The San Diego Padres opened their 2019 season today against the San Francisco Giants with events in and around Petco Park.
San Diego's East Village Association kicked off a free two-day Opening Day Block Party featuring live music, an interactive game zone, a micro-brew beer garden and more than 30 food trucks lining the streets adjacent to Petco Park. Friday's party gets underway at noon. The ninth annual block party will take place on J Street between Sixth and 10th avenues.
Fans started walking through the gates when they opened at 10:30 a.m. They were able to watch both the Padres and the Giants take batting practice. Pregame ceremonies included a celebration of 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the Padres beginning play in the National League.
Hall of Fame reliever Trevor Hoffman and Randy Jones, who in 1976 became the first Padre to win the Cy Young Award, were scheduled to each throw a ceremonial first pitch.
The Metropolitan Transit System boosted trolley service on the Sycuan Green Line, the UC San Diego Blue Line and the Orange Line to better accommodate Opening Day's crowd.
The signing of third baseman Manny Machado and debut of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. bring optimism for a better season after two last-place finishes in the past three seasons. Machado is a four-time all-star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner who signed a 10-year, $300 million contract on Feb. 21, the fourth largest deal in American sports history and the largest in team history.
Tatis, who turned 20 Jan. 2, was tabbed as baseball's second-best prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline and third by Baseball Prospectus. His father was a third baseman for five major league teams from 1997-2010.
Photo Credit: Cliff Albert