*Author’s Note: This post has been backdated to the day this event occurred. It was written on April 3, 2019, to the best of my recollection.*
Watching baseball over the years, you develop a one-sided connection with your favorite players. When they get traded or sign with another team, you can’t help but feel a little heartbroken at that moment. Most of the time, fans will wish them the best of luck then move on to their next favorite player in the franchise. But in some cases, there are fans that will follow along on the player’s journey with their new team and keep up with their life on social media or how they’re playing. I’m that kind of fan.
I’ve had many favorite players come and go through the Padres like Anthony Rizzo, Ian Kennedy, Tommy Medica, Seth Smith, Chase Headley, and the list goes on and on.
In 2017, the Padres acquired Chase d’Arnaud from the Boston Red Sox. I only got to watch him play in San Diego for a short period of time. At the end of the 2017 season, Chase elected free agency and signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. I watched him play with the Sacramento River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the SF Giants. Since I followed him on Instagram, I kept up with his life as a new father and I enjoyed seeing his funny posts.
For Mother’s Day, he had posted the sweetest video of his wife Kaitlyn and their son Jagger. I had responded to the video on his Instagram story. Now, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t freak out when he responded to me, not only once, but twice in the same day. Little did I know what this small interaction would eventually manifest into.
Fast forward to July 7, 2018, the Giants called up Chase d’Arnaud to play in the big leagues with them. This was exciting for me because the Giants were going to play a series against the Padres at Petco Park towards the end of July. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I totally had called his return to Petco Park back in May.
I decided to take a little adventure to the ballpark by myself for a Tuesday day game against the Giants. I knew that I had to stand out if I wanted to meet Chase, so I made a poster of his head & brought him seeds. I arrived at the ballpark early so I could get a spot along the third baseline where the Giants players were warming up.
As soon as Chase ran out to the field to warm up, I started waving around the poster, while yelling his name. The kids next to me were really nice and yelled with me to help get his attention. Eventually, Chase saw us and jogged over to say hi. He remembered who I was from our interactions on Instagram and we took a picture.
After the first picture, he decided to recreate his face from the big head and proceeded to stuff his mouth with the seeds I brought him. The video and pictures that resulted were hilarious! Everyone had a good laugh, Chase signed a few autographs for some kids, then he said his goodbyes and went back to the dugout to prepare for the game.
Later on that night, I had posted my pictures and video on Instagram and tagged Chase in the post. He followed me back and went the extra mile to repost our pictures on his account as well!
The excitement didn’t stop there! About a week later, Chase posted a link to an MLB Cut4 article on his Instagram. When I clicked the link, it took me to an article with our picture and the story about the seeds! You can read the article here. As an aspiring journalist for MLB, I thought this was a hilarious way to make my debut on MLB.com.
*Note: The picture of Chase and me has since been removed from the MLB Cut4 article. The original picture was embedded from his Instagram post, which is no longer up. Luckily, I took a screenshot when it happened, so here’s proof that I was on MLB.com*
July 31, 2018, will always be a special day to me because of Chase d’Arnaud. He went above and beyond to socialize with me and the other fans around us. I understand that pregame time is valuable, so the fact that he gave us fans some of it, attests to his character. I’m glad that kids have him as a player to look up to.