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A GRAND OLD TIME

Chris Ello
June 05, 2018 - 1:53 pm
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My 85-year-old mother stood up because...well, that's what she wanted to do. Hey, somebody had to fire up the crowd at Petco Park. That's because Hunter Renfroe was coming up to bat with the bases loaded and the Padres trailing 2-0.

A native of Los Angeles, please forgive her for being a lifelong Dodgers fan. For now that she has moved into our community, she's trying to switch over to her new home team, the Padres. Sunday I took her to Petco Park for the first time.

For four innings, nothing. Not a peep from her -- nor from the Padres bats. The Cincinnati Reds had the lead, and my mom still wasn't sure which team was which. 

"Are the Padres in the red?" she asked. 

"No," I answered. "The Reds are in the Red. The Padres are the other team."

Got it. Now three guys from the "other team" were on base at the same time. My mom sensed this could be the moment.

"I'm standing up," she announced. "Let's get everybody cheering around here!"

You probably know what happened next. Renfroe blasted a grand slam into the Western Metal Supply Co. building down the left field line. Just like that, the Padres had a 4-2 lead. And, yes, my mother was taking most of the credit.

Look. A Sunday afternoon at the ballpark can mean so many different things to so many different people. And even a battle between two last-place team can conjure up something to remember for the rest of a lifetime. I'm pretty sure my mom will not forget that grand slam. The player who hit it? She still has no idea. The fact that something special happened? Well, that's the beauty of baseball.

Later, as we drove home following a 6-3 Padres victory, my mom realized something: "Hey," she proclaimed. "Maybe I'm the Padres' good luck charm."

Who's to say she isn't?

When I was younger, looking back on it now, it does seem like the Dodgers never used to lose a game she took me to. At least that's how my mind remembers it. Now she's 1-0 with the Padres -- no easy feat these days.

And now she wants to go to another game. And she doesn't care who she goes with. So if you're looking for that special lucky charm, just let me know. I can always set you up with her.

Just don't tell her when to stand up.