I remember it like it was just yesterday! The day was June, 30th 2006, the day after my 14th birthday, and for my birthday present from my Grandma, my whole family and I, did my favorite thing, go to a Padres game, but this game was so much more than just another Padres game!
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The game started just like any other, I was excited as I always am to be seeing my Friars in action, but especially because my favorite, Padre shortstop #3, Khalil Greene was starting that night. During the 3rd inning of the game the whole day changed. My Grandma being the sneaky person she is had called the Padres and told them it was my birthday so I got a visit from the Friar and the Pad Squad, and they gave me a bag full of Padres gear, but two items stood out that were in the bag and they are two items I still have today!
Even today I still can’t believe I have those two items! What are these items that could mean so much to me you ask? Well as I said previously, my favorite Padre player of all-time is Khalil Greene, or as I like to call him “Greenie”. Those two items were an autographed photo and ball signed by none other than Khalil himself! My Grandma had tried to get me to meet Khalil, but that wasn’t possible, however the Padres said they would have a special surprise for me at the game, and that was it! That’s definitely the second best thing!
Well as you can imagine my 14 year old self, I was stunned. I still remember looking at the autographed ball and photo to the guy himself on the field not believing that my favorite Padre signed these things for me, but he had! That is only the beginning though folks, what happened during the game made this Padre game my favorite of all-time! So not only had I gotten these two items from my favorite player, but he was tearing it up on the field he hit 4-for-5 that game, with a double and a few singles, but one of those singles made me the happiest 14-year-old on planet Earth.
It was the bottom of the 9th inning, and the Padres and Giants were tied at 5, the Padres had a runner on second when #3 stepped up to the plate with the final opportunity for the Friars. What he did next I will never forget, with that runner on second, Khalil hit a bloop single into right field that dropped right in front of the Giants right fielder and the Padre on second rounded third and was on his way home, the throw from the right fielder was on line, but late as the Padre runner slid in safely to win the game 6 -5!
I personally was so happy, I almost fainted, my favorite player had won the game, AND I had gotten his autograph, twice! I have been to many Padres games since that time, but none of them stand out to me more than that game on June 30th 2006! It’s still to this day the best birthday I’ve ever had!