The ceremony honoring the first responders before the Padres and Cubs 5/25. credit for picture goes to David Warren
Prior to last night’s game, the San Diego Padres honored those first responders’ to last week’s San Diego County wildfires in an emotional tribute that set the crowd into a ten minute standing ovation and sent goose bumps down the arms of many in attendance.
In show of respect and gratitude, Padres’ players donned different ball caps representing different fire departments throughout San Diego County. Outfielder Will Venable added, “The fire fighters and first responders did a great job. These people put it all on the line to keep people safe. By representing them with the hat is the least we can do to let them know we appreciate their efforts.”
It was not only the players honoring them. GM Josh Byrnes, whose brother-in-law is a twenty-year member of the fire department, added, “they care so much, and when it’s time to be heroes; they are heroes. We are very proud.”
The ceremony began with the entire Padres’ team lining up in a “flying V” just on the outskirts behind second base as members from different fire departments, police departments, and paramedics throughout San Diego County marched their way to the front of the diamond in scene that truly resembled why San Diego is labeled “America’s Finest City.”
With both Padres’ and Cubs’ players standing alongside these men and women, the stadium fell quiet for a moment of silence in memory of a responder who lost his life as result of the fires that tore through San Marcos, Carlsbad, and other areas in the county.
In a moment respect, the stadium’s PA honored the firemen with the “Ringing of the Bell.” It is a long standing tradition that is signified with three rings to pay the final respects of a comrade who has fallen in the line of duty. On this day, it symbolized a loss of a member and also to pay tribute for those standing on the field tonight.
Following an amazing performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the departments Colored Guard, the pre-game crowd, once again, rose to their feet as these heroes marched back through the “flying V” toward both the left and right field walls.
The tribute continued throughout the night. In an amazing rendition of God Bless America, Agent Alicia Chuddy moved the crowd of 42,107 to a roar.
The fifteen minute tribute before the game and the different moments of honoring them throughout the game reflects one the best parts of the Padres’ organization. They continually pay tribute and salute the community in a number of different ways that makes them one of classiest in Major League Baseball.
Despite the Padres’ falling to the Cubs 3-2, tonight’s game was more than just about who-won-and-who lost. It was about an organization coming together to honor those heroes that make San Diego safe.