Padres News: Team Caravan Was A Great Success


The San Diego Padres Caravan wrapped up Sunday and was a huge victory for the Padres and the City of San Diego. The 3-day event kicked off Friday, February 6, 2015.

21 total scheduled stops in the 3 days, gets fans all over the county a chance to see the 2015 team before they leave to Peoria for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report in less than 2 weeks!

The Caravan started Friday morning with the launch of the Padres Volunteer Team, presented by Toyota. In attendance were Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Joaquin Benoit, Clint Barmes & Dale Thayer as well as many more Padre players and coaches. It was a great kick-off to the celebration.

Next stop was the USS Lawrence, where Wil Myers, Ian Kennedy, Derek Norris, Andrew Cashner, Justin Upton and Joaquin Benoit visited the ship and crew. Stops at SDPD headquarters, Feeding America, The Rancho Sante Fe Fire Station and the National City Boys and Girls club. With a stop at Father Joe’s Village, Ballast Point Tasting Room and a Kiwanis Luncheon in Poway, the first day was a giant hit. 

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The second day kicked off at Westfield UTC where Norris, Kennedy, Cashner, Benoit, Myers and Barmes were joined by brand new Padre Matt Kemp. Kemp was his usual all smiles, and interacted with fans and teammates. He proclaimed himself “ready for April 6th to play the Los Angeles Dodgers“.

The players joked asnd talked to the crowd via mediator Jesse Adler from Fox Sports West San Diego. Even the Friar mascot was in attendance. It was a great start to the Saturday.

The day couldn’t have gotten better, except the Padres were now on their way to Rady’s Children Hospital. Having lost a child to cancer myself, I cannot begin to explain to you the positive effect the San Diego Padres can bring to a child or to the family in this dark time.

In my opinion, it is needed for the players as well, sometimes they need to step back and realize how blessed they are. The game of baseball is hard enough, but nearly impossible if you put unneeded pressures upon yourself.

Bud Black, Norris, Cashner, Kennedy and Kemp among others, were on hand for pictures and autographs. Matt Kemp was especially charismatic and approachable to the kids. Several photos around Twitterverse show him interacting and posing with several families. Very well done, sir. Very well done.

The Padres are especially charitable when it comes to children, so it comes as no surprise. Also on Saturday, the Padres Caravan rolled to the Balboa Naval Medical Center Invincible Spirit Festival and to a San Diego Madres Social Event. Gary Sinise of Forrest Gump fame (Lt. Dan) was on hand and Matt Kemp, Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Derek Norris had their picture taken with him.

The day wrapped up with a Supercross event at Petco Park as Clint Barmes and Tyson Ross were spotted and photographed with Chargers running back Ryan Mathews.

The third day started in the morning, as Derek Norris and Joaquin Benoit were on hand distributing jerseys to the San Diego American Little League. Fire Station 19 and the Coronado Little League were also visited by the Padres Caravan.

There was a “Trevor Time” sighting in Chula Vista, as Trevor Hoffman and Carlos Hernandez were on hand at the Otay Ranch Town Center. The Padres also visited Northgate Market and Joaquin Benoit went south of the border to the Tienda de los Padres. The Padres store in Tijuana Mexico was the final stop on the three-day tour.

All in all, a great success I would have to say. Getting a chance to see the new players up close and let them know how excited Padres fans are can only make the players more excited. I hope they realize that this city has not been this excited for baseball in it’s 46-year big league existence.

Petco Park is going to be rocking this summer and the Gaslamp district is going to be the hip place to be. Matt Kemp and Wil Myers holding puppies for God’s sake! If you can’t get pumped for baseball after seeing that, then you need to check your pulse.

I have a lot of pictures on my twitter account, @HomeGrownPadres or you can check them out for yourself on the internet. #PadresCaravan.

Next: Padres Spring Training Storylines

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