In April the San Diego Padres kicked off their 2010 season at Petco Park in San Diego. Keeping with tradition as the "Team of the Military," Padres Director of Military Outreach and retired Navy Capt. Jack Ensch hosted the team's annual Military Opening Night on Wednesday, April 14.
Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Tom Conant, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing threw out the ceremonial first pitch and the Padres recognized 20 military award recipients from San Diego-area commands on the field.
Local military children Jacob and Jeremiah Bruce called "play ball," accompanied by their mother, Aleah, only to be treated to a surprise message from their deployed father, Navy Chief Todd Bruce broadcast on the stadium's big screen.
Northrop-Grumman provided more than 5,000 tickets to the game for San Diego military men and women and their families, and the Padres hosted wounded warriors from nearby Balboa Naval Hospital.
The Padres also unveiled their new military logo, which will be featured on all Padres military outreach materials and new souvenirs throughout the 2010 season.
Throughout the 2010 season the Pacdres will offer discounted tickets to members of the military, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and dependents with valid DoD ID cards. The will also introduce the Padres Veterans' Appreciation Card, or PVAC, offering benefits and discounts to non-career veterans.
For more information on the Padres' military programs, Click Here.
(Images: Top: Naval Base San Diego's 50-state Flag Team lines the outfield of Petco Park, as the Edwards Air Force Base Honor Guard presents the colors on Military Opening Night. Photo by Shana Siler. Middle Left: Maj. Gen. Tom Conant waves to the crowd before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Photo by Chris Handy. Middle Right: Jacob, Jeremiah, and Aleah Bruce look up at the stadium's big screen for the special greeting from Navy Chief Todd Bruce, who is serving overseas. Photos by Shana Siler. Bottom: San Diego Padres' military logo for 2010, based on the U.S. military aircraft roundel. All photos courtesy of the San Diego Padres.)