Sometimes it’s tough to be a Padres fan. After Monday night’s game, which had a rain delay in the 8th inning despite the home team Colorado Rockies being up by 7 runs, I started thinking about strange things that have happened at Padres games I’ve been to or watched.

The idea started out as a list with a possible poll included. Then I realized that a list with only a couple of things on it wasn’t really a list. And an even worse poll.

So, here’s the weirdest Padres games I’ve witnessed, either on TV or in person. Or both, in the case of the first one, technically.

July 18 and July 19, 2001

Two explosions in the light tower at Qualcomm Stadium caused the game on July 18th against the Arizona Diamondbacks to be suspended in the third inning.

Artist’s rendering

Then stadium manager Bill Wilson said “35-year-old equipment” at the multipurpose stadium, which opened in 1967, was to blame.

2001 was Tony Gwynn‘s last, injury-marred season, and he was making his first start in right field since May 9.

“We’re the Pads,” said Gwynn, “I get out there for two innings, and the transformer blows.”

The game was suspended after a 1-hour, 11-minute delay, and was to resume at 12:05 p.m. the next day with Arizona leading 1-0.

I purchased a ticket for the second game at the gate the next day, because the conclusion of the previous day’s game was included. Basically a double-header.

Randy Johnson, originally scheduled to start that July 19 game, “relieved” Curt Schilling in the continued game, which the Padres lost, 3-0. Johnson was credited with the win, pitching the “final” 7 innings.

The second game was started by Robert Ellis, which the Padres won, 8-4. Nothing blew up. As far as I remember, that is.

April 8-9, 2011

Rain delays led to the suspension of the Padres’ game with the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 8, 2011.

The first delay caused the game to start 28 minutes late.

Play was then stopped for over 90 minutes in the second inning.

And again in the sixth inning for over one hour.

The score was tied at 2-2 in the top of the 9th when play was finally suspended at 1:40 am PDT April 9 after a fourth rain delay.

The game was finished later on April 9, with the Dodgers winning in 11 innings, 4-2.

I stayed up until 1:40 am on April 9. Only to have my loyalty rewarded by Tony Gwynn Jr singling in the eventual winning run with two out in the 11th inning that evening.

The rain delays totaled 3 hours and 36 minutes. Actual play was only 2 hours and 59 minutes. Which means that technically I saw more old Cox Channel 4 programming than game action that day.

1,000 or so sorry sons of bitches loyal fans who actually stayed at Petco Park to watch were rewarded by being allowed to sit on the Field Level between the dugouts, which was a nice gesture from the Padres.

I bet you thought I’d have “Blame It On the Rain” by Milli Vanilli. Didn’t you? Screw that.


What the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at a Padres game? Any of you at the infamous Chub Feeney “Fan Appreciation Night” game? Or even “my” PA announcement in 1974? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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  • Geoff Hancock

    The game in which the bees attacked left field (I want to say that was 2009) was a pretty bizarre occurrence. Of course I’d also add the 22 inning game as well. Why did I stay up to watch the end of that thing?

    • Matt Rennick

      It was 2009. I was in London during that time and they actually televised that game over there. It got really late because of the delay and I fell asleep before the end

      • DaveRiceSD

        I remember both games…the bee game qualifies for weirder, but the 22 inning wonder was special because I showed up to work like a zombie (I used to manage a back-office bank operation and actually stayed up through that disaster armed with a case of Stone IPA) and one of my employees (whose son happened to be a Padres bigwig that left town for Chicago not long after) came in even worse. She’d actually had tickets but went to her bowling league instead that night…after she finished bowling the game was at something like the 11th inning and she decided to drive all the way down to the park at like 10:30, still managed to catch more than a full regular game’s worth of ball…wouldn’t have believed her if she didn’t come armed with cell phone pics of her with the scoreboard in the background around the something-teenth inning.

  • The Abbot Costello

    April 17, 2008 Vs. Stoopid Rox… 22Innings! After The THIRD 7Th Inning Stretch & Only 3 Runs Between Both Teams I Thought Id Seen Everything…

  • The Abbot Costello

    April 9Th 1974… I SawMyFirst Wang In Public… 6 Y.O Against The Astros… It WasThe Worst Ballplaying I Had Seen In My Short Life But Public Nudity Made It Unforgettable.

  • Lonnie Brownell

    We were at that rainy game–we left around 1AM (the kids were cold and miserable, the adults not far behind). This picture of my wife graced the U-T’s story. I was up on the concourse with the kids, attempting to stay dry during one of the delays when the photographer noticed she was the only one in our whole section.

    BTW, the game was suspended at 1:40AM and completed the next day, going 11 innings; it didn’t wrap at 1:40AM. Groggy Ghost you must’ve been. Easily the strangest game I’ve attended.

    • Never said it wrapped, just that I stayed up until it was called at 1:40.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        “I stayed up until 1:40 am on April 9. Only to have my loyalty rewarded by Tony Gwynn Jr singling in the eventual winning run with two out in the 11th inning that evening.”

        That’s a wrap. Doesn’t McD’s serve wraps?

      • Not on my watch.

        1:40 am is not that evening. That would be that morning.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Well, now that you explain it to me, sure. I must’ve been the groggy one when I read that.

      • Here endeth the lesson.

        You make yourself a regular! IHOP!

  • That rain game in 2011 was the best game ever . . . for twitter. I stayed on the computer the entire time and rapped with Dan Hayes and everyone else. It was a blast.

  • I was at the transformer = fireball game. Having a game called in the third inning under a cloudless sky was just a little surreal.

  • Tim Stoops

    I was sitting in the left field plaza level seats with my dad when the transformer blew up. I can vividly remember Luis Gonzalez’s terrified reaction to the explosion.

    How about the 2010 home opener? I’m still weirded out by how many runs I witnessed the Padres score in Petco that day.

  • GoldenBoy

    I was at that weird bee delay game in 2009, which wasn’t a very fun game to attend. I was also at the 2008 game when Peavy injured himself uneventfully while running the bases. The injury didn’t look like much, but he ended up being injured for the rest of the year. And that game was tied in the 9th and ended with a walk-off grand slam by Adrian Gonzalez. I also remember seeing Andy Benes hit a home run and Benito Santiago hit a grand slam in the same game, against the Phils in ’90 or ’91.