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Padres pay tribute to military on memorable day

The Sports Xchange
Padres pay tribute to military on memorable day · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report

What started as an idea early Monday with an unidentified Padres player became a salute to the military at Petco Park.

Hours after a Navy SEALs team carried out the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, a Padres player called the front office Monday morning to see if it were possible for the team to wear its camouflage jerseys for that night's game against the Pirates at Petco Park.

The "camos" are usually reserved for Sunday afternoon games at Petco Park -- when the Padres regularly honor San Diego's large military population.

"I'm not sure where it started," manager Bud Black said before the Padres' 4-3 loss to the Pirates. "Chase (Headley) was one of the first. The idea gained a lot of support in a short period of time."

Heath Bell, the son of a former Marine, said, "Who knows who was first. A lot of called, a good percentage of the team. As soon as word got out, a lot of guys were calling to say it was a good idea."

"Who ever thought of the idea is quite the patriot," said Ryan Ludwick, whose father was an Air Force colonel. "It's been 10 years. (Sunday) night was an emotional deal for the nation."

Shortly after decision was made to wear the camouflage jerseys, the Padres decided to offer free tickets to all active and retired military with valid identification cards. Almost 2,800 accepted the last-minute invitation.

Before the start of the game, the Padres paid tribute to servicemen. The ceremonies included a moment of silence for all those who had given their life in defense of the country.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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