Empty Seats

Empty Seats

Fans are finally returning to Petco Park for the 2021 Padres season. As announced by the team, the ballpark will host approximately 8,000 fans (in compliance with California’s COVID-19 guidelines for sports venues) for Opening Day on April 1.

The cardboard cutouts from 2020 have been returned to their purchasers, and employees have prepped the ballpark for pod seating, mobile concessions, and other measures to get fans back in the seats.

But not everyone will be there.

Along with the excitement and anticipation of returning to whatever now resembles “normal,” there is the backdrop of a global pandemic having taken the lives of over 2.7 million people worldwide.

Some were in our circle of family, friends, and acquaintances.

Some were Padres fans.

As I was working on this story, Rueben sent me a message about his mother Patty.

Hi Geekster, life long Padres fan here.

It pains me to stay my mom (who is the reason why I’m a Padres fan) is fighting for her life on a ventilator as we speak.

We’ve always dreamed of getting season tickets as we always would attend games throughout the years. Well this year our dream became a reality as we both had good jobs through this pandemic and we were finally able to afford our season tickets. We really went all out and got the full package, and what better year than this year.

I’m very hopeful my mom will pull through. She’s the toughest person I know but I know she will definitely miss the first month of baseball. Sorry if this doesn’t meet your criteria but I thought my mom could use a shoutout from the Friar Faithful.

Message from Rueben Duran, 3/22/21

Update: Rueben’s mother is still hospitalized and in critical condition.

Rueben and his mom Patty

In their memory: a slideshow

One more time, can you play them a song, Bobby?

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Mostly here to promote fun baseball! My focus is on our experiences as fans and shared connections in the baseball community. I also produce content on social media, including vlogs and event coverage. Instagram: Michelle_baseballfan247 Facebook: Michelle Frost; Member: IBWAA, SABR

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