The first time David Wells went on the field at Jack Murphy Stadium, he nearly got arrested.
"I ran on the field when I was a kid," Wells said Monday. "I jumped the rail. Between innings, the right fielder plays catch with the bat boy. I ran on to get the ball. Got in trouble but they didn't throw me out. My mom was embarrassed."
The New York Yankees ace left-hander has been to the stadium now known as Qualcomm, hundreds of times, chugging some brews as he watched games with friends. San Diego is -- and always will be -- Wells' hometown.
"There's no place like it," he said. "It's God's country."
Wells and the Yankees arrived early Monday on a chartered jumbo jet, getting to their hotel rooms about 5:15 a.m. Wells, an out-and-about type of guy, made it around town before heading to the stadium for Monday's twilight workout.
"I went to my old neighborhood, got a sandwich, went out to the Cliffs, enjoyed the scenery," he said.
Yankees Game 3 starter David Cone said Wells is a big part of the team, one they count on heavily.
"At night you try to keep him out of jail," Cone said with a laugh Monday.
Wells, the Game 1 winner, would pitch Thursday night if the Series goes to a Game 5, if the Yankees don't sweep the Padres. He's used to being a fan in San Diego more than a participant.
But he never had a favorite seat in the ballpark.
"Everywhere. Didn't matter as long as I got in," he said. "I used o go out there when (Dave) Winfield played, the Winfield Pavilion," he said, a reference to what the right-field bleachers were known as in the late 1970s.
Wells, who lives in Palm Harbor, Fla., still goes to San Diego several times each off-season. Someone asked if this should be considered his base. Is it where he votes?
"I've never voted in my life," he said. "I never will. I'm not for politicians. They're going to do what they're going to do. One person doesn't make a difference."
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