Padres enhance holidays for military families

Padres enhance holidays for military families

Padres enhance holidays for military families
SAN DIEGO -- In addition to having his hands full with packing toys Thursday, Padres manager Bud Black actually found himself tongue-tied on at least one occasion.

Black, who along with several current and former players helped participate in the 25th Annual San Diego Armed Services YMCA's SuperParent Shopping Day, was left at a loss for words when one mother asked a question of him.

"What position do you play?" she asked of Black, who in all fairness was wearing his jersey over a long-sleeved shirt on a cool morning.

Black just smiled.

There were certainly plenty of smiles Thursday as the Padres took part in Shopping Day, which allowed for junior enlisted families to pick two toys for each of their children.

Black and players like Tim Stauffer, Nick Hundley, Jason Bartlett, Mark Kotsay and Will Venable volunteered their time, as did several spouses.

Former Padres pitcher Randy Jones was on hand, as was pitcher Trevor Hoffman and Padres vice chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad, who presented a check for $5,000 to the annual event in support of their Family Outreach Programs.

In addition, the Padres also made a $5,000 commitment to the Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA.

"It's consistent with our commitment to be involved in the community, in particular the military community," Moorad said. "We have had a long-standing partnership with the Armed Services YMCA of San Diego and this is just one great event they do to help the families of those serving our country.

"It's the very least we can do to be involved."

Moorad spoke briefly at the event, thanking military families and expressing gratitude for servicemen and servicewomen.

The San Diego Armed Services YMCA partners with the San Diego community each year to provide two new toys to enlisted military as part of military appreciation.

Players not only helped stuff bags with toys, but in many cases even helped to carry them out to cars.

There were about 400 families who shopped at the event Thursday after 700 or so did so Wednesday.

Some arrived at the Armed Services YMCA of San Diego office on Santo Road shortly after 5 a.m. to get in line for an event that started at 9 a.m.

"The lady we helped out had two young infant twins and two older kids," Stauffer said. "She said that they usually don't get a lot of toys, so we were able to go in and help pick them out some toys.

"... Just anything to help make their Christmas better. It's a great event and they do a great job."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.