First game, Lane Field 1954. Was a regular at Westgate Park, where I worked for three summers selling concessions in the stands while catching as much action on the field as possible while pouring soft drinks and shouting, "Popcorn."
My favorite Padres as a kid -- Earl Rapp, Rudy Regalado, Dave Pope -- in the early years to Tony Perez, Deron Johnson and Tommy Harper of the Cincinnati-supplied PCL powerhouses of the mid-60s.
I have no idea how many games I have seen over the years.
But I have to admit, watching the two losses in Texas the past two nights was like taking a punch in the gut.
Led both. Lost the first one on a balk and an error. Then wasted seven strong innings by Clayton Richard in a walk-off loss.
I've liked a lot of things I've seen this season. Manuel Margot has a legitimate shot at being the National League Rookie of the Year. Wil Myers is a quality Major Leaguer. I love watching Austin Hedges catch and work with the pitchers. I've enjoyed watching Trevor Cahill, Jhoulys Chacin and Richard.
Despite the Padres record, I've found much to enjoy this season. And I think the future is bright.
But the last two nights, I'd love to forget. For some reason, and I'm more guilty of this than most, bad losses stick with me more than great wins.
Great individual performances I remember . . . great wins, not so much.
I still remember the still-record, 19-0 loss in 1969 more than lop-sided wins.
And sadly, I'm probably going to remember the last two nights in Texas longer than I should.
• Brandon Maurer had made seven straight seven scoreless appearances before suffering the blown save Thursday night. During those seven appearances he gave up only three hits and no walks while striking out 13 in 7 2/3 innings while recording three saves and lowering his ERA from 5.79 to 2.03. Thursday night in Texas was his first blown save of the season. On Thursday, he gave up four runs on four hits capped by Mike Napoli's walk-off homer in one-third of an inning as his ERA shot back up to 4.61.
• Richard deserved better Thursday night, when he allowed one run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in seven-plus innings. In five road starts this season, Richard has a 3.90 earned run average.
• Hunter Renfroe has drawn two walks in two of his last five starts after drawing only two walks in the first 30 games of the season (and none until his 17th game). Once he manages the strike zone, Renfroe's numbers as a hitter will improve. He is 2-for-6 in the past two games.
• Ryan Schimpf has four RBIs in his last six starts. He is 6-for-20 in those games with a double and two homers. Since April 24, Schimpf has raised his batting average from .102 to .173 while going 12-for-45 (.267) with six homers.