I was the highest paid athlete in America for one night. It was at that very same Grand Hatching game.

Since I had a feeling the event would be special, I negotiated an attendance deal in advance with the Padres’ doubting executives. If I was right, I would hit the lottery. If I wasn’t, I’d get a big, fat goose egg.

Sure enough, my pre-game event sold out the stadium that night. It brought 33,000 fans more than the Padres’ average crowd. I was paid $40,000. Not a poultry sum.

But do you think I bought a new house, car or even a bag of feed with it? Nope. Try lawyers’ time. Because I was in court defending my right to work in feathers against my ex-radio station sponsor, every nickel went to my Chicken defense fund. But the proceeds of that single night literally kept me alive to win the flap. Otherwise, I would have had to forfeit a defense and there wouldn’t be a Famous Chicken today.

Now you know why I always say the San Diego fans literally put me on the map.