Perhaps it was the drama of the home run derby that made me (and so many others) wish that the 1998 season wouldn’t come to a close. But, when it came to be that the Padres would be playing the Yankees in the World Series, I began to perk up – the season wasn’t over because I was living in LA at the time, and a few of the games would be less than two hours away! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_World_Series)
I called my brother-in-law, Matthew, first to ask him if he could come from Northern California (Hollister, CA) to join me. Of couse, he said yes! (As a side note – I have always called Matthew when it comes to my baseball adventures, so much so that I now call him from every park that I visit, unless he’s with me, of course. My sister says I do it to brag, but, actually, I do it because I want him to be there with me, even if it’s over the phone. He’s the closest thing I have to a big brother, and I know/hope/think that he doesn’t mind that I have in mind whenever I get to a new park.)
I found ridiculously priced tickets from a broker in New Jersey and made plans to get to the first game they played in San Diego on October 20th. Matthew left Hollister at the crack of dawn and drove to LA where I then drove to San Diego in time for the mid-afternoon start time.
We were both rooting for the Yankees, who were already up 2 games in the series, and happened to draw tickets in the heart of Padres country! These season ticket holders were, loud, proud and DRUNK (not a good mix).
It took everything I had to not smack this one fan who cheered and jeered every time the Yankees made an error, or struck out, etc. Thanks to Matthew, calmer heads prevailed and when the Yankees won the game 5-4, well, again, it took everything I had not to give it right back to the overzealous fan (who had passed out by now).
The next day, the Yanks won again 3-0, for a total sweep of the Padres and the championship!
It had been a magical season, made better by a World Series that was (partially) played out in my backyard. That was the first and last time I had been to Qualcomm – it belongs solely to the Charges now, and the new Petco Park (built in 2004) remains on my list of parks that I’ve yet to “get.” Next season, that one will be first on my list!