We went to the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game last Wednesday night. We have a great winning streak with these games. So far, they haven’t lost one game we’ve attended. You’ll be happy to know we kept our streak intact even though they lost the next two games. They were playing San Francisco, and we were hoping to boo Barry Bonds since our seats were good ones, 27 rows back just off third base. Alas, he heard we were coming and was a last-minute scratch. This is from our seats. I apologize for the poor picture quality. It was from my camera phone.
The Diamondbacks play in a really cool stadium. It used to be called Bank One Ballpark, or the BOB. That’s kind of catchy. You can say, “Hey, we’re going to the BOB tonight.” But then Chase bought out Bank One and renamed it Chase Field. Not so catchy. At least our debit cards still have the Diamondbacks logo on them.
Anyhow, it’s quite a contrast to Angel Stadium (or whatever they’re calling it now) and Dodger Stadium, the only two other places I’ve been to baseball games. In those places, the stadiums are surrounded by huge parking lots and it takes you a good half hour of walking just to get from your car to your seat. Leaving after the came is an additional half hour of bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get out of the parking lot.
But Chase Field was built like the stadiums back East. Right smack in the middle of downtown. It has a parking structure ,but we usually park in one of the lots that local businesses open up. For $5 we are a five-minute walk from the front gate and from there, two minutes to our seats. On top of that, the whole stadium has an old-fashioned feel with lots of brickwork and open steel girders. There's also a pool and fountain outside right-center field. Not exactly old fashioned, but it’s Arizonan. But the best part is the retractable roof. One time we got there early enough to attend the roof-opening ceremony. It’s something to see. The panels start to slide back on top of each other to the strains of some great orchestral composition. The big screen shows close-ups. It’s quite the production. We didn’t arrive in time for the ceremony last week, but the effect was still the same: baseball under the stars. This is the roof open. You can see the panels stacked on top of each other on the right-hand side.
I think this was one game both kids really enjoyed. Our daughter had her mind set from before we left the house on buying a Diamondback Rattle, a purple and aqua noisemaker in the shape of a giant rattlesnake tail. Buying one pleased her to no end, and she paid attention to the game, asking Peter, “Should I shake it now?” Of course, she’s still a girl, so she commented to me: “That’s a really unusual color for a rattlesnake, purple and turquoise. A really dark turquoise, almost a greenish.” Can’t put anything over on her.
“Calvin” still struggles with loud noises, covering his ears with his hands when the crowds got loud. Our seats were in a prime position for foul balls. We had four or five hit really close to us. That didn’t bother Calvin. Just the noise. But mostly the game and the goings on kept his attention until about the seventh inning when Peter had to walk around with him for a bit.
One of the interesting things about baseball games is the people who attend them. When someone from San Francisco hit a home run, the person who caught the ball threw it back. I haven’t seen that happen much outside of Wrigley Field.
And there’s the wave. The ultimate in peer pressure created by a group of drunk people. I don’t get it.
I think we got a great compliment when a couple of diehard D’backs fans who were sitting behind us told us we had the cutest kids, and that my daughter was a great fan with her rattle. I was happy. I breathe a sigh of relief any time we don’t annoy everyone within our general vicinity.