View Full Version : With the help of the Marines, the Padres say goodbye to the Q

10-06-03, 08:38 AM
With the help of the Marines, the Padres say goodbye to the Q
Submitted by: 12th Marine Corps District
Story Identification Number: 2003102163243
Story by Sgt. S. L. Standifird

12TH MARINE CORPS RECRUITING DISTRICT, SAN DIEGO(September 2003) -- The San Diego Padres said goodbye to a piece of their history this past weekend with a ceremony that included former Padres players, fireworks and the United States Marines.

The Marines were involved in the ceremony to help the grounds crew for Qualcomm Stadium and San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy transport home plate to the Padres new home, Petco Park.

"I couldn't think of a better outfit to help us do this than America?s 9-1-1 force, the United States Marines Marine Corps," said Jack Ensch, director, military programs for the Padres.

Murphy agreed with Ensch and added that San Diego is a military town and including the military in big events is something they should do more of.

"We love the Marine Corps, we love the Navy. I like to see us include our friends in the military in as many activities in the city as possible," he said. "The Padres, the Marine Corps and the Navy are like baseball, apple pie and hotdogs, all great American traditions."

More than 60,000 fans in the stands and watching on television witnessed the unmistakable red 12th Marine Corps District Humvee make a grand entrance from center field with the grounds crew in tow. Upon reaching their destination, the grounds crew started to dig under the watchful eyes of four Marines from the 12th Marine Corps District Headquarters.

When home plate was up, it was passed from Murphy to 1stLt. Neil Ruggiero, District public affairs officer, who safely guarded the plate in the humvee.

To the roar of the crowd, SSgt. Mark Wynn, hummvee driver, Ruggiero and Murphy departed the field with a police escort and made their way downtown to Petco Park.

Once at their destination, Ruggiero retrieved home plate from the humvee and passed it to Murphy who in turn passed it to the San Diego Ballpark Builders.

"Home plate is safe at its new home," Murphy said.

Although the celebration for the Padres continued, the mission of the Marines was complete; the plate was safe at its new home.


The District Humvee makes its way toward home plate behind a police escort at the end of the Padres final game at Qualcomm Stadium. The humvee and Marines from 12th Marine Corps District headquarters were part of the closing ceremonies and were responsible for safely transporting home plate to Petco Park.
Photo by: Cpl. Christopher H. Fitzgerald


Under the watchful eye of the Marines from 12th Marine Corps District, the Padres grounds crew digs up home plate before the District Humvee transports it to Petco Park, the Padres new home in downtown San Diego.
Photo by: Cpl. Christopher H. Fitzgerald


Home plate sits in solitude at Petco Park as a historic piece of Padres history from Qualcomm Stadium.
Photo by: Cpl. Christopher H. Fitzgerald