Here is what my sister wrote to win the contest (click here for the story on the web page) :
I've been lucky enough to grow up a Padre fan. I've been there for many memories, like Trevor Hoffman's 500th save and Greg Maddux's 350th career win. But since I was about two years old I have wanted nothing more than to meet Tony Gwynn. If his amazing achievements on the field weren't enough to keep him my number one favorite player, Tony's 2000th and 3000th hits were on August 6th, his mother's birthday which is also my birthday. I've always boasted about sharing a birthday with Tony Gwynn's Mom!
So practically all my life I've wanted to meet Tony Gwynn, but I've always seemed to come so close and then miss the opportunity. If I'd arrive early enough for batting practice, Tony wouldn't be out. If there was an autograph signing, I would find out about it after the fact. It just seemed impossible to meet him.
Finally I heard about a signing at El Cajon Ford, and even though I was there early and Tony signed well past the allotted time, they stopped the signing when I was about ten people away from him. For years it has been a joke in my family how I never get to meet him. I honestly thought that the closest I'd ever get to Tony Gwynn was his statue at Petco Park.
But last year at the 1998 celebration game I was early enough to get in line to meet some of the 1998 players. The lines weren't marked at the time so I just got in the one that was closest to me. After standing around for a while an usher informed me I was in fact in the line for Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn. Well I just about fainted! And then I really started to freak out. I waited and waited and waited. It was only about an hour wait but it felt a lot longer and I was sure I'd be next in line and they would say it was too late. But thankfully I finally got to the autograph table and the usher told me to step up to the table. It was a quick exchange, like most autograph appearances are, but it was the most amazing experience I've had as a Padre fan. After 20 years, I had finally met Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre!
I returned to my seat and called everyone in my family to tell them the great news. The ball that Tony signed is by far one of my most precious possessions. The only question I have left now that I've met him is: what do I do now?
- Caitlin Wion, 40 Years of Padres Memories Contest Winner
That is a fine memory! And I'm proud to say that my sister has good writing skills as well!