‘Save the date’ to honor Italian heritage with baseball

Posted: March 2nd, 2018 | Featured, Little Italy News | No Comments

By Christopher Gomez | Little Italy News

The Little Italy Association will be partnering with other Italian cultural groups, Convivio and the Italian Cultural Center, to celebrate Italian heritage through the sport of baseball in San Diego this spring.

On Thursday, May 31, the organizations will come together to celebrate America’s favorite pastime — baseball — at the San Diego Padres “Italian Heritage Night” at Petco Park at 6:10 p.m. as part of the Padres vs. Marlins game. It’ll be a night-long celebration filled with Italian culture, special guests from Italy, a musical star from “America’s Got Talent” and, of course — baseball!

Padres mascot (Courtesy LIA)

Guests will have the option to purchase general admission tickets for $32–$33 or an elevated VIP experience for $95 on Petco Park’s Pacific Porch.

General admission tickets include a commemorative hat and a complimentary mini-Italian flag.

VIP ticket holders will receive additional perks, like unlimited food during the hour before and hour after the first pitch; unlimited Pacifico beer and soft drinks one hour before the first pitch until the seventh-inning stretch; a commemorative hat and limited-edition swag. Only a limited number of these tickets are available, so plan ahead.

For every ticket sold, $3 will be split between the Rady Children’s Hospital President’s Fund, which supports any Rady Children’s Hospital department with the highest need at that time; and the Washington Elementary School Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes Italian culture education in schools and supports homeless youth.

Join the Little Italy Association for Italian Heritage Night with the San Diego Padres (Courtesy LIA)

Sal Valentinetti, Italian-American vocalist and 2016 “America’s Got Talent” contestant, will sing the national anthem at the game. An Italian-American from New York, Sal’s family and friends refer to him as “Sal the Voice” for his flawless vocals and style influenced by Frank Sinatra.

There will also be special guests from Italy. The first pitch will be thrown by Team Italy Baseball players Nico Garbella, and Giovanni Garbella; and Team Italy Softball player, Erika Piancastelli.

San Diego locals and visitors alike are encouraged to honor Italian heritage with friends and family by attending Italian Heritage Night at Petco Park for a night filled with history, a live musical performance, a Padres game, food and more. To purchase tickets, visit

The Little Italy Association is excited to join Convivio and the Italian Cultural Center to celebrate Italian culture and bring the community together. With Convivio advancing Italian culture in San Diego through educational events and programs, and The Italian Culture Center promoting Italian culture through language courses, arts and culture events, and special guests — this year’s Italian Heritage Night will be authentic and unforgettable.

To stay connected with the Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD. To learn more about the Little Italy Association, visit

— Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at


Leave a Comment