The Strange Opening Day, Part I: The Friar Faithful
I really missed Opening Day.
The sight of our Padres in those brand-new brown pinstripes. The smell of fresh popcorn and sizzling sausages. The pageantry of Opening Day lineups, the National Anthem, and a fighter jet flyover.
I certainly wasn't alone in this.
Days before the start of the season, Major League Baseball announced the postponement of the 2020 campaign due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Sitting at home, I began to think... as the Petco Park announcer, what could I do to provide some comfort for our fanbase, the Friar Faithful?
On my own, and unbeknownst to others, I threw out a tweet. The first 81 fans to respond (representing the number of home games in a regular season) would get their own custom batter intro in the style of a Manny Machado or Fernando Tatis, Jr.
If I could help bring a smile to someone's face--even if we couldn't be at the ballpark--it'd totally be worth it.
In less than 30 minutes, all 81 requests were spoken for.
I've been the Voice of Petco Park for the last six seasons. Given the nature of the job, I spend the vast majority of my day talking to fans, not with them. So, in many ways, I was taken aback by the amount of incredible feedback I received.
The appreciation went beyond individuals, and extended to entire families...
The response was so good that I couldn't stop at just 81. And the time it took to read, edit, cut, upload, and link didn't matter. So I did over 100 total...
The poet Alexander Pope once wrote, “Hope springs eternal.” It's a line that represents a sense of optimism... a feeling that that routinely extends to sports at the beginning of each season.
And as displayed by the enthusiasm of the Friar Faithful, we're all hoping we can return to the ballpark soon. ⚾️
For more of Alex's work as the Voice of Petco Park take a look at the Live TV and VO Demo. It features highlights of Opening Days past, including Hall-of-Famer Trevor Hoffman's first pitch in 2018.