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Padres home opener to celebrate baseball

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The San Diego Padres will kick off the 2013 season Tuesday, hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park at 3:40 p.m. All fans in attendance will receive a Padres Opening Day T-Shirt, presented by Sycuan. In addition, the first 25,000 fans through the gates will receive a 2013 Padres schedule cling and SD decal, presented by Aladdin Bail Bonds. Left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard is set to take the mound before a sellout crowd.

Opening Day ceremonies are scheduled to begin at approximately 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, which marks the 10th Opening Day at Petco Park. Legendary broadcaster and Padres television play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg will emcee the Opening Day ceremony, celebrating baseball in San Diego: past, present and future. The ceremony will feature a National Anthem performance by San Diego singer/songwriter and Miss California 2010 Arianna Afsar, as well as the unfurling of the Holiday Bowl Big Flag, held by sailors from the USS Russell and the USS Boxer, and a flyover of two San Diego Police Department helicopters. Afsar also will perform God Bless America live before the 7th Inning Stretch.

Tuesday's Ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown by Greg Vaughn, MVP of the 1998 National League Champion Padres, and will be caught by fellow 1998 alum and Padres Spanish television analyst Carlos Hernandez. On June 14, the Padres will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the '98 team as part of one of three Retro Nights.

The pregame ceremony also will feature Padres All-Time Saves Leader Trevor Hoffman in a tribute to the late Darrel Akerfelds, the long-time Padres bullpen coach who passed away in June 2012 after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

In celebration of the second year of the Padres Youth Baseball Initiative, 25 players from Lemon Grove Little League will accompany Padres starters onto the field during line-up announcements. These players are some of the nearly 15,000 local Little Leaguers who have been outfitted this year with authentic, custom-made Majestic Padres jerseys and corresponding caps.

All gates, including Park at the Park, open to fans at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. With a sellout crowd heading to the ballpark, fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early to Petco Park and to utilize public transportation. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will offer increased trolley service and 5,000 free "Park and Ride" parking spots will be available at Qualcomm Stadium and Mission Valley stations.  The North County Transit District (NCTD) offers a special Padres Coaster train that departs Oceanside Station at 1:51 p.m. and includes free trolley connections.  

Fans who do drive are encouraged to pre-purchase parking passes online at www.padres.com.  Padres parking lots are expected to fill up by 1:00 p.m. Thereafter, fans are encouraged to park along Harbor Drive and utilize the pedestrian bridge from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. Suggested routes and maps can be found at www.padres.com/transportation. For more information, visit the Access Guide page at www.padres.com or www.511sd.com.  Traffic and parking updates will be posted throughout the day at www.padres.com/traffic.

Tickets for the remaining 80 home games, including two more opening week matchups against the Dodgers, can be purchased at the Petco Park box office, online at www.padres.com, by phone at 619.795.5555, at the Padres Store in Tijuana, and new this year, at all Ticketmaster locations.

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