Padres' PETCO Park not one of baseball's best new stadiums, but it's saved by San Diego golf
Go to spring training and it seems like half the fans are working some golf into their baseball vacation. And the other half are catching the odd baseball game between days of 36 holes.
The golf baseball fixation doesn’t have to end with spring training though. If you’re on one of those see-a-game-at-as-many-major-league-baseball-stadiums-as-you-can trips, you’ll want to make it to San Diego.
This is the home of PETCO Park of course, one of the newest and most fawned over ballparks in the bigs. PETCO isn’t nearly as great as some San Diegans will have you believe. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park blows it away in sight lines and game action (there are actual home runs in Citizens Bank). Even Detroit’s slightly older Comerica Park and Cleveland’s Jacobs Fields are better than PETCO.
Pittsburgh’s PNC is in a whole other league. And San Francisco’s stadium on the water is the best of all. (Even if the Giants change its name more often than most of its citizens shave).
PETCO can be fun though. The views are good and this being San Diego where the locals support their sports teams about as well as Lou Dobbs supports Mexico, you can usually just walk right up and get a great seat. I attended one Monday night game where the scalpers didn’t even bother to come out. You could get seats behind home plate right at the box office.
The Padres’ fish tacos might be the best stadium food on the planet too.
Just expect a 2-1 game. No one hits it out at PETCO, even though it’s only 322 feet down the right field line, 334 feet down the left field line and 396 to dead center. The air’s so thick here that you could lose a poodle in it. This is fine if Jake Peavy is pitching and racking up strikeouts. Not so fine if it’s two journeymen involved in a weak duel brought on by dumb conditions.
PETCO has a big saving grace though: San Diego itself. It’s in arguably the best summer golf destination on the West Coast.
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