, 2003: “Thank you for building my ballpark.”

Looking down on the Field and Terace Level Concourses, from the Upper Level Concourse.

Scrolling panorama of the view (sitting down) from our season ticket seats (Section 312, Row 9, Seats 17 & 18). Stop by and visit me and my wife during most Friday and Sunday games. We will also be privileged to be the first people to occupy these seats for the March 11 opening game of the Aztec Invitational Baseball Tournament.

This was a nice touch. It sure feels like home!

The view from our April 8 opening day seats, Section 306, Row 27, Seats 19 & 20. Come say hello!

The Photographer, with Austin, the little guy whom John Moores allowed to play on the grass last September.

Our seats, seen through the transparent glass panel which serves as a safety railing in the front row of the upper level.

Rooftop bleachers on the Western Metal Supply Company building.

Looking underneath the bleachers one sees how they can be moved around.

Because this is a baseball ballpark seats down the line are angled toward the infield, like these in Left Field.

While Palm Court Plaza with its personalized bricks was not accessible during today’s open house, I was able to get this telephoto shot from the third floor landing outside the Western Metal Supply Company building.

Another view of Palm Court Plaza.

Above: Second floor suites in the Western Metal Supply Company building.

Right: Balcony seating associated with those suites.

Looking south out of the Western Metal Supply Company building into the Terrace Level councourse.(See this view in June, 2003.)

From the Left Field Lower Boxes.

Field level door from the Padres Store on the first floor of the Western Metal Supply Company building. A fan, standing on this triangular patch of ground, could catch a home run ball. All of the windows and doors on the field-side of the building are made from shatter-proof glass.

Can’t wait to hear the bells? Click here.

Above: This has got to be the best bullpen in all of baseball.

Right: And then there’s the visitors’ bullpen…

From the Field Level Concourse on the First Base side. At top is a mini-scoreboard.

From directly behind Home plate.

Above: Padres’ dugout.

Right: The Bochy Place, with equipment cubbyholes at right.

Austin takes a ride on one of the many escalators in the concourses.

From the Upper Level.

The Right Field “porch,” Sections 125 & 127.

Flagpoles on the Upper Level Right Field Concourse.

The following images were shot March 7, 2004 at the second public “open house” at Petco Park.

The Park at the Park, seen from the far end of the uppermost section of seats in the Right Field grandstands.

Detail of the Park at the Park. I'm thinking there will be a water feature here...


The following images were shot on the evening of March 11, 2004.

The occasion was the first baseball game to be played at Petco Park. The participants were the University of Houston Cougars (Alma Mater of John Moores) and San Diego State University Aztecs (Alma Mater of Tony Gwynn).

Although a college game, there was a media circus at the home team dugout.

Before the game the crowd was treated to a video clip of the ceremony held earlier in the day when the section of Seventh Avenue running alongside the ballpark was formally renamed Tony Gwynn Drive. The hard-to-read number on the sign points upward from “001.” The official address of the ballpark will now be 19 Tony Gwynn Drive.

Tony's daughter, Anisha Gwynn, sang the National Anthem, just as she did at the last Padre game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 28, 2003. How fitting.

At John Moore's invitation, former Padres CEO — and mastermind behind the drive to get a new ballpark for San Diego — Larry Lucchino, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, to Tony Gwynn catching. If memory serves me correctly, the last pitch thrown at Qualcomm last September was by Tony, to Padres manager (and backup catcher for the 1984 National League Champion Padres), Bruce Bochy. Baseball has some fine traditions.

Bottom of the first...

Tony watches from the dugout steps.

It was now time to go check out the just-opened Padres Store on the first floor of the Western Metals Supply Company building. As promised, one can look out the southeast doors right onto Left Field.

This Aztecs slugger has a mighty sweet swing. But then, look who his coach is!

Aztecs starter Scott Shoemaker throws the final pitch of a complete game, 3-hit shutout. 40,106 fans watched him strike out a career-high 14 batters on the way to a 4-0 victory of the University of Houston Cougars. Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union~Tribune wrote, “San Diego State right-hander Scott Shoemaker said he likes to brush off the pitcher's rubber with his toe when he takes the mound. ‘Like a clean slate,’ said Shoemaker. There was no need to dust off the mound last night at Petco Park. No one had been there before.”

The home team's victory celebration snakes its way off the field.

The state-of-the-art scoreboard was thrilling in and of itself.

Note from the Photographer:

While I was out in Palm Court Plaza during the fifth inning looking for my brick, First Baseman Rielly Embrey hit the first home run, to the Right Field Porch. Again, how fitting.



The following images were shot on March 12, 2004

Attendance for the second-ever game was not as spectacular as for the first...

Turf was laid today at the Park at the Park.

Kids will be able to run the bases at this miniature baseball diamond in the Park at the Park.


The following images were shot on March 30, 2004.

The Park at the Park, as seen from the ninth floor of the P1 parking structure, is now complete.

The playground in the Park at the Park.

Terraced steps lead to the crest of the grassy hill, from which fans with tickets can watch the game.

Kids can run the bases at the miniature baseball diamond.

One of two two massive player posters on the outside of the right field grandstands.

It seems that Mr. Burroughs has had to change his jersey number — yet again…

The J Street entrance to the Park at the Park.

The following images were shot on March 31, 2004.

The view from our new season ticket seats (Section 308, Row 8, Seats 1-2). We had visibility problems at our old location.

A two-frame panorama of the view from our seats.

Foreground: (l-r) Padres bullpen (yes, they are staying here), equipment storage, The Beach.
Center:  (l-r) Picnic Hill, batter's eye, The Bleachers (with natural grass underfoot).
Background: The Park at the Park.

The Photographer and Mrs. Martin, in our new seat location.

In the main lobby of the administrative offices there is a glass-fronted trophy display case (hence the image reflections from shooting through the glass).

Above is the small replica trophy which the Padres will hold in perpetuity for their 1998 National League Championship.

At the center top of the trophy case is a display of five autographed balls: Tony Gwynn, Steve Finley, Ken Caminiti, Bruce Bochy, and Trevor Hoffman.

Also in the trophy case is a framed photograph of the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres, circa 1936-37. Can you find Ted Williams?