Diamond Engagement


By David Perloff / Photos by Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan

It’s 5 p.m. on a perfect Thursday afternoon in paradise, and the Padres are preparing to battle the first-place San Francisco Giants.

Blind daters Sarah and Jon just met for the first time at the VIP entrance to Petco Park. Before they’re escorted onto the field for a Major League, behind-the-scenes view of batting practice, let’s review their pre-date interviews.

PacificSD: Where are you from?
SARAH: I am originally from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Now I have my own place here in downtown San Diego and absolutely love it.
JON: I was born in Michigan, moved to O.C. in fourth grade and then to San Diego for college at Point Loma Nazarene University.

What do you do for a living?
SARAH: I am a Realtor. I work at the Downtown Condo Showroom, where I specialize in selling condos throughout downtown.
JON: I’m currently working on my fourth start-up, called MOGL. It’s a “loyalty program with a purpose” that hooks you up with 10 percent cash-back at tons of great San Diego restaurants. Every time you buy a meal at a MOGL restaurant that’s over $20, we buy a meal on your behalf for someone in need in San Diego. One in six San Diegans are meal insecure. It’s a real problem, and MOGL’s mission is to not just fight it, but end it.

What do you do for fun?
SARAH: I love working out, enjoy running on the beach, spending time with friends. My “ladies
nights” are one of my favorites. I have recently taken up standup paddleboarding, which is now my new favorite summer hobby.
JON: It sounds cheesy, but I have fun at work. When I’m not working, I love traveling, surfing,
partying with friends, more traveling and sometimes doing absolutely nothing.

What are you looking for in a date?

SARAH: Well, I tend to have a type. They all look the same-tall, dark and handsome. I have to be attracted to them, hands down. But more importantly, I want someone that complements me, can laugh with me, have a good time together and just be themselves.
JON: A good time. I tend to be pretty serious during the day, so I like to play around at night and just have fun.

What’s the sexiest thing about you?
SARAH: I would say my confidence, but if you are asking for physical, then most people
would butt.
JON: My large feet.

What’s your biggest fear?
SARAH: Failure.
JON: Failure.

How many bases do you visit on a typical first date?
SARAH: It depends on how good the pitch is.
JON: It all depends.

Commemorative, 75th-anniversary Padres posters in hand, Jon and Sarah are led through the players’ entrance to Petco Park, past the team locker rooms and umpires’ lounge (which has brail on the outside of the door-can these guys see at all?) and out onto the field to watch our hometown heroes warm up.

CRACK! The sound of the bat hitting the baseball is startling from this vantage point, but the
daters seem not to notice, paying more attention to each other than to the Padres and Giants taking practice swings. So far, so good.

After posing for photos and being scolded for touching equipment in the home team dugout, the two head upstairs to grab a drink.


The players take the mound (of cash)

Armed with a fistful of Padres bucks (valid for hats, t-shirts, bobble-heads and food from any restaurant in the stadium), the daters stop by the bay-view Coronados Bar & Grill to get acquainted and discuss how to spend their loot.

First purchase: drinks and over-sized shots. Jon celebrates the round by making it rain $5 bills.

After paying their tab with funny money, the couple walks (arm-in arm, we’re thrilled to report) toward their seats. On the way, they take a quick detour to Baja Bistro Nope, more drinks and shots.

Cocktails in hand, they finally make it to their seats, just in time for the National Anthem. As the first inning draws to a close, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.

PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
SARAH: He’s got a great personality, he makes me laugh and I’m having a great time with him so far.
JON: I’m having a great time. It’s really fun. She’s just cool and laidback and fun and has no kind of barriers and walls that you find with a lot of girls. Like, the tough nut to crack, she’s the opposite of that-really just open-minded and fun and cool and funny, with a sprinkle of sexy.

What were your first impressions?
SARAH: When I first saw him, I thought he was super-adorable. He’s the type that I would normally date, looks-wise, and his personality just fed off of what I thought he was going to be like.
JON: Warm and inviting. She was very welcoming to me when we walked up. We hugged it out right away.

What color are your date’s eyes?
SARAH: I don’t know. Brown? Oh, blue?
JON: Hazel, just like mine.

How was batting practice?
SARAH: It was great. I was a little nervous at the beginning, but we started chatting about our careers and what we did, so I felt that we were able to start communicating with each other-so I had fun down there.
JON: It was cool to be on the field. you felt like a VIP, and it was fun. I’ve never been right there when they were at batting practice. The dugout was really cool, too.

What’s the most attractive thing that you’re date has done so far?
SARAH: He’s just been engaging in conversation with me, he’s put his arm around me, he acts
interested in me, he asked me a lot of questions about me and what I enjoy doing in my free time.
JON: The sexiest thing she’s done is put her arm around me and- kind of gave me the green light.

What would your parents say?
SARAH: My parents would think that he fits the total type that I date. They would think he is a big sweetheart.
JON: They’d say, “Behave, Jon, behave.”

Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 in terms of looks.
SARAH: I would give him a nine.
JON: Nine-plus. And for personality?
SARAH: Nine.
JON: Nine-plus.

Would you like to kiss your date right now?
SARAH: Are you really asking me that question? He’s kissed my forehead, if that counts. I’m
blushing. Does that count?
JON:: Absolutely.

Does your date want to kiss you right now?
SARAH: I’m pretty sure.
JON: Absolutely.

If you had to choose between leaving now with $100 cash or making-out with your date, what
would you do?
SARAH: I think Jon and I would both decide to take your hundred dollars, then go behind your back in the bathroom and make-out.
JON: I’d totally stay and make-out. Maybe even for like 500 bucks, I’d stay and make-out.

What would make this date more fun?
SARAH: More fun? I’m pretty sure we’re having a lot of fun.
JON: If you guys would leave.

The game goes into extra innings

It’s the end of the bottom of the third inning (the Padres are beating the Giants 1 to 0) when the magazine crew finally leaves Jon and Sarah alone to enjoy the rest of their date in relative privacy.

Just before we head to our own seats, we see the daters kiss. Unfortunately, we were too busy watching the game to get a good picture of the real action.

PacificSD: Overall, how was the date?
SARAH: The date was a lot of fun. We definitely got along great, laughed and enjoyed one another’s company. He was very easy to talk to. I particularly liked hearing his story about a shark almost attacking him, his friends pulling him out of the water and him making-out with
the boat. It was classic, I must say.
JON: It was a blast. Sarah was easy to get along with, and the date location didn’t suck. Getting to go into the dugout and watch batting practice on the field was cool.

How was watching the game?
SARAH: The seats were awesome-great view, and I am pretty sure we were too into each other to notice people around us.
JON: We were half into the game and half into each other. The Padres were winning, and the date was fun. What more could you ask for?

Is seeing a Padres game at Petco a good first date?
SARAH: I think it makes for a fantastic date, even if you don’t like baseball. The atmosphere is fun, fans are cheering, and the people are friendly.
JON: It’s got an energy about it-you can’t help but have fun. And there are a ton of really cool
bars and restaurants, so it’s so much more than just watching a game.

What was the best part of the date?
SARAH: I liked the entire date, but it was pretty amazing to be down on the field watching the players during their warm up and batting practice, not to mention going into their dugout. How many people can say they have done that?
JON: Making it rain Padres dollars.

Worst part?
SARAH: Probably the fact that we didn’t eat anything until the very end of the game; we grubbed on some nachos and hotdogs.
JON: Running out of Padres dollars.

Describe any romantic connection.
SARAH: I definitely think we hit it off. There was no question about that. I felt like I could be myself around him, which I liked. I think he could agree with me on that.
JON: We got snuggly when we were watching the game. There was a definite connection there.

Will there be a second date?
SARAH: Yes, I believe so. He said he was going to call me, so we will
have to wait and see.
JON: Yup.

Right before the magazine crew left, you guys were smooching in
your seats. Explain.
SARAH: We were? Apparently he had a good pitch.
JON: No comment.

What did you guys do after the magazine crew left?
SARAH: PacificSD Magazine is PG- 13, so I can’t tell you where we went.
JON: After the game, we parted ways.

You catch that? Sarah is remaining tight-lipped (now, anyway) about where the couple went after the magazine crew left, but Jon says it was root, root, root for the home team...and then game over. Looks like we’re going to have to cry foul on this one, sports fans.

The game went into extra innings-the Giants scored five runs in the bottom of the 12th to beat the Pads 6 to 1-but all we want to know is if the daters made it past first base.

Alas, like the umpires who need brail to find their locker room, we’ll never really know what happened. Still, the date was a homerun in our book.

Go Padres!

(celebrity observations)

“Gimme Jon’s phone number and I’ll tell you what really happened after the photographer left.”
-Rupert Murdoch
“I’d hit that! Hey, get your mind out of the gutter-I’m talking about the baseball.”
-New York Yankees shortstop (and member of
the 3,000-hit club) Derek Jeter
-NFL players, collectively
“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.”
-Oprah Winfrey
“You’re out! I’m not.”
-Marcus Bachmann,
(supposedly) straight husband of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann