DATE                                THEME                                   

 February 3, 2018            Our Heart is in Baseball

 April 14, 2018                 From Cactus League to Major League

 May 12, 2018

 June 2, 2018

 July 7, 2018

 August 18, 2018

 September 29, 2018     


 All brunches  will be held at the  

        Best Western 7 Seas 411 Hotel Circle South San Diego 92108                                           

Our Heart is in Baseball!

New Year, New Friends

By Kris Hardesty. Photos by Rick& Pati Zambori

Our speaker at our February 3rd Madres’ “Opening Day” was Verónica Nogueira Macedo, the Padres’ Manager of Community Relations, Player and Family Relations, and Hispanic Outreach. She is our new Madres’ liaison from the Padres, having taken over for Sue Botos, who retired.

Veronica was born and raised in Mexico City. She grew up around sports, her brothers played baseball and she played softball competitively. At 14 she went to the Softball World Series.

Although her team didn’t win it was a great experience.

She worked in marketing in Mexico. Wanting to get into sports she found a sports management program at SDSU. This program also had connections to the Padres. As part of the program, after the class portion was done an internship was needed to complete the program. The Padres asked her to work for them in their outreach program at and for the area of the Dominican Republic where there baseball academy is. She worked there from 2008- 2012. In 2012 she returned to San Diego working in the Community Relations department where she has now moved into her new position. Verónica has enthusiastically assured us that she’ll be providing speakers for our monthly brunches, drawing from the Padres’ front office staff, administration, ballpark operations, broadcast team, and coaching staff, as well as players and others for us.

For the Love of Baseball

The SD Madres held their first brunch of year on Feb 4th  at our new location for 2017, Best Western 7 Seas in Mission Valley.  Raj Naayanan the General Manager, Partnerships, from the Lake Elsinore Storm was our honored guest.  The Storm is the advanced A minor league team of the San DiegoPadres.  Raj was born in Bombay, India, attended the University of Connecticut and Rutgers University, Majoring in Economics with a background in Finance and Marketing. 

After graduating, Raj worked for Coconuts Music, Toggle Entertainment and Emerald

Financial in the New Jersey/New York area before moving west.  He first worked for Inland Empire 66ers starting 2006 and then joined the Storm in 2009.  Raj has worked in many capacities since joining the Storm.  He started as an Account Executive, then Director of Promotions and Entertainment and then Group Sales before moving into his current role.  He now oversees all Corporate Partner relationships, sponsor promotions and in-game entertainment while assisting with group sales and marketing.  Last year was a very busy one for Raj with the California/Carolina All Star Game and the Midway classic, a home run derby that took place on the USS Midway. 

Raj told us about the upcoming game to be played at the Diamond between the Padres and the Storm.  He also went over the many upgrades that are taking place at the Diamond for 2017. They now have bar top seating at the top of the sections behind home plate; new ADA sections that are more friendly to those in need and a new “green” section.  The green section is an area, with green seats, where Thunder is sure to spend time during the game. 

Speaking of Thunder, he also joined us at the luncheon.  He was his usual fun loving self to the amusement of all those present.  Raj, speaking for Thunder, informed us that Thunder is 17 years old now.  Thunder makes approximately 200 appearances a year.   Raj did also mention that the bunny, Jackpot, and the world’s fastest squirrel will still be at the Diamond along with Thunder.

Thanks for joining us, Raj, at our first luncheon of 2017!


Spring into Action

By Summer Serrano; Photos by Rick and Pati Zambori

The Madres’ April brunch Padres’ guest was Alex Miniak, the Padres PA Announcer. He is the man behind the voice so it was a little nerve wracking since he is used to looking at everyone and this time everyone was looking at him.( he did great!)

Alex started his career in radio and he worked as the Public Address announcer for the Fisher Cats in AA. He was a finalist for the Wrigley Field job as well as a fill in announcer at Fenway Park. A friend sent him the Padres press release looking for an announcer and he was #179 out of 800 tryouts. He said he was sorry if anyone in the audience applied but truly not sorry he got the job. He had to fly back and forth for tryouts for 3 months. Have you ever gotten a job that was announced to you during the 7th inning stretch? That is exactly how his boss Erik Meyer told him. He was in the Final 3 and Mike Dee and Wayne Partello finally said yes to his coming to San Diego. Alex’s first assignment was to announce the winner, “Hey, congratulations to me!” His first major accomplishment was announcing the All Star Game which was hosted at Petco park last Summer.

The Madres asked questions, The first one was which name is hardest to pronounce. He stated it was Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins, who happened to be in town.

How much time between innings do you have?  Two min, 20 sec but really only the 2 mins, 20 sec is given to the batter for the walkup song.

Since it is a seasonal job do you do something else for work?  Yes, I started my own marketing agency.

What is the best moment of your career? It was a “live toss” from Joe Buck during the All Star Game at the 7th inning stretch.

The Madres Want You!

A Visit From a Different Gwynn

By Summer Serrano; Photos by Rick & Pati Zambori

Alicia Gwynn doesn’t need much introduction because she and Tony started their relationship with the Madres in the early 80’s when Tony first came to the Majors. Madres have volunteered for their Foundation, the TAG Foundation for many years. We have been hoping to have Alicia at one of our brunches so we could show her that we are still here for her and her family. She stated that she knows, “you guys are the rock outside of my family.” It is a phrase that is dear to her heart, as Tony told her “You are the rock of this family, I need to know you are going to be OK….”. Alicia finally told him that she would be ok but admittedly it was one of the hardest things she ever told him. Not only is she OK but she is thriving, having started her music career and just releasing her first and second single. “Singing makes me happy”. She doesn’t care if she makes a dime on the music but if it touches someone and helps them, that is all that matters.

Alicia and Tony have always been about helping kids, they have taken in many kids over the years. Alicia has a big house all to herself now so she is hosting camps for kids. Last August she had 90 kids, 50 of whom stayed at the house for a week. She wrote a workbook on her principles of life, ABCD…..attitude, behavior, communication and discipline. The children work thru the book learning these life skills and the amazing thing is that they didn’t have one problem/conflict and these kids were from all over the world.

Tony was all about family and Alicia always wanted to be the best wife she could be. Now her greatest honor is to be the best Mother and Grandmother to her children and grandchildren. We thank Alicia for inspiring us with her words of wisdom, her great respect and appreciation of the Madres and for sharing her family with us all these years. We look forward to continuing that tradition

The Madres Are Gr-r-r-r-reat!


By Kris Hardesty; Photo by Rick and Pati Zambori

Rickie Sevadjian introduced of player guest by telling us his “playing career”: in elementary he played the violin, in high school he played the bass and currently plays rhythm guitar and is lead singer in the Travis d’Arnaud band…..Oops (Chase whispers in her ear) and then she said “Chase d’Arnaud Band” (Travis is Chase’ brother). The day of our brunch also happened to be the anniversary of his MLB debut, June 24th , 2011. Rickie then led us in singing Happy Anniversary to Chase, Chase added “cha, cha, cha” at the appropriate spots, along with dance moves. Rickie went on with her introduction letting us know that in that debut he hit a triple and that he has played for the Pirates, Phillies, Braves, Red Sox and now the Padres. Chase added “California” with a big smile on his face. She also let us know that Madre member Janet Slayen is Chase’s aunt.

After saying hello, his first comment was that he wasn’t expecting such a large group. It was so great walking in to all the applause he said “I felt like a king walking in”.

Chase attended Pepperdine on a scholarship and he didn’t plan on playing ball for a living. But in his junior year he started getting calls from clubs saying they wanted to draft him in the 3rd or 4th round. He said it was at that point it hit him “oh wow, I realized I was that good, I better get an agent”. He was drafted by the Pirates in his junior year. He played in the minors for Pittsburg from 2009 until 2011. In 2010 while playing for Altoona Curves he was selected for the All Star game, and so was his brother.  That was the last time the two have played together. In 2011, Chase made his MLB major league debut against the Red Sox and in his first at bat hit a triple off of Jon Lester.

Chase told us about his band he started while in the Braves organization. He started it in 2015 and in 2016, Chase and his band opened for Lady Antebellum at the County Fair just outside Atlanta, GA;  played a set at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tn., and headlined at legendary Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Ga. He actually lived with the band during parts of 2016.

Chase married his wife Kaitlyn in December of 2016. He talked about how his son, Jagger, was to be born in about 1 week (induction scheduled for July 3). Jagger had plans of his own and was born on June 26th.

Chase has so much personality it is hard to convey it on paper, but one of the last comments from the crowd puts a light on it “if baseball and music don’t work out for you, you can do standup comedy!”

Unfortunately, since Chase visited us he has been designated for assignment by the Padres. The Madres want to wish Chase all the best in whatever comes next and wish to congratulate Chase and Kaitlyn on the birth of their son Jagger.


By Kris Hardesty; photos from internet

Padre's POV Host, Michelle Margaux is originally from Sacramento. She came to San Diego the first time to attend University of San Diego where she studied Communications graduating in 2014. While attending USD she interned at Fox Sports San Diego in the first year that it covered the Padres. After graduating she took a job as a sports anchor and reporter at a station in Corpus Christi, TX. She always wanted to come back to San Diego, as she explained it, she asked adamantly about coming back to San Diego. She would ask her boss every month about an opening in San Diego, and it finally happened. She joined Fox San Diego in 2016 and took over the POV show as well as filled in as side line reporter on the game broadcasts. This year she primarily does the POV show.

Taking questions from the floor she was asked where the story ideas for “POV” come from? She explained that as co-producer of the show she gets pick the story ideas. She likes to find out what the player enjoys doing and they will incorporate that into the show. She told us she is an avid baseball fan. When asked how she became such an avid fan,  she replied what after her parents divorced, she would come home to an empty house after school. The only thing “live” on TV was Oakland A’s baseball. Although at the time she didn’t like baseball, she felt watching something live was much better than recorded TV programs. Watching the live broadcast made her feel part of what was going on and she grew to love baseball. Then when she moved to San Diego to go to school she became a Padre fan.

The San Diego Madres want to thank Michelle for joining us and to keep up the great work on those POV show.

Hawaiian Mahalo Madres

Our July media guest was someone well known and well loved by the Madres-Mark (Mud) Grant!

Mark was first round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 1981 and made his major league debut April 27, 1984. He was traded to Padres in 1987. Grant played for the Padres through 1990 when he was dealt to the Atlanta Braves. After pitching for other MLB teams, Mark retired from baseball in 1996.

He began broadcasting the Padres games on TV in 1997, first on Channel 4 and now for Fox Sports San Diego. He has had many broadcast partners starting with Mel Proctor, then Matt Vasgersian followed by Dick Enberg. He is now partnered with Don Orsillo.

While introducing him Rickie told us her favorite Mark story. One day while broadcasting a game with Dick Enberg Mark announced he was going to run for President of the United States. So Dick asked Mark what his platform would be. Mark replied “love, I love everybody”. Rickie said he believes we would all vote for him and I think she’s right.

When Mark got to the microphone his comment was “Make America Hug Again” He told us how this year is the 30th anniversary of being traded to the Padres; if that had not happened his whole current life scenario most likely doesn’t happen.

Mark reminded us about his family; he and his wife Mary have 3 kids, Andrew, Aidan and Alexis. Andrew

graduated from college this past June. Alexis will start at San Diego State this coming fall. He told us they live in Alpine (as he always refers to his home) “the double wide in Alpine with the goats and the pigs”. Of course he is just kidding, they don’t have goats or pigs.

He started to talk about now working with Don Orsillo. First he told us his motto “growing old is mandatory,

growing up is optional”. He feels that while working with Dick Enberg he matured, which was not a bad thing. When Don came around, he said, “It knocked me down about 30 years”. If people knew what went on between innings or pitches, Oh Boy!

After telling many more stories, too many to be able to report them, he opened the floor to questions. A

comment was made about his keys to the game and that he shouldn’t get a bad grade for his keys when it’s the players that don’t play up to them. He thanked the member for the nice comment. He then confessed that the “keys to the game” are not only his thoughts; he told us that he and Jesse Agler get together each morning over coffee and come up with them. After getting the correct number of wins the Padres had (as of that day) he gave us a little nugget to see if people are paying attention; “Do you know the Padres are 46-0 when out scoring their opponent”?  Think about it.

After answering a question about how he marks his score card when the shift is on, he asked us a question; Team 10 or team 9? He wanted to know how many thought “batting around” meant 10 players bat or 9 players bat. He is team 10 and so were most of the Madres.

There was so much more but this newsletter is only so long. As always, the Madres wish the best to Mark and his family and we hope we see you around Petco. Oh, and say Hi to Don, and give him a poke with your pointer for us.

Tribute to Tony

A Triples’ Threat

By Kris Hardesty; Photos by Rick & Pati Zambori

Our player guest in August was Luis Perdomo. He was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent in November 2010. He made his professional debut in 2011 with the Dominican Summer League Cardinals. In 2015 played with the Peoria Chiefs. In July he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game as an injury replacement for Alex Reyes. He was picked up by the Colorado Rockies as a rule 5 draft in 2016 and almost immediately traded to the Padres. He made his Padres debut on April 4, 2016. OnAugust 28, he threw his first complete game, earning a 3–1 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Rickie pointed out in her introduction that Luis has 4 hits this year, no singles, 1 double and 3 triples. This is not a feat done by many pitchers, hitting three triples in one season. Andy Green has even used Luis as a pinch hitter.

With help from Eduardo Ortega interpreting Luis answered questions from the group. First he was asked how long he has been playing baseball. He said he started at age 11 and he was 17 when the Cardinals drafted him. He was asked to tell us about his family. He told us he was raised by a single mom; he has two step brothers and one step sister. His sister has been staying with him for the summer.

 When asked who on the team he looked at as a mentor he told us that last year both Fernando Rodney and Carlos Villanueva were very helpful. This year he has had great help with both baseball and English from Jhoulys Chacin. He also mentioned that Darren Balsley has been very beneficial to his pitching.

It was asked if the teams help the young players learn English? He explained that all the teams are working to teach them English, they do it at the Caribbean academies. He also added that he can speak English enough to go out, go shopping and such; but he is still more comfortable speaking Spanish.

Luis, the Madres wish you further success and will be cheering for that 4th triple.

The Spanish Voice-Eduardo Ortega 

By Kris Hardesty

Eduardo Ortega is a Mexican-American baseball broadcaster. He has worked as the Spanish language broadcaster of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball for 30 years now. Ortega began announcing baseball in Mexico when he was 20 years old. He works for ESPN Deportes during the MLB postseason, and has also announced 17 MLB All-Star Games, 22 World Series games and the World Baseball Classic. He was a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award in the 2013 balloting, and again in 2014.

While introducing him Rickie told us he was born in Tijuana but became a US citizen in 2009. He entered the Tijuana Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Hispanic Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame in 2013. She also related a story about Eduardo that she had heard. It seems that when he was a young boy growing up in Tijuana he and his friends would play baseball after school. But not being too good at it he would end up in right field or the bench. So he would sneak off, climb a nearby tree, turn it into his pretend broadcast booth and announce the game going on below him.

Eduardo spoke to us about how baseball is growing, how players are coming from all over the world now; and how it is such a family oriented sport. This year’s All-Star game was his 8th , but last years’ was so special being here in San Diego. He talked about the Padres Dominican Academy, how it was not much at all until John Moores put up the money for it and now it is one of the best in the world. He told us how the number of Latin players has grown and pointed out that almost half of the Padres roster is of Latin decent. He also informed us that 24 of the 30 MLB teams are now broadcasting at least part of their scheduled games in Spanish.

He then began to talk about Tony Gwynn, whom we were honoring that day at our meeting. He began by saying what a great role model Tony was and how humble he was about his own accomplishments. Eduardo told us of how after Tony had gotten his 1,000th  hit, Eduardo was talking with him and said to Tony “ wow, a double off of Nolan Ryan”.  Tony’s reply, “actually it wasn’t a double, the outfielder lost it in the lights”.

Eduardo went on to recount Tony’s 2000th and 3000th hits, and how they were both on Tony’s’ mom’s birthday. He says now that it is so special to have Tony Jr in the booth; if you close your eyes you can just hear Tony Sr. and you get goose bumps.

On Deck for the Madres!

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