The San Diego Padres are finally going to have a playoff game in front of their fans at Petco Park.
It won’t be a first, but it really hasn’t happened in a while.
To illustrate how much time has passed since San Diego fans witnessed a postseason game, ESPN tweeted a shocking photo with a revealing message.
“It’s been a long time since Padres fans saw a playoff game live,” they tweeted, with a picture of current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wearing a Padres uniform.
It's been a long time since Padres fans saw a playoff game live 😳
— ESPN (@espn) October 14, 2022
Jesse Agler wrote that Roberts went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the leadoff hitter for the Padres in their last playoff game with fans at Petco Park.
That happened in 2006.
With this exercise, it’s important to clarify that it’s not like the Padres haven’t made the postseason since 2006: they qualified in 2020, but fans weren’t allowed in the stands since it was the pandemic season.
Petco Park Will Likely Be At Full Capacity On Friday
Postseason games were played at Petco that year, but with no fans.
This time, as the Padres get ready to host the Dodgers on Friday for Game 3 of the NL Division Series, the stadium will likely be at full capacity.
That year, in 2006, Roberts hit .293/.360/.393 with 80 runs scored and a whopping 49 stolen bases.
It was the finest season of his career, too: he accumulated 3.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
He was brilliant in the postseason back then, too, with a .438/.471/.563 line.
Unfortunately, his Padres were eliminated in the Division Series three games to one.
This time around, Roberts is facing the Padres.
When he looks at the fans in the stands cheering for their squad, however, it will be a familiar sight for him.