One thousand tried. None succeeded. And yet, for many, a childhood dream is fulfilled.
During Saturday’s first Swing for Your Seats event, San Diego Padres fans stepped up to the plate at Petco Park with hopes of hitting a home run.
“A lot of people come down to the ballpark and watch the players do it, and makes it look a little easier than it actually is,” said Sindi Schug, the Padres’ director of membership services.
With an MLB wooden bat between their hands and an MLB helmet on their heads, fans were given two 70 mph pitches from a pitching machine set up on the mound, but every person only got one swing.
If they hit one out of the park, they would run home with two Padres premiere club season tickets.
“I think that the chances are slim to none, but, you know, it’s just the opportunity to do this, and this is kind of like living a childhood dream,” said fan Ian Smith.
Although many kept their expectations low, the hitters wanted the ball to at least connect with the bat.
“It went pretty well. I mean, I made contact at least. I didn’t hit a home run, but I didn’t swing and miss,” said Tim Sherman.
Schug said one man hit a pitch to the warning track, but no one made it over the fence.
Still, most people walked away with a smile, vowing to do better next year and calling for this event to become a San Diego tradition.
“I hit the ball. I fouled it off, but my heart feels like it's going to explode out of my chest right now,” said another participant named David. “It was, like, surreal -- just lifelong dream come true.”
The Padres will show everyone how it’s really done at the sold-out season opener on March 30 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.