Danny Topaz, RIP

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Danny Topaz, RIP

A sad day for those of us who grew up as fans of the miserable San Diego Padres teams of the 1970s: the team's organist, Danny Topaz, has died.

There are the shared memories of those days: the Tuba Man, wandering through the nearly empty stands playing uplifting (!) music on his tuba; Jerry Coleman, famous for his malapropisms, but whose endless optimism could convince this 8-year-old that the Padres wouldn't have lost today--as they have 100 times already this season--if a couple of hard-hit balls hadn't unluckily gone straight to fielders; the chicken back when he was the KGB chicken and not the San Diego Chicken. And Danny Topaz is part of all of those memories.

I also remember meeting him. He was one of my father's patients, and a couple of times we got to visit him in his booth during ballgames. A really nice guy; pretty short, as I recall. But friendly and upbeat, as you had to be to come to the park 81 times a year in support of such a pathetic team.

I miss him.

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