August 10, 1977 was a scheduled doubleheader [remember those?] as San Diego hosted Atlanta. It was also Sears Diamond Night. Did they actually give out diamonds to the fans? If they tried that at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees had a bad game they'd be pelting the players with diamonds.
The Sears Diamonds brought good luck to the home team that night. In the first game, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was seeing the knuckleball well, belting fellow Hall of Famer Phil Niekro for two doubles and four RBI in the Padres' 8-6 win.
In the second game, the tired hitters scuffled to a 1-1 tie into the bottom of the eleventh. In that frame, rookie Duane Theiss, who escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the tenth, failed to retired a batter in the eleventh. Dave Winfield hit his third double of the night, and Gene Tenace won it with a bases-loaded, walk-off walk.
So for anywhere from $2.75 to $4.25, Padres fans got 20 innings of baseball, two wins, and a Sears diamond. Great value!
Tommy Helms and Vada Pinson
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