5. August 13-15 vs Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels come to town for the first time since 2012. This time, they come with former Padre Justin Upton and someone who many thought would be a Padre in Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. Oh yeah, and a guy named Mike Trout is still on the team as well as a surefire Hall of Famer in Albert Pujols. There is no shortage of star power in Anaheim.
The Angels are optimistic about this season in the American League West. The Padres are optimistic about drawing fans to the Wednesday series finale. It will be Way Back Wednesday, with fans receiving a 1998 National League championship replica ring.
4. July 13-15 vs. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs show up once again, and for good reason. The Padres swept them at Petco Park last season. This season, they get another shot at it and the team is also passing out “Cub Buster” shirts on Saturday night. That is to commemorate the thrilling comeback in the NLCS in 1984 to get to the World Series.
There should be a big crowd for this weekend series with a good team.
3. March 29-31 vs. Milwaukee Brewers
The first series of 2018 easily makes the list. The Padres open the season at home against a team outside the NL West for the first time since 2008. If “winning the off-season” is a thing, the Brewers have done it. They acquired Christian Yelich from the Marlins. He’s had an OPS+ of at least 112 every year of his career. They also signed free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain as well as former Padre Jhoulys Chacin.
Opening Day is always a thrill, no matter how your team is “supposed” to perform. Everyone is 0-0 with a chance. The Padres get tested right from the beginning, with the Brewers looking to build on an 86-win season in which they barely missed the playoffs.
2. May 10-13 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The top two series of the 2018 home slate could be 1a and 1b. The Cardinals come to town, which is a storied, classy organization. That is the footnote of this weekend. It is 1998 Celebration Weekend. All four games will feature a bobblehead commemorating the 1998 National League Championship team. Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti, Trevor Hoffman, and Greg Vaughn will be portrayed in their classic 1998 kits on these collectibles.
It has been 20 years since the 1998 team, and with two members of the main group now passed away (Gwynn and Caminiti), it is important we celebrate the ones we still have. 1998 reinvigorated the love for baseball in this town and it is worthy of a sold out weekend in May.
1. August 16-19 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The opponent may not be very flashy, but this weekend won’t need any extra boost to be the best weekend of the year at Petco Park. Trevor Hoffman will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in July and this will be the weekend to celebrate his induction. It’s a four-game series featuring a Hoffy-themed giveaway each night.
Fans will get a replica jersey, table book, a replica plaque, and replica statue on those four nights. There is no way all four of these games shouldn’t be sold out. Hoffman becomes the third player to don the Padres cap in Cooperstown. The statue will be revealed and Hoffman will be recognized each night. If you go to just one Padres game a year, this would be the weekend to do it. Going to all four games would allow you to totally rearrange your man-cave with Hoffman memorabilia.