The following images were shot May 13, 2004.

Number 2 in the rotation, Brian Lawrence.

Backup shortstop Ramon Vasquez.

Second baseman, Mark Loretta.

Backup third baseman, Jeff Cirillo.

Shortstop, Khalil Greene.

The Western Metal Supply Co. building houses a display of artifacts which were unearthed in the footprint of the ballpark during archaeological excavations prior to starting construction. The following is just a brief taste of the exhibit:

Left: The top-shelf sign reads, “The Turn of the Century Kitchen. As is true today, the kitchen was a popular part of the household at the turn of the century. A large portion of the artifacts recovered from the Ballpark archaeological excavations could be attributed to activities that occurred in or around the kitchen. These artifacts include: 
  • ceramic plates, cups, and bowls,
  • salt shakers; glass tableware,
  • flatware,
  • cooking pots,
  • tea pots and kettles,
  • beverage bottles, including alcohol, soda, and dairy bottles, and

  • canning , condiment and other food jars.”
The second-shelf sign reads, “Dairy bottles from the San Diego P.M. Dairy Company. The earlier name for the company, San Diego Producers Mutual Dairy Association (bottle on left), was changed to San Diego Pure Milk Dairy Company (bottle on right) around 1920. With the exception of the centrally embossed logo, the two bottles remained almost idential.”


Right: Buttons, beads, shards of pottery, jewelry (including a pocket watch, above), figurines, doll heads, carved semiprecious stones, jade and ivory, as well as coins. Many of these artifacts hearken back to the thriving immigrant Chinese population which settled in the east village before the turn of the twentieth century.

I had thought there was nothing left for me to discover in the ballpark. I was wrong.

On the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co. building is the Padres Hall of Fame Bar and Grill, opened just recently. Individual displays showcase memorabilia of the six members of the Padres Hall of Fame:

A portion of a product chute has been retained, and mounted in the Padres Hall of Fame Bar and Grill.

Already a popular place to congregate before and during a home game, the Padres Hall of Fame Bar and Grill was pretty full when I visited. High definition TVs are everywhere.

On one wall is a giant photograph taken in the late-1930s of downtown's Lane Field, the first home of the Pacific Coast League Padres beginning in 1936. See below for an larger view.

Lane Field served as the home of the Padres until 1957. Westgate Park opened in 1958 in the area that is now Fashion Valley.

The original freight elevator cage in the Western Metal Supply Co. building. One idea, voiced early in the ballpark development process, was to make this elevator cage into a booth in the restaurant. It would appear, however, that the Padres have decided to leave it in its original, rustic condition.

It's game time!

Starting pitcher, Jake Peavy.

Ballpark mainstay Harry Maker has his usual seat just beyond the left field wall, where he keep the visting outfielders on edge with witty barbs. I remember once when he showed Dodgers left fielder, Gary Sheffield, no mercy: “Hey Shef, can I have your bat? You're not using it!”

THe Park at The Park is just as popular for its picnic hill as it was on opening day.

Ya gotta have a gimmick! Josh, the peanut vendor, is no exception.

Padres skipper, Bruce Bochy, discusses a questionable call with second base umpire Bruce Froemming.

I just love this little standing room nook outside the first floor Padres store!

Nothing important, just a gratuitous whole-field shot…

The Padres are ahead in the fifth inning so it's time to visit the Padres store. Here I try on a sand-colored road jersey. Someday I will be able to afford this... Ahem — anyone willing to sponsor me into a jersey? :-)

We whooped the Reds!