As the countdown to the much-anticipated 1989 baseball season continues through the annual siesta and fiesta in Yuma, it is time to forget off-season trades, free agent signings, recuperating veterans and promising rookies.
Other planning, almost as important to attendance as win-loss records, is taking place right now in the Padres’ hierarchy.
I’m talking goodies.
That’s right, promotions.
Folks want to know when they get their towels and kazoos and team pictures and caps and batting gloves. A baseball game can be a little bit like opening a box of Crackerjack.
In the interest of jazzing things up for what figures to be a rather jazzy season, I have come up with a few ideas for Padre Promotions ’89.
These may not be what we get, but why not?
Clark Bar Night
The Padres have never had a player named after a candy bar (or vice versa). No Reggie or Oh! Henry or Baby Ruth. OK, maybe Butterfinger would have been appropriate in those ragtag early years. But now they have Jack Clark, one sweet swinger.
And whatever happened to Candy Sierra?
Fans weighing more than 300 pounds get in for half price. For this special occasion, seating capacity will be only 30,000.
Feeney Appreciation Day
The first 20,000 fans will receive one of those foam rubber hands with a finger extended. Manufacturers are busily adjusting which finger is extended.
Owners of Southern California Edison stock get in for half price.
John Kruk Travel Guide Day
Legend has it that Kruk, in his rookie year, looked at Lake Michigan and wondered aloud what ocean it was. This will be a guide to the skyscrapers of Yellowstone, the fine French food of Des Moines, the misty forests of Gila Bend and the world-class music of Centreville, Mich. Every adult gets one guide, as long as they are not accompanied by children studying geography.
John Tower Night
No drinks will be served when the Padres are on defense.
Chris Brown Night
Doctors, nurses, athletic trainers and whirlpool salespeople will get discount tickets. Brown is no longer with the Padres, of course, but it seemed as though he was never here when he was here.
Ed Whitson Bass Plug Day
Eddie Lee loves his fishing. All fans with valid California fishing licenses will get a special lure that will be irresistible to those sluggers in the depths of Lake Hodges. It will look just like a hanging curve ball.
All fans opposed to the banning of AK-47s will get in for the special price of $500 a ticket. Quite likely, they will be stupid enough to pay it.
The Eric Show Show
One of these days, if Eric’s dreams come true, he will be known as a jazz composer and musician who once played baseball. This postgame concert will showcase selections from his upcoming album: “Eidetic Reflections of a Pedantic Pitcher.”
Denny Stolz Golf Day
San Diego State’s new golf coach will present a pregame clinic in which targets depicting Tom Day and Fred Miller will be draped over the center-field fence. Uncannily, he will hit them every time.
Mike Tyson Night
The champ himself will be on hand to throw out the first pitch. However, he will leave in the fifth, since that’s all the longer he thinks athletic events are supposed to last.
Mark Davis Night
Another cut-rate special . . . one-third the normal price. The catch is that gates do not open until the seventh inning, when Davis gets up from his nap and goes to the bullpen.
Ted Leitner Night
To best simulate Leitner’s sports reports on Channel 8 and KFMB, the game will be played with a blank scoreboard and no public address system. Everyone will have a good time, but no one will have a clue what is going on.
Tony Gwynn Day
Only the nicest of people, the best of citizens, will be invited, though this will have to be done on the honor system. I would suggest, however, that you stay away if you own an AK-47, laugh at Steve Garvey jokes, play football for Oklahoma, watch either Geraldo or Morton or bring your empty trash barrels in and leave your neighbor’s on the curb.
Trader Jack Night
The first 20,000 kids aged 50 and under get a free Nintendo cartridge with Super Mario dressed in a Padre uniform and smoking a cigar. Is it just me, or is there a striking resemblance between the Padre manager and the cartoon character banging his head on bricks while in search of the elusive princess?
Dale Murphy Day
Wouldn’t March 17 be perfect? Corned beef and cabbage . . . and raise a glass of Irish Mist to the newest Padre. Of course, this is predicated on the assumption that Trader Jack isn’t merely pounding his head against a brick wall in search of this elusive prince of power.