Greatness Rings During Padres’ Retirement Ceremony of Hoffman’s #51

Baseball 25 Aug 2011

It may be difficult at times to define greatness with words, but you know it when you see it.  Sunday’s number retirement ceremony of Trevor Hoffman’s #51 was unmistakably greatness incarnate.

The authentic and compelling motivation for the event, the irreproachable career and character of the man at the focal point of the celebration, and the near flawless performances by all involved made for one the most impressive, impactful, and memorable on field celebrations I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

It was an absolutely brilliant production that magnificently honored the man who gave so much to the Padres organization, Padres fans, the city of San Diego, his teammates, and major league baseball.  Trevor Hoffman himself seemed overwhelmed at times by the outpouring of accolades, gifts, proclamations, respect, congratulations, and thanks that were bestowed upon him…all of it unquestionably deserved.  Yet, much as he handled every moment in the spotlight as a player, he graciously acknowledged the adulations, and made every single person in the ballpark, whether invited dignitary or paying fan, feel like an important and appreciated part of not just this celebration but the journey that brought him to this moment.

It seemed as though much of the time Trevor could be seen wiping tears from his eyes…and to be honest, he was not alone.

Thanks and congratulations are owed to many for having provided us with this once in a lifetime celebration of excellence.  First, of course, a heartfelt thank you goes out to Trevor for sharing with us his remarkable career, highlighted not only by historic and record breaking success in competition, but even more poignantly by his character, his commitment to his teammates, and his respect for the game.

Sincerest thanks must also go out to Padres’ ownership group led by Jeff Moorad, and President Tom Garfinkel for their decisiveness in immediately bringing Trevor back into the Padres family, and for celebrating what he gave to the organization for so many years.

Congratulations are certainly in order to the entire Padres’ organization as well, including Eric Myers who heads the Padres’ entertainment and production department,  along with the entire Padres’ marketing, public relations, and stadium operations departments for putting together and pulling off such an incredible event.  When you step back and think about all the moving parts, all the people, all the props, all the production elements, the planning, the timing, and the coordination involved it’s truly amazing.

Not only did it appear to move along without a single technical glitch, but the pacing was perfect with no down time between the numerous moments of crescendo including Trevor and his family entering the field from the bullpen, previous Padres retired number honorees entering from center field, the presentation of a vintage 1958 Cadillac convertible, video tributes including one from AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, and the tear inducing national anthem sung on video by Trevor’s late father, Ed.

There are countless others who deserve acknowledgement as well, including all the former coaches and teammates, the master of ceremonies Ted Leitner, and of course the fans who came out to give their thanks to one of the greatest pitchers, teammates, and ambassadors of the game that baseball has ever seen.  All in all it was a perfect day, and hopefully the preamble to yet another celebration in 2016 for his induction into a certain hall commemorating the immortals of the game.

Thank you, Trevor, for giving us another perfect outing to remember!


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