In the ongoing buildup to the 2016 All-Star Game in July at Petco Park, the Padres have been adding and updating parts of the ballpark.
Last week the Padres announced the Beachers would be removed and a new group section would be replacing it. This followed an earlier announcement that the entire lighting system would be upgraded to LED. They also mentioned upgrading the seats in the Lexus Home Plate Club sections and upgraded and expanded backstop netting.
Yesterday, Bill Center wrote an article on Padres.com about the changes to the retired numbers currently located on the Batter’s Eye along with changes related to the new Padres Hall of Fame. I was out doing other stuff and didn’t really have a chance to look at any of it until today.
So let’s do that, shall we?
First, the changes to the retired numbers.
The numbers 6 (Steve Garvey), 19 (Tony Gwynn), 31 (Dave Winfield), 35 (Randy Jones), 51 (Trevor Hoffman), and 42 (Jackie Robinson) have been located on the top of the Batter’s Eye in centerfield. It worked as an icebreaker for out-of-town fans or newbies to Petco Park who would wonder what those numbers were doing up there.
Now the numbers will be on the upper deck facade behind home plate, with the names of the players attached.
Can’t really say I’m a fan of the placement. Seems very NFL “Ring of Honor”-ish to me. But, other than placing them on the outfield walls — just like every other MLB team — it is probably the most visible spot they can relocate them to. And it will tie-in with the Jerry Coleman star and the RAK (Ray Kroc) underneath the press box, provided they don’t change those too.
Also in Center’s article was a preview of some possible designs of the outside of the Padres Hall of Fame.
Center says this is a “preliminary rendering,” which tells me it likely won’t look anything like this by the time they actually finish it sometime before the All-Star Game.
There are also going to be displays placed all around the ballpark focused on the history of baseball in San Diego (ex: Ted Williams) and the Padres (ex: Pacific Coast League Padres). I’m assuming most of these displays will also feature memorable moments and people who are not mentioned or enshrined in the Padres Hall of Fame, but are notable nonetheless.
I’m excited to see what these changes end up looking like, to say the least.
Now, just get a competent shortstop by Opening Day, and I can start to sleep easier.