You won’t find an actual earthquake listed for San Diego on February 17, 2021, but most of us felt it.
That evening, news outlets reported that the Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr. agreed on a 14-year, $340 million contract extension.
The Padres made the deal official on February 22. In a virtual press conference, Tatis confirmed a desire to play his entire career in San Diego, saying that he accepted A.J. Preller’s offer of a “statue contract.”
These are bold statements from the Padres and Tatis, perhaps even the 2021 equivalent of Babe Ruth calling his shot at Wrigley Field.
But Tatis appears undaunted by such proclamations. His quest is confident, his delivery joyous. One senses a remarkable faith in his ability to deliver.
Tatis also looks forward to being a legacy player for kids growing up as San Diego Padres fans, as he stated in Monday’s press conference.
Since news of the Tatis deal broke, reaction has been almost universally positive across the fanbase.
His words resonated strongly with Tanya and Adán Olivas, lifelong diehard fans who have held season tickets for the past six years.
Tanya Olivas and her husband Adán were both born in San Diego, the children of immigrants from Mexico with cross-generational ties to the Padres.
Adán’s parents are from Chihuahua, where baseball is played throughout the province and draws huge crowds. Adán grew up playing the game in San Diego. His Little League team would sometimes be invited to Padres games.
Adán was at the 1995 Expos-Padres game when Bip Roberts broke up Pedro Martinez’s perfect game with a double in the top of the 10th inning.
After the game, Adán was lucky enough to meet Pedro, who gave him a signed ball.
Then, just like “The Sandlot,” Adán and his brother went to the park to play. A ball got lost in the ivy, and they couldn’t find it. His brother didn’t tell them until they got home that it was the Pedro ball. He still hasn’t let him live it down!
Tanya Olivas, The Kept Faith interview, 2/21/21
Tanya and Adán met in high school and have two young children who are already diehards.
The Olivas family is thrilled about the contract extension with Tatis and the opportunity for their kids to have a lifelong connection with him.
I think that the Latino players are great for our kids to see because it makes them proud.
When we saw Tatis in Spring Training last year, my daughter Alana would talk to him in Spanish when he was walking around the backfields, and he would always respond back.
For me, I love that he brings hope and joy not only to the Padres but to the game of baseball as a whole. He is electric, exciting, and young – while at the same time remaining humble and grounded.
I look forward to seeing my kids grow up watching him just like we grew up watching Tony Gwynn.
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