The following image was shot April 3, 2004.

First major league game, against the Seattle Mariners.

Field of Dreams.

Third baseman Sean Burroughs practices fielding ground balls during BP.

Tim Flannery, 1984 NL Champion Padres' second baseman, and former third base coach, now is a broadcaster for Channel 4 Padres.

Shortstop Khalil Greene during BP.

The view from outside the left field fence, accessed from the field door of the Padres Store on the first floor of the Western Metals Supply Co. building.

Looking up at scoreboard from the field door of the WSMC building.

Starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Brian Lawrence.


Above: Fans wait for the gates at 7th and K to open.

Right: The gates have just opened and the pilgrims enter the holy site!

Looking from the concourse across the field level seats on the Third Base side.

Approaching ground zero during batting practice.

Longtime full-season ticket holder, Harry Maker was watching from over the Padres' dugout. It felt like a joyous family reunion after the sadness of saying goodbye to the Q last September.

Sean Burroughs playing a little toss while waiting to take his hacks in the cage.

Brian Giles during BP.

Bench Coach, Tony Muser.


Above: Jeff Cirillo, utility infielder.

Right: Having recently injured his right, index finger, he's on the 15 day disabled list. He did not take any swings in the cage.

First Baseman, Phil Nevin.

Ted Leitner, KOGO radio broadcaster.

Khalil Greene.

Second Baseman, Mark Loretta.

Closing pitcher Trevor Hoffman, and utility infielder Ramon Vasquez.

The “winningest”manager in Padres history, Bruce Bochy.

My grandson, Austin, got his face painted by a clown in the Kids' Zone, near section 133.

Banners of the National League teams.

Batting practice is over, and the guys now are stretching on the field. l-r:  Sean Burroughs, Ryan Klesko, Mark Loretta, Brian Giles, Phil Nevin, Jay Payton.

Unites States Navy colorguard.

On the Friarvision: Becky and John Moores, with San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy.

Old Glory and the POW-MIA flag, with California State flag to the right


During the National Anthem: l-r: Ryan Klesko, Phil Nevin, Brian Giles, Mark Loretta, Jay Payton, Khalil Greene, Terrence Long, with unnamed trainers.


Past Mayor Susan Golding throws out the ceremonial
first pitch to current Mayor Dick Murphy.

Relievers look on from the Padres bullpen in left center field.

Managers and officials meet at home plate to exchange lineup cards. Nothing left but to cry “Play Ball!”

Six-frame animation of the first major league pitch. On the mound: David Wells; at the plate: Ichiro Suzuki. The call: strike, of course (you can see the umpire's call).

Sean Burroughs dodges one high and inside. The crowd dutifully booed the pitcher.

Brian Giles swings at one low and away. He drove the next pitch over the right field wall for Petco Park's first major league home run.

The smoke following the fireworks celebrating Brian Giles' home run.

Unfortunately, The Photographer had to leave after the first inning to get to his second job! (Got to pay for that camera somehow!)

The following images were shot April 8, 2004.

Home opener, against the San Francisco Giants.

The new edifice is complete.

This Plaque is affixed to the wall near the Home Plate gate.


The water wall is now working. See detail at right.

Another view of the water wall.

Three hours before game time the area outside Padres dugout is awash with media.

Ball diamond at the Park at the Park.

Picnic Hill and the Bleachers.

Batting practice is underway.

This is the final panoramic shot of Petco Park.

Ken Foster, a frequent visitor to Vincent's Ballpark Photos and a contributor to the feedback section, with The Photographer.

Ken and Colleen Foster, and The Photographer.

Clint Hoffman, with The Photographer.

The Randy Jones Barbecue is underneath the video board on the back side of the batter's eye, by the Park at the Park. They were working out of trailers on opening day, but I have a feeling there will be a more permanent structure soon.

Picnic Hill. This really demonstrates the laid-back feeling of San Diego. Can't wait until summer!

The suspension bridge from the Omni San Diego Hotel. See this bridge as of last October.

Padres former Third Baseman and 1996 National League MVP Ken Caminiti was on hand for the opening of Petco Park. This shot of the video board is a little weird, but it's all I could get. Y'all come back Ken, y'hear?

Pyrotechnicians ready the equipment for the pre-game festivities.

A technician performs a last-minute check on the electrical connections.

Channel 4 Padres television broadcaster Matt Vasgersian with Eduardo Ortega, the “Spanish language voice of the Padres” on XEMO-AM 860. ¡Holá! ¿Que tal?

The field is ready for the opening day pre-game festivities.

Padres Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, and his Mighty 1090 radio partner, Ted Leitner.

As I turned around to look toward Point Loma from high upper level seats, I was struck by the fact that the Padres season in our new ballpark shines bright with promise.

We were treated to a history of the baseball fields in San Diego. Qualcomm is shown in the photo on the FriarVision.

Pyrotechnics on the field punctuated announcements.

More flash and dash.

And the rockets' red glare... Note the military forces in the outfield bearing the giant American flag to be displayed.

The Swinging Friar offers his well-wishes to Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn. Tony delivered the classic speech first uttered by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams...

“The one constant through all the years, has been baseball. America has rolled like an army of steamrollers; it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome home Padre fans.”

Military color guard readies for the National Anthem.

No caption is required, and none is sufficient.

Military planes did a fly-over as the Star Spangled Banner is completed. San Diego pop singer, Jason Mraz, did the honors, and did them well.

The first ceremonial first pitch: former president Jimmy Carter to Padres owner John Moores.

The second ceremonial first pitch: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to Tony Gwynn.

The third and final ceremonial first pitch: San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy to Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

Giants' manager Felipe Alou and Padres' skipper Bruce Bochy approach the umpiring staff to exchange lineups and go over the ground rules.

With its quirky right field angles, and with the Western Metal Supply Co. building serving as the left field foul pole, the umpires and managers must be clear on the ground rules unique to this ballpark.

The pre-game ceremonies complete, the Padres take the field!

For the first pitch of the home opener, David Wells throws a first pitch strike.

Special mediallion painted on the field behind home plate for tonight's opener.

Picnic Hill, the Bleachers, and the Beach.

Brian Giles records the first hit, a single off former Padre Dustin Hermanson.

With two out in the sixth inning, center fielder Jay Payton robs Barry Bonds of home run number 660, as seen in this instant-replay image shot from the video board.

Skipper Bruce Bochy and the bench eye the — um — “action” late in the game.

With the game in the bag, the crowd settled back to watch fireworks launched from the Park at the Park.

The End.

The following image was shot on April 17, 2004

Downtown's biggest blast fireworks/Downtown opening night.

The following image was shot on April 30, 2004.

From the P1 parking structure, 9th Avenue and J Street.