Ghost of Friar Fests Past

Get it? Because I’m a ghost, see, and…Oh, never mind.

Sorry if you’re expecting to see Part One of my in-depth 558-part analysis of The Simpsons episode, “Homer At The Bat,” but I’m still working on it. Breaking down every scene and writing 500 words on each takes time, I’m finding out.

Seeing as it’s Friar Fest time again this weekend [I refuse to call it Fan Fest. Sorry, Garf.], maybe it’s time for a little look back at my experiences with the last couple of them.

If you have been reading aware of my writing stuff for the past year, you know I really don’t write all that much in the traditional sense. I prefer to take the lazy way out and use pictures and videos with as little commentary as possible.

And why should I change that winning formula?

Listos? Vamos a empezar.

2010 Friar Fest


2010 Padres Friar Fest

This wasn’t my first Friar Fest, but it’s the first one I have pictures from.

My first one was sometime in the early 1990’s at Jack Murphy Stadium, before the Chargers turned it into Qualcomm and the s**thole it is now. [Yes, I realize the city is actually primarily to blame, but it’s just so easy for me to blame the Chargers.]

I remember they actually had a sports card show at the same time on the Plaza Level. That’s where they had ex-players like Nate Colbert and George Hendrick signing autographs in between guys selling their WAY overpriced baseball cards. I don’t think they ever did it that way again.

Back to 2010. At one point, I saw Tom and Ken in line to get autographs from Kurt Bevacqua and Rollie Fingers.


Tom getting Kurt Bevacqua’s autograph…

...and then Rollie Fingers.

…and then Rollie Fingers.

I managed to get the Golden Ticket of that entire day: An autograph ticket for Dick Enberg and Tony Gwynn.


Unfortunately, because everyone in line ahead of me apparently decided they all had to take pictures with Tony, he and Dick had gone by the time I got up there. I had to settle for the consolation prize of Mark Grant and Jerry Coleman.

Interesting side note: RJ’s Fro took a picture of my friend Scott, aka homersapien619, without his knowledge. He thought it was David Wells.

Not David Wells.

Not David Wells.

2011 Friar Fest

This was the beginning of the end of my regular Padres fandom. Because this was the year I hung out with RJ’s Fro, Ducksnorts and Avenging Jack Murphy. A few months later, The Ghost of Ray Kroc took over one poor sucker’s body and started a Twitter account railing against McRibs, Egg McMuffins and Hacksaw Hamilton. And the rest is history.


Granted, there were only two blogs represented, but it was nice of the Padres to give them a space.

I hit up the (in)famous Garage Sale in 2011. As I was looking at a green camouflage uniform hat, out of the corner of my eye I saw a glorious sight. A lone 1984-style cap.

“There is no way this is my size,” I thought as I picked it up. Imagine my surprise to see it was exactly my size! I tucked it under one arm as I made my way to the cashier, protecting it from the eyes of other Padres fans, who I was sure were going to try and beat me up to claim it as their own.


The guys from RJ’s Fro talk to a mysterious stranger.

If that wasn’t enough, as I hung out at the blogger’s tables, RJ’s Fro had arranged for the Crafty Lefty, Randy Jones himself, to make an appearance at their table. Randy was there about 15 minutes or so, signing autographs and chatting up fans. Once the crowd had died down, and after I lent a little kid my pen so he could get RJ’s autograph, I had RJ sign a baseball for me.

2012 Friar Fest

2012 Friar Fest

The day started out looking like a storm was a brewin’.

Last year, I tried to do a little of everything. I hit up the Garage Sale again, scoring a Portland Beaver warm-up jacket. Turns out it belong to someone who had number 50. A little research after revealed only two players wore that number in the Beaver’s last season: Joe Thatcher and Kyle Phillips. Seeing as I have the body of a stereotypical Hollywood movie’s catcher, I’m assuming this jacket belonged to Phillips.

Clayton Richard chats with John Kentera while Cory Luebke signs autographs at the XX1090 (now Mighty 1090 again) booth.

I wanted to taunt and heckle my Twitter nemesis, Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, live and in person. But 1090 had him in the afternoon for some reason. And I wasn’t going to stick around just to torment him. I had better things to do. Like get my Kyle Phillips jacket home and safe.

2013 Friar Fest

What will happen this year? I don’t know. As of right now, based on the posted schedule, you can bet the first place I’m heading to will be the Garage Sale.


I don’t have a whole lot of money to spend this year, so I doubt I’ll be buying anything more than a hat. I need a new blue one. Even though I prefer brown…

Follow The Ghost on Twitter: @GhostofRAK

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