SAN DIEGO — Before every Sunday home game at Petco Park, the Padres take the field and are greeted by nine service members — one at every defensive position. The players thank the service members, have a brief chat and then it’s game time.
That moment, now a staple of Military Appreciation Sunday in San Diego, is always a reverent one. But this Sunday afternoon was particularly special for the Manaea family.
Padres left-hander Sean Manaea started the series finale against the Dodgers. When he took the mound, he was greeted by his brother Dane, currently in the Navy as a hospital corpsman third class at nearby Camp Pendleton.
The two met just in front of the Petco Park mound and hugged before engaging in a brief conversation. Then Dane jogged off the field and Sean began his regular warm-up.
Sean Manaea arrived in San Diego in a trade with Oakland on the weekend before the regular season. He’s off to a fast start, having posted a 1.42 ERA in his first three outings for the Padres.