USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- A legendary sports announcer and the San Diego Padres team members visited Nimitz-class carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Dec 13.
Dick Enberg, a sports announcer, and Padres team members flew out to the ship, stayed overnight and signed autographs for Carl Vinson Sailors.
Carl Vinson is currently on a three-week composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) followed by a Western Pacific deployment.
"It's a great feeling to be able to bring baseball to the crew," said Dave Roberts, Padres coach. "We get the chance to show our appreciation and come face-to-face with the men and women whose job it is to protect our freedom."
The Padres have an ongoing relationship with service members in uniform. Before every Sunday home game, members of the military take the field at Petco Park to a standing ovation from the Padres organization and their fans.
"It's good to see the team come out here to see us because it shows that they support us and what we do," said Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Janice Alvey, of Operations Department.
The Padres visitors posed for photos and signed baseball gloves, ball caps and fan gear for Carl Vinson Sailors on the mess decks.
"I grew up with baseball so it means a lot to see the players come out to support us," added Operations Specialist 3rd Class Jeffery Tratenburg, of Operations Department. "I am a huge baseball fan, so it's a big deal for me to come out and meet talented players."
Luke Gregerson, a pitcher for the Padres, explained how he enjoys showing appreciation for the military that protects him, his team and his country.
"One of the most rewarding experiences of being a ball player is having the support of the men and women in uniform," said Gregerson. "Coming on board is our way of showing our appreciation. We have the support of the military during the season and during the off season we come out and show our support."
Enberg, a renowned sports broadcaster, joined the Padres in showing their support as he shook hands and thanked Sailors for their service during an autograph session on the carrier's aft mess deck.
"We are incredibly impressed to see how this all works," said Enberg. "To see the rhythm of so many people working together and making so much happen. There is a roster of almost 5,000 people and the camaraderie is the same as a baseball team of 25 people. We are left incredibly impressed."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.