One of my favorite summer trips is San Diego. We have been driving lately, but I decided to fly down for the short, two game series between the Giants and the San Diego Padres. One reason: the traffic between San Diego, and almost anywhere north in LA is simply awful. Make that really awful.
But once in San Diego, the weather is fantastic, Petco Park is a great place to see a ball game, and I love the San Diego vibe. The city is easy to navigate with both public transportation, and on foot. I am staying in the Gaslamp area, walking to the game, and taking the bus to and from the airport to my hotel.
Speaking of Gaslamp, once downtrodden, redeveloped back to life, and now heading back south. Our last few visits have revealed an ugly under belly, lots of cheap bars and cheesy souvenir shops, and not much quality. And as with most major cities, homelessness is a growing problem. To top it off, they had a big Hepatitis scare last year!
Having done all the tourist things, like the famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, famous Torrey Pines golf course, the beaches of La Jolla, and points in between, this is decidedly a baseball trip.
But I must tell you a funny story. Skip this is you read it before. I was working for the California Hospital Association back in the early 80s. We had a big annual meeting down here, and arranged for Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes” to be the main speaker. A small bunch of employees were asked to join him for dinner at a famous seafood place near the harbor, Anthony’s Star of the Sea, as I recall.
As the evening progressed, and the wine was consumed, we became quite the most interesting and funny group in the place. The waiters were playing along just fine, until we finally asked one of them who he thought our guest star was. His answer? “Mickey Rooney, of course.” The place went bonkers, including Andy himself!!!
Needless to say, the week down there was a raucous good time. We even found a guitar and sang the night away after the bars closed. Those were some good times!
But I digress. We must get back to baseball. I started coming to games down here when my kids were young, back when the Padres played out at old Jack Murphy Stadium in Mission Valley. You might recall, this is the reason the NFL San Diego Chargers are now in LA. Petco is a big improvement, a downtown ballpark that has revitalized an old downtown area, much like San Francisco, Denver, Arizona, and Seattle. Is it coincidence they are on the west coast?
Most people do not know that one of the greatest hitter’s in baseball is from San Diego. That would be Ted Williams! The area also produced Craig Nettles, Alan Trammell, Adrian Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, and the Boone family.
I never get tired of visiting this great city. The weather is great, the attractions numerous, the seafood excellent, and the people are so very friendly. What more can you ask for? How about a two game sweep of the Padres?