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 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?

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*Originally posted on April 7th, 2011

93 years ago, on this day (April 7th) Bobby Doerr was born. One of only 2 surviving members of the original 1936 PCL Padres team, Doerr only spent one season in San Diego but left a lasting impact. Without guys like Doerr, Ted Williams and Vince DiMaggio who knows if the team would be where it is today? So with that said….Thank you Mr. Doerr for your contributions to San Diego baseball and I hope you have a Happy Birthday!!

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The late Mel Queen is best known these days as a pitching guru. In Toronto, Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens won Cy Young Awards under his watch.

Queen also worked with a young right-hander who had a great arm but who didn’t know how to pitch. According to John Lott’s article in the December 17, 2009, Ottawa Citizen, Queen tweaked the hurler’s delivery and gave him some tough love:

There’s no one I made such drastic changes to and verbally abused the way I did Doc. There aren’t many people that would have gone through what I put him through. I had to make him understand that he was very unintelligent about baseball. He had no idea about the game.

“Doc” is Roy Halladay. He turned out to be pretty good.

Before Queen made his mark molding other arms, he was a pitcher himself (as was his father, Mel Queen Sr., before him). The right-hander out of San Luis Obispo went 14-8 with a 2.76 ERA in 1967, his first full season in the Reds rotation. Unfortunately Queen blew out his arm the next year and, despite enjoying marginal success out of the Angels bullpen in 1971, never was the same.

Queen first reached the big leagues as an outfielder but earned rave reviews from teammates who took batting practice against him. As he noted, “My fast ball would really move and the guys would talk about it. I can make it take off or sink depending on how I hold it.”

In 1963, when a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon cost $1.44 and you could fly from Los Angeles to San Diego on PSA for $6.35, the 21-year-old Queen still played the outfield. With the Padres that year he hit .260/.308/.472, and tied for fifth in the PCL with 25 homers, just ahead of future Minnesota Twins star Tony Oliva. Read More…