Inside the SP78 Vault: 1978 Padres Program

Perhaps my very first addition to the SP78 vault, even before their was an SP78! On September 29th, 1978, my Dad and brother Scott and I attended the third-to-last game of the Padres season (and my fifth of the year, and first since June), a Friday night match-up against the Dodgers, who were in first place and headed for the World Series against the Yankees. LA’s Burt Hooton was going for his 20th win, but it wasn’t to be as the Padres pulled out a 3-1 win, in a game that took just 1 hour, 58 minutes to play.

On the way in, I paid a vendor fifty cents for the program, whose cover celebrated the Padres’ tenth year of existence, as well as them being the host team of that summer’s All-Star Game. It’s fun for me to look through the program now and check out all the San Diego ads, and the places I used to frequent that are no longer around: Square Pan Pizza, Dow Sound City, Monterey Jack’s, Picnic ‘n Chicken, Kinney Shoes, and sadly, San Diego Stadium itself, which hasn’t seen a Padres game played there since 2003.

Besides acquiring this program, this was also the game where I caught my first batting practice home run ball, in the left field seats off the bat of LA outfielder Dusty Baker. My brother also got himself a baseball, tossed to him by Dodgers utility player Joe Simpson from the bullpen, where Scott was watching some players warm up before the game.

12 responses to “Inside the SP78 Vault: 1978 Padres Program

  1. – since there’s no button!

  2. Sponge Bob Square Pants really missed out on Square Pan Pizza…

    Program 50 cents, ticket 5 bucks, parking 2 bucks, a dollar hot dog. Now you need to take out a loan from the bank to cover the mansions, sports cars and gold chains for the players. Why bother going these days when the 2 hour games are no longer and it takes 4 hours and hard to stay awake. The games of the past were the best and no comparison today!

    • I agree…that’s why I have so many pre-1994 full baseball games saved to my external hard drive, to enjoy whenever I want. And I checked my ticket stub for the game where I bought the program: Plaza 20, just past third base, for $3.75! Can’t remember the cost of parking or a hot dog, but I can tell you that parking for an Aztecs football game at the stadium will now cost you $10!

      • $10 parking is a bargain these days, only because it was a college game. If the Chargers were still playing you would need to hit up the ATM to cover it!

      • Good lord, ten bucks is bad enough…although Scott and I didn’t have to pay it, since we parked in Mission Valley and took the trolley to the game.

  3. Does the program have any information about the artwork on the cover? I’m curious about the team picture, and if the pitcher and batter are meant to represent anyone . . . a right-handed Randy Jones maybe and Dave Winfield with a single digit uniform number? I remember that cover, but looking at it now, I’m so old that I don’t recall who the artwork is of.

    • A signature on the cover shows the artwork was painted by Christopher Paluso (you remember him from our ’80s baseball cards), but there’s nothing inside the program that mentions any details about the cover. Taking a close look at the two players, their faces don’t look like any Padres I know (how about Steve Mura and a stocky Gene Locklear?). The team picture makes me think of an early-century White Sox team…or maybe they’re supposed to be the All-Star squad from 1933? And because the follow-through of the pitcher is similar to one seen of Gaylord Perry inside the program, I’m guessing that all three images are taken from actual photographs, but modified to be ‘generic’. Or, it IS supposed to be Gaylord Perry, and Paluso’s just a horrible artist.

      • In the team picture, front row, third from the right . . . When I zoom in, that guy appears to have a large tarantula (or a small squid) attacking him in the “cup” region. I’m not sure what that’s all about. There is a Paluso from later on of Padre Garvey that actually is recognizable as “Mr. Clean”, but these seem pretty generic.

      • Ha, I zoomed in as well, and I see exactly what you’re talking about…to me it looks like the Facehugger from Alien (or maybe I should say, Crotchhugger). Either way, it looks fairly ridiculous. I also looked up ‘Paluso Garvey’, and found a bunch of dinner plates with the Garv on them…is this what you saw?

  4. Sponge Bob gets 3,000 hits! Heading toward Cooperstown!

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