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San Diego Padres

A professional baseball team in the National League

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A Padres fan in L.A.: An Unpopular Choice

  • Dec 20, 2008
  • by
I owe a lot to baseball.  Before being an empassioned football fan, I started off as a baseball fan.
Living in northern Los Angeles county (born and raised), you would think that there would be enough Charger fans to congregate with and discuss our joy of the Chargers. But that's not the case. We still have remnant Raider fans, Bronco fans (for some reason), Ram fans (because they, along with the Raiders, once were LA's teams), and some of the other glorified America's teams (like the Packers and Cowboys).  It's the same with baseball.  Why bother rooting for a team that you know will neber be out of the bottom 5 in annual payroll, especially living in a market that has a team who will spend whatever they see firt to get a World Series ring.

So, let me take you back to the beginning, when it was all just about baseball for me. My father was/is a Dodger fan. To give you a perspective of the era in which I started watching baseball, I was born in 1977 -- which makes me on the wrong side of  30.  Anyway, in the early 80s, when I first started to comprehend the excitement of sports, I would watch the Dodgers on television with my dad. Those were the days of Cey, Lopes, Sciossia/Yeager, Sax, Baker, Monday, and my favorite baseball player...Steve Garvey.  

[Side story: When I was a kid, starting at the age of 5, my favorite number would be however old I was. So when I was 5, that was my favorite number. When I was 6, that was then my favorite number. When I was 7...I couldn't let go of the number 6 as my favorite number.]

So, while watching the Dodgers and asking my dad who this player was and who that player was. I asked who Steve Garvey was. His jersey number was 6, which is why I inquired about it in the first place. He became my favorite player. And it was easy to root for him too, because he was actually a very good player.

Well, he became a free agent in 1983 and signed with the San Diego Padres before the '83 season. I remembered them as the team with the ugly colors. (Ha! I like those colors now!) But as a mere novice in the whole fandom of a baseball team, I opted to follow allegiances to the player (Garvey) and not the team (the Dodgers). I think you all know where I'm going with this...

I became a big time Padre fan as I started to understand the game, and team concept and, different theories as to how to play the game, inning by inning. In turn, I started to be a fan of Gwynn, Wiggins, Templeton, Kennedy, Nettles (in his brief time here), Show, Dravecky, McReynolds, etc... So when Garvey retired, I found myself at a crossroads. My favorite player was no longer part of the game I had come to love. Do I go back to being a Dodger fan? Do I just walk away from the team I had come to love for the past few years and share in that 1984 National League Pennant series against the Cubs, in which my boy Garvey hit that homerun? The answer was no. I was a Padre fan through thick and thin. I learned the game of baseball while being a Padre fan and didn't make sense to go back now. Amongst my predominately Dodger-rooting friends, I am know as as "The Tratior".

But, hey, that's a small price to pay for making an unpopular choice in L.A.
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December 28, 2012
Well, at least you stand out.
March 27, 2009
My brother and I loved Garvey and were so bummed when he was traded. But let me ask you this ... when they started platooning/replacing Garvey with Kurt Bevacqua, how in the world did you not return to the Dodgers? I ask you? Any organization that would bench the Garv for that guy is a disgrace.
January 07, 2009
Thanks, everyone. Years later I'd find out that Steve Garvey was a "womanizer" -- whatever that means -- and had an affair on his wife. That was tough to swallow (that's what she said), but as a kid you never think of these things. TeamAWAC - Well....umm...let's see. I was only 6 years old. :) That should explaining the reasoning.
January 07, 2009
I just don't understand how you could turn your back on your city, your family, and your team. Sure... when Favre was traded to the Jets, I felt like I had been cut... cut deep. But that doesn't mean I trade in my cheesehead for whatever it is the Jets fans wear. I admire your individuality but I question your reasoning. Great review! :-)
January 07, 2009
@jrjohnson Sutton was awesome. Look up his shutouts sometime. He was the real deal, but in those days Charlie Hough and Joe Ferguson were my favorites. I will never forget my first game at Dodger stadium in 1974. I sat in the left field bleachers and Davey Lopes hit a home run caught by a guy in the row behind me. The game went into extra innings and Charlie Hough pitched. Somewhere in my old room at my parents house is the program from that game with my filled in scorebook.
January 07, 2009
@PeccatorImpius... with the perm you're sporting in your classic profile pic, I can understand why you weren't a Garvey fan... you're looking more like a Don Sutton fan all the way!!
January 07, 2009
dig the write up. Garvey was my favorite player growing up without question. I wore #6 forever. At my mom's house in my old room i still have full page ad he took out in the LA Times when the Dodgers let him go, thanking the LA fans for all the good years. After that, i lost my enthusiasm for the Dodgers. It wasn't until a 62nd round draft pick named Piazza came up through the organization that i got back on the Dodgers bandwagon, but unfortunately we know how that one ended... like a flashback. I'm still a Dodger fan, but more of a reluctant fan now. Just talking today that i might now even get season tickets this year.
January 07, 2009
I'm no fan of Garvey (his demeanor always turned me off), but I am a fan of this review. Great personal touch. The Padres history of late has been somewhat tragic, between the Caminiti affair and the Cameron/Bradley debacle. But I will give you this, it is a great city for baseball!
December 21, 2008
Thanks, drifter!
December 20, 2008
From one huge baseball fan to another....great piece!
More San Diego Padres reviews
review by . December 28, 2012
The San Diego Padres seem the odd duck when they're compared to their California baseball brethren. They're the only California team which has never won the World Series (although they do have two Pennants, which is one more than the Angels, who HAVE won the World Series). They're the only California team with the entire market to themselves; the Angels and Dodgers share Los Angeles, while the Athletics and Giants are both entrenched in San Francisco. They're one of only two teams in California …
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William ()
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Member Since: Dec 14, 2008
Last Login: Apr 30, 2009 02:01 AM UTC
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