SAN DIEGO - The Padres return home Friday for a 10-game homestand featuring three interleague games against the Detroit Tigers, followed by four games against the Colorado Rockies and a weekend series against the San Francisco Giants. Highlights of the homestand include Military Opening Day presented by Northrop Grumman and the return of "Baseball Night in San Diego."
Home action begins tonight, with a 7:10 p.m. start against the Tigers. Prior to the game, the Padres will mark Autism Awareness Month in a special pregame ceremony. This season, MLB is teaming up with Autism Speaks in a league-wide effort to support Autism Awareness. Autism Speaks is the world's leading Autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research and increasing awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders. Several local Autism Speaks representatives will be recognized pregame for their efforts and advocacy. In addition, a suite at tonight's Padres game will be designated as a "Quiet Zone," a sensory-friendly environment that provides a safety net for families affected by Autism.
Tonight is also the 18th Annual Padres Law Enforcement Night at Petco Park, when the Padres will welcome approximately 2,500 members of law enforcement to the game. Dozens of law enforcement agencies from in and around Southern California will be represented and honored on the field pre-game.
This season, the Padres are bringing back a tradition from the late 90's, reinstating Saturdays as "Baseball Night in San Diego." Every Saturday home game will feature a giveaway for every fan in attendance. This Saturday's featured giveaway is a Padres Long Sleeve T-Shirt presented by State Farm.
Saturday is Softball Day at Petco Park. The game will be preceded by a warning track parade of approximately 3,000 local softball players and coaches.
Sunday's series finale against the Tigers marks Military Opening Day presented by Northrop Grumman, the first of 13 Salute to the Military games this season. A complete line-up of the day's events, including on-field ceremonies and special guests, as well as in-game recognition, can be found at padres.com.
Prior to all Sunday home games, from 11:30 a.m. to noon, two Padres players will sign autographs at the Park at the Park for Jr. Padres Sunday Signings. A Jr. Padres membership is required to participate in the signing event. Membership is free, and kids can sign up online or in-person on the day of the event.
Also returning in 2014 is KidsFest at the Park, featuring bounce houses and other inflatables, games, face painters, balloon artists, and more kid-friendly activities every Sunday. Visit www.padres.com/sunday for more information.
Beginning at 11:45 a.m., approximately 4,000 PONY Youth Baseball players and coaches will participate in a parade around the warning track, as part of PONY Youth Baseball Day.
Prior to Monday's game, the Padres will honor the memory of Poway teen Chelsea King through recognition of the work of the Chelsea's Light Foundation. Chelsea's parents, Brent and Kelly King, will be joined by 75 volunteers for in an on-field pregame ceremony, while the Padres will host 250 supporters of the Foundation at the game.
On Tuesday, the Padres will participate in a league-wide celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. In honor of No. 42, the Padres will host 42 youngsters from the Jackie Robinson YMCA, who will be lining the first baseline in Padres No. 42 jerseys. On the third baseline will be representatives from the "San Diego Padres' RBI" (Reviving Baseball in the Inner-city) leagues, which are collectively expected to reach more than 700 local youth, ages 5-18 in 2014, doubling the 2013 reach. Also featured Tuesday is a pregame performance at Park at the Park by the Jackie Robinson YMCA drumline, the Thunder Squad.
Tuesday's Ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown by Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar Kenneth Patterson. Patterson, who was named a JRF Scholar in 2003, graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Ouachita Baptist University. He currently resides in San Diego and works in the global marketing department for TaylorMade-adidas Golf, managing the relationships between the company and its athletes.
Tuesday also marks the first Taco Tuesday of 2014. Back by popular demand, every Tuesday home game will feature $1 pollo asado street tacos sold at six locations throughout the ballpark. New this year will be an additional location featuring gluten-free $1 street tacos.
Prior to Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. game against the Rockies, approximately 300 students from local choirs will perform the National Anthem as part of Spring Choir Night.
Thursday's 3:40 p.m. series finale against the Rockies will be the first Community Day of 2014. All season long, the Padres will dedicate games to local communities as a way of thanking them for their support. Thursday is Poway Day at Petco Park, featuring a special pregame recognition and a performance of the National Anthem by Miss Poway Jackie Foster.
On Friday, the Padres welcome the San Francisco Giants to town. Before the game, the Padres will honor the Burn Institute and salute local firefighters in a pregame ceremony.
All fans in attendance at Saturday's game will receive a Gyorko Replica Alternate Jersey and a Pet Bandana presented by Petco. Following Saturday's game, fans are invited to stay to enjoy the show as the Long Haul Bombers return to Petco Park for their annual softball slugfest.
The homestand wraps up Easter Sunday, with a Military Salute recognizing Blue Star Families, a nonprofit organization formed in April 2009 by a group of military spouses to raise awareness of the challenges of military family life within civilian communities. Sunday's National Anthem will be performed by HN Nirissa Holder, U.S. Navy. The Hospital Corpsman at Naval Medical Center San Diego will also perform God Bless America during the 7th Inning Stretch.
KidsFest at the Park returns Sunday, featuring bounce houses and other inflatables, games, face painters, balloon artists, and more kid-friendly activities every Sunday. From 11:30 a.m. to noon, two Padres players will sign autographs at the Park at the Park for Jr. Padres Sunday Signings. A Jr. Padres membership is required to participate in the signing event. Membership is free, and kids can sign up online or in-person.
Following Sunday's game, kids in attendance are invited to run the bases on the field at Petco Park. Children can begin lining up following the conclusion of the eighth inning at the top of the Beachers on K Street at Park at the Park. Jr. Padres members will receive front-of-the-line privileges.
Tickets for all home games 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 at all Ticketmaster locations.