Inspired by Left Coast Bias’ excellent post earlier today.
I bought season tickets for the 1997 season during the 1996 season, because it came with guaranteed playoff tickets for the 1996 post-season. Although that NLDS didn’t end well, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Tony Gwynn hit in 1997, his last truly great offensive season, even though the Padres finished 76-86.
When the season ticket renewal came in the mail, I didn’t renew my tickets. Why? I was on active duty at the time, my orders were up, and I’d be heading off to a Navy school, then a new home port, in 1998. Didn’t make sense to spend the money. I knew the Padres would be good – they had obtained Greg Vaughn, signed Kevin Brown, Dave Stewart was the pitching coach – but them’s the breaks.
The 1998 Padres are probably my favorite team as well, because I was forced to watch them from a distance. It was a tangible link to a city I’d reluctantly left. Thinking back on the team, and the year, it reminds me of professional...