When Tucson lost the Sidewinders last decade, it looked like the end of minor league baseball, and deservedly so. Attendance was pathetic, despite a team affiliated with the big-league Diamondbacks and which under former UA star Chip Hale had some pretty exciting teams.
Then, through some stroke of freaky luck, we got another team, albeit likely only on a temporary basis. But when California's financial woes caused a planned stadium in suburban San Diego to get scrapped, there seemed like a real chance Tucson could again be a permanent minor league baseball city.
But then you all fucked it up again by not patronizing the team. Whatever your reasons were, they were wrong. And as a result, the Tucson Padres are going away. And minor league baseball is never coming back here.
Can I say it more plainly? YOU LOST A TEAM TO EL PASO. NO CITY WORTH ANYTHING LOSES ANYTHING TO EL PASO. ]
Ok, rant over. For now. The whole point of this post is to remind you that, after Thursday night, the Tucson Padres' short tenure here will end, as the team finishes up the regular season on the road.
The T-Pads' local management, led by the tireless efforts of Mike Feder et. al, have been pulling out all the stops in terms of promotions and special events for these last few minor league games, and the Thursday finale is no different.
Along with being Thirsty Thursday — that's $1 beer and soft drinks, for all of you that think Kino Stadium is 'too far' or 'in a bad part of town' or some other bullshit reason for not going — Feder's wife, Pattie, will be throwing out the first pitch before the game pitting the T-Pads and the Reno Aces.
Yes, there is some poetic irony to the fact the final opponent is the team that used to be here before but smartly went to where it was more appreciated and draws 4,900 fans a night as opposed to 2,700 here.
A Facebook event page was set up for the final game, with Feder (and, subsequently, others) sending out invites to more than 1,800 people. As of Tuesday night, though, only 125 people had RSVP'd as planning to attend, a far cry from the 10,000+ people who have 'liked' the T-Pads' team page.
Let's get that RSVP number bumped up a bit, huh? And let's get a decent crowd out there for the sendoff of pro sports in Tucson, why don't we? There's nothing else really going on Thursday, unless you're attached to one of the handful of high schools playing football that night.
Just bite the bullet, conquer your fear of 'the south side' and go have a couple-seven beers and enjoy some baseball on a late summer evening. But if you don't, by all means stop complaining that there's nothing to do in this town.
Charles Harbutt, Departures and Arrivals continues through Sunday, Jan. 26. Visitors may examine unframed photographs chosen around… More