Read entire series here.
I got to the ballpark, Jack Murphy Stadium as it was known then, before game time. The Padres were playing a double header against the Braves at 2:05pm. Fireworks were to follow the second game. I parked, and walked toward the stadium I had seen in the dark less than 12 hour earlier during a seating change. It looked different in broad daylight. Double sets of thin concrete columns arrayed around the "rounded square" shape, sloping inward as they rose toward the top of the stadium, had a distinct look. Since the lights were contained within the top row of horizontal concrete bands, there were no light towers. The overall appearance of the park was that of a spaceship from outer space. Not that it was bad, just very different from what I knew from the Bay Area. I actually liked this park and its feel.
I had an extra ticket for this day, too, so I began looking for a single who didn't have a ticket. I ran into somebody standing around outside the third base side of the ballpark. I casually approached him, fearing an undercover anti-scalping agent of some kind. He was just casually looking for somebody who had an extra ticket. So we casually agreed to casually entering the park together. He paid me on the inside. This was fine. He was a Dodger fan who lived in a coastal town half way between LA and San Diego. Nonetheless, he was good to talk to during a double header.
We had field level seats down the third base line. Not many fans were around us, as double headers had a knack for fans coming and going all day, but the seats did fill up fairly well at some point. Both games went only about 2 hours, 20 minutes. At the end of the second game, it was still very light, so the fireworks were blown off before it got dark. It wasn't nearly as much fun seeing streaks of gray smoke as it would have been to see the actual colors. It was "America's Finest City" celebration put on by Coors. I love San Diego, but they do have a knack of touting themselves as the finest city anywhere at anytime in history. I dunno about that.
Yes, this was another park I'd never seen before, but the newness of any park had worn off a bit. The awe I felt at Anaheim Stadium was superior, and I believe it would have been reversed had I seen the Murph first. But, it was still a thrill to look through that tunnel and see something completely new. After the game I left and went back to claim a room for the first time on my trip. Box scores for game one and for game two.