And Sonny the Clown was leaving his own special marks on some of those faces -- including his own.
"I'm here to face-paint, blow up balloons and sign Padres gear," said Sonny (a.k.a. John Wise of Chula Vista, who works for the Padres). "I've been doing this for six years, but it's the first time we've had a rally like this, and it's really special."
Dia and Judy from La Mesa both had the Padres logo on their faces and were waving their blue Padres rally towels and Major League Baseball's special white World Series towels.
"We were here all last week every day," said Dia. "We were there for the
clincher on Wednesday. And we're going to get a group together and watch the
game [Tuesday] morning. But this is great being here tonight to
Seth and Wylma Molino, both in their 80s, were sitting on Picnic Hill decked out in matching Padres shirts highlighting past Padres successes in 1984, 1996 and 1998.
"We've been married 62 years and are still in love with each other and the
Padres," said Wylma.
Chet Carney of San Diego State fame and the Swinging Friar warmed up the
crowd for good cheer before the TV lights came on at 5:30
p.m. PT. Local musician and season-ticket holder Steve Poltz provided
entertainment in and out of the TV breaks.
There was a distinct mixture of past, present and future Padres accomplishments
featured on the stage on the infield at the ballpark.
Masters of ceremonies Matt Vasgersian, Mark Grant and Billy Ray Smith
introduced members of past Padres playoffs -- including Archi Cianfrocco, Kurt
Bevacqua, Terry Kennedy and Norm Sherry, the pitching coach of the 1984
squad -- all of whom spoke to the crowd.
"It's so exciting," said Cianfrocco, who was part of the '98 run. "I've got
my tickets and I'm ready to put my Padres jersey on and go out and rally the
Cianfrocco, who has been throwing batting practice at times during the
season, said, "The chemistry on this club today is a lot like we had in 1998.
These guys are unselfish, hard-working guys, and no prima donnas. It's been
a long year and at times a tough year, but they are where they wanted to
be -- in the playoffs. So let's everyone enjoy it."
"1984 was a remarkable year," said Sherry. "Fans are so important to a team.
I remember when we came back from Chicago after losing the first two games
to the Cubs, there were 1,000 people at Jack Murphy to meet us. And that
enthusiasm continued at the ballpark the next two days and we went on to win
the pennant. You fans can help do it again."
Bevacqua's home run that series in 1984 was shown on the Jumbotron on Monday. There
were also interviews from Monday's workout in St. Louis with current Padres
players Jake Peavy, Tuesday's starter; Dave Roberts, who said he's close to
100 percent and will start in center field; and manager Bruce Bochy, with a
cameo appearance in the background by prankster Robert Fick.
"I remember how important the fans in San Diego were to us in 1984," said
Bevacqua. "If it hadn't been for the fans of San Diego in 1984, I doubt very seriously if we would have swept the Cubs three games here in
San Diego. You can be a big part of this ballclub, so take advantage of it.
And let's all go out and have some fun."
The fun certainly continued with the raffling off of two sets of tickets for
Saturday's Game 3, along with an autographed Mark Loretta bat and Trevor Hoffman and Peavy autographed baseballs.
The formal part of Rally Monday concluded with fireworks as fans raised their "Go Padres" signs and waved their Padres Rally towels and World Series towels, which they hope to use for real in a few weeks.