Slain Padres Outfielder Honored

Hernandez killed in action during WWII

By Michael Gehlken
|  Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010  |  Updated 12:41 AM PDT
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The American flag waves above a domestic auto dealership in Rockville, Md., Sunday, April 12, 2009. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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At Petco Park, paying tribute to the military doesn't stop on Memorial Day.

As part of the Padres' season-long Military Appreciation Series, the Friars are recognizing the U.S. Army at Monday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. A ceremony honoring Manuel "Nay" Hernandez, a Padres outfielder killed during World War II, is scheduled for before the game.

The event, which will will kick off at about 6:30 p.m., will be attended by Hernandez's son Manuel Jr. and sister Tina, who will be presented with a flag flown at the ballpark on Memorial Day. A plaque recognizing Hernandez's sacrifices will also be unveiled and will later hang in Power Alley in the outfield.

Hernandez graduated from San Diego High in 1938, then made his Padres debut in left field on Opening Day in 1944. He was called to duty later that year and was killed in action in Germany in early 1945.

A recruit swearing-in ceremony and cake presentation celebrating the Army’s 235th birthday will also take place before the game's first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Monday's ceremonies are the second of a six-part series, with each installment devoted to recognizing a different U.S. military branch. The Padres honored the Navy last month and will continue with a Marine Corps event July 18.

Discounted tickets are available online (code: Fisher). A portion of the proceeds from the Padres’ Military Appreciation Series will benefit the Naval Medical Station San Diego's Fisher House chapter, which provides minimal-cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment.

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