Tagged: Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Field Tour

When we were in Arizona in February, we headed downtown for a tour of…

1 - chase field team store entrance panorama.jpg…Chase Field [formerly Bank One Ballpark (“The Bob”)]: home of the 2011 All-Star Game.

Just inside the gate (but still outside of the stadium), our guide showed us a display case holding the 2001 World Series trophy and a bunch of cool memorabilia from the Diamondback’s championship 2001 season:

2 - 2001 WS Trophy etc.JPGAnd next to the case, Tim posed with his third baseball Mickey Mouse:

3 - Tim and Diamondbacks Mickey.JPGCompared to Dick, my uber-cool tour guide at Target Field, our tour guide was a dictator.  He snapped at anyone (including me) who walked even five feet away from the group.  Therefore, my first panorama of the day (of section 132) was from way across the concourse:

4 - chase field section 132 concourse panorama.jpgWe received a special treat that day:  they were laying the grass for the 2011 playing field:

5 - laying field at chase field.JPGOur tour started out by section 132 (3B side), and headed clockwise around the field level concourse toward the RF foul corner.  Our tour guide told us a lot of stuff, but I didn’t really retain much.  So…lets just look at some pictures of this fairly interesting looking ballpark.

Here is a closer panoramic view of Chase Field section 132:

6 - chase field section 132 concourse panorama.jpgOne thing I do remember is that Chase Field is used for motocross and monster truck shows each January.  They bring in tons of dirt to make all of the jumps and it totally destroys the field from the previous season.  Therefore, the Diamondbacks get all new grass every season.

Here is a panoramic view from the infield side of section 136:

7 - chase field section 136 concourse panorama.jpgAnd another from the outfield side of section 136:

8 - chase field section 136 concourse panorama.jpgLooking across the field toward RF, we could see the party area where the famous Chase Field swimming pool is located:

8a - swimming pool from across field.JPGHere is section 137:

9 - chase field section 137 concourse panorama.jpgHere is Chase Field’s odd looking outfield wall in CF, which reminds me a lot of Miller Park:

10 - Chase Field weird center field wall.JPGOur group stopped to chat behind section 137, so I snapped this picture of the concourse:

11 - Chase Field concourse at section 137.JPGAnd then I got a closer panoramic view of the Chase Field infield and the work crew laying the new grass:

11a - Chase Field infield and grass laying.jpgI already showed the view from section 137.  Well, its hard to tell, but this is an ever so slightly different panoramic view from section 137:

12 - chase field section 137 concourse panorama.jpgSection 139:

13- chase field section 139 concourse panorama.jpgHow about one from section 140 too?  Here it is:

14 - chase field section 140 concourse panorama.jpgWhile we walked the LF concourse, we passed this cool picture of the 2001 world series trophy:

15 - Diamondbacks big world series trophy.JPGHey, another (slightly different) shot from section 140:

16 - chase field section 140 concourse panorama.jpgThe bullpens looked interesting because they had removed most of the outfield wall that usually contains them in the outfield corners.  Here are a couple shots of the LF bullpen:

17 - 3B line bullpen.JPGKeeping going…we passed by section 141…

18 - chase field section 141 concourse panorama.jpg…sections 143 and 144…

19 - chase field section 144-143 concourse panorama.jpg…and then we stopped at section 144 to chat about the stadium:

20 - chase field section above 144 panorama.jpg…and here is another, almost identical, panorama from section 144:

21 - chase field section above 144 panorama.jpgAs our guide told us about the ballpark, Tim took it all in (the ballpark, not the guide’s stories):

22 - Tim checks out Chase Field.JPGCheck out this thing:

24 - heavy load descending.JPGNot sure what it is, but they were dropping it down from the roof in the LF corner:

25 - chase field preparations.JPGBehind section 144, there is an all you can eat picnic pavilion:

26 - Chase Field all you can eat picnic pavilion.jpgHere is a view toward the RF corner bullpen…that was part of the staging area for the grass project:

27 - Chase Field grassless RF corner.JPGThis picture looks a lot like the section 144 shots, but it is a bit further toward CF…or even the RF side of CF, but I’m not sure what the section is called:

28 - chase field CF concourse panorama.jpgWhen you fly into Phoenix, you fly right by downtown and you can see Chase Field if you’re on the left side of the plane (at least that is what side it was on for me).  You can see those same airplanes from inside Chase Field:

29 - Chase Field fly by.JPGHere is another panorama as we crossed the concourse in CF:

30 - chase field above pool RCF panorama.jpgAnd another at the “hinge” in the wall at RCF:

31 - chase field above pool RCF panorama.jpgIn that last one, you can see a rock wall in the bottom left of the panorama, my mom and Tim stood in a little corner spot and looked down toward that area…

32 - looking down on Chase Field pool.JPG…it was the Chase Field swimming pool:

33 - Chase Field pool from above.JPGThe pool is essentially like a party suite.  A group can rent it out for a game.

I replaced my mom and Tim in that corner spot and took some more pictures of the grass laying operation…

34 - working on Chase Field.JPG…and these lights that help the grass grow:

37 - Chase Field grass lights.JPGNext, we made our way across the RF concourse toward foul territory.  On the way, I got this panoramic view of Chase Field from section 102:

38 - chase field section 102 panorama.jpgThose pictures of the swimming pool (from the “corner spot”) were taken at the close end of that section of seats hanging out over CF to the right side of that last picture.

Before hoping into an elevator in foul territory, I took this shot of the concourse in the RF foul corner:

39 - Chase Field concourse section 105.JPGWe headed up to the suite level.  Here is the suite level hallway:

40 - chase Field suite hallway RF corner.JPGWe visited this suite no. 23:

41 - Chase Field suite.JPGCompared to Safeco Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Target Field (the only fields where I have spent time in the suites), this sweet was really small and unimpressive.  Small, cramped suite.  Small seating area outside of the suite.

Here is the first of several panoramas I took of Chase Field from suite 23:

42 - Chase Field suite 23 panorama.jpgUnlike the suites, the scoreboard / jumbotron at Chase Field is really big and impressive:

43 - Chase Field scoreboard jumbotron.JPGHere is a shot of the RF corner from the suite:

45 - Chase Field RF with retired numbers.JPGNotice a couple things in RF:  (i) the area is called “UptoWn” because Justin Upton is the D-Backs rightfielder, (ii) the “Arizona Baseball Club” restaurant is on the second level and its open to all fans, and (iii) the only number the Diamondbacks have retired (other than Jackie Robinson’s universally retired no. 42) is Luis Gonzalez’s no. 20.  I’m not Diamondbacks aficionado but doesn’t it seem like Randy Johnson did as much (or more) for the Diamondbacks as Luis Gonzalez?  Maybe his number hasn’t been retired yet because he just retired from baseball in 2009.

Anyway, this patched together view of Friday’s Front Row shows that there is a kids play area in the upper deck, complete with a batting cage:

46 - more Fridays front row.JPGHere are some random shots of the seats behind home plate…

48 - Chase Field behind home and umpire tunnel.JPG…, the yellow arrow is pointing to what I figure is the umpire tunnel.

Next, we headed down into the bowels of Chase Field.  Here are some shots of the things we saw in the tunnel:

49 - Chase Field tunnel action.JPG

Top left:  directional signage;

Top middle:  Baxter’s jeep;

Top right:  MLB and league signs painted on the wall;

Bottom left:  entering the Visitor’s Clubhouse; and

Bottom right: a little motorcycle…Baxter’s??

Let’s head into the visitors clubhouse:

50 - Chase Field visitors clubhhouse.JPGThe green door in the picture above to the left is a players-only lounge…no reporters.

Here is a closer look at the player lockers…

51 - Chase Field visitor lockers.JPG…complete with lockable cabinets so your teammates or stadium staff don’t steal your stuff during the game!

We didn’t get to go into the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse (standard protocol for stadium tours) because the players keep their stuff in their year round and they don’t want tour participants disrupting the clubhouse.  We did, however, get to watch a 5 minute video tour of the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse, it’s a great looking clubhouse…blows the visitor’s clubhouse out of the water.

Next, we snaked through some more tunnels and hallways and out toward the field through this walkway:

52 - Chase Field walkway to dugout suite.JPGOur destination was the “dugout suite”:

53 - Chase Field dugout suite.JPGThe dugout suite is available for groups to rent.  Its pretty cool.  It shares a wall with the 3B dugout.  There is a sign to warm people not to bug the players during the game:

54 - no talking to the players.JPGHere is a view from the dugout suite into the 3B dugout:

55 - Chase Field 3B dugout.JPGAnd back-to-back-to-back, here are three panoramas of Chase Field from the dugout suite:

56 - chase field dugout suite panorama.jpg
57 - chase field dugout suite panorama.jpg
58 - chase field dugout suite panorama.jpgNext, we headed back up to the field level concourse and we were right where we started, in the concourse by the Team Store…

59 - Chase Field concourse and team store.JPG…and section 130:

60 - chase field section 130 concourse panorama.jpgAnd there you go, that was our tour of Chase Field.  If you’re in Arizona, be sure to stop by for a tour because (while this blog entry showed it in pictures) the tour guide offered a lot of inside info about the team and the stadium.

One last parting comment.  Our guide asked if there were any questions a couple times.  Tim (I think) was the only person who had any questions.  One of his questions was “why did the Diamondbacks change colors?”  Recall, they used to be a really ugly purple and other accent colors combo.  Apparently, the color change was “suggested” (strongly) by MLB because the Rockies complained about another team being so close to them geographically and also having purple as a primary color.  At the end of he day, I think they made the right choice.  The current Diamondbacks colors are much better than the original colors.


Tim’s Second MLB Anniversary (9/12/08)

On September 12, 2008, my mom, dad, Tim and I headed to Chase Field for Tim’s Second MLB Anniverary.  Here was our first view of the stadium as we approached from the parking garage:

1 - chase field.jpgWe were going to see the Arizona Diamondbacks face off against the Cincinnati Reds.  Early in the season, I picked this game for Tim’s baseball anniversary game for three reasons (i) if we cannot make it to Safeco Field for Tim’s anniversary, I plan to take Tim to a different stadium each year on his MLB anniversary game, (ii) the Mariners were on the road, and (iii) I wanted Tim to see Griffey.  As I said, we planned this early in the season.  By the time this game rolled around, Griffey had been playing for the White Sox for more than a month.

Oh, well.  Still, it was a great game.  Brandon Webb pitched for the Diamondbacks and if he could earn the win, he would become the NL’s first 20-game winner of the season.

My folks took a picture of me and Tim in front of these big bats in front of the stadium entrance:

2 - chase field bats.jpgAs the security lady checked my bag, Tim was itching to enter the first domed stadium of his life…

3 - let us in.jpg…I’m not counting Safeco Field as “domed” because the roof is really just a canopy, its always open-air at Safeco Field.

We entered the stadium in the LF foul corner and made our way around the concourse toward the third base side.  I was happy to see a Randy Johnson poster as we made our way around the concourse: 

4 - into chase field.jpgActually, I wanted to go to the game the next day too so Tim could see Randy pitch, but Tim and I took a long nap and my folks let us sleep right through the beginning of the game.  Its okay because Randy got a no decision after pitching 6 innings of 1-run baseball.

Anyway, I love domes.  I have to, I grew up in the Kingdome.  But here is a bad thing about domes…

4a - dark concourses.jpg…dark and boring concourses, no natural light.

The grounds crew was readying the field as we made our way into the field level seats.  Here is a panoramic view of Chase Field as we crossed behind the 1B dugout:

5 - chase 3B field panarama.jpgI liked Chase Field, but it did seem quite dark to me with the roof closed.  By the way, I’m not sure why the roof was closed.  It was beautiful outside and not so hot that we needed protection from the heat.

Before the game, we toured around the park a little bit…

6 - check out chase.jpg…here, we’re looking down at a special group seating area behind the RF fence.

This picture says it all…

7 - amazed by the dome.jpg…Tim was impressed by his first domed stadium.  The Kingdome must be in his blood.

Eventually, the game started.  And I must apologize, I did a really poor job photographing it.  (Of course, in my defense, I didn’t have an MLBlog at the time…or even know that MLBlogs existed).

Our seats were in section 111, row 7.  But Tim and I watched the first couple innings from the first row of section 111.  We were stationed right behind the ballgirl (or ball lady) down the RF foul line.  We discussed it with her before the game and she agreed that she would give Tim a foul ball if or when she got one.  Sadly, not one single foul grounder was hit down the 1B line.  It ended up being the first time in his 2.5 years that Tim did not get a baseball on September 12th.

Eventually, someone came to claim our seats so we met up with my follks in row 7.

The game was a pitchers dual between Webb and Aaron Harang.  By the sixth inning, there were a couple hits recorded on the scoreboard, but no runs.

Of course, Tim got an ice cream helmet…

8 - diamonback ice cream helmet time.jpg…and an ample amount of chocolate ice cream on his face.

By the way, the Diamondbacks ice cream helmet is different than all of the other ice cream helmets Tim and I have collected to date.  Here are some photos showing a comparison with the holy grail of ice cream helmets, a Mariners helmet from Safeco Field:

8a - dbacks helmet comparison.JPGHopefully the difference is decipherable in these pictures.  The Diamondbacks helmet is longer than other helmets.  Generally, ice cream helmets can be stacked on top of each other.  The Diamondbacks helmet can sit on top of a stack of helmets, but other helmets do not fit over the Diamondbacks helmet.

Back to the game.  As the fancy scoreboard in CF showed…

9 - chase field scoreboard.jpg…the Diamondbacks broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning.  The run was unearned due to an error by Aaron Harang who was also pitching a gem.  With one out, David Eckstein hit a weak grounder to Harang and Harang threw the ball into right field.  Eckstein made it all the way to third.  He then scored on a single by Chris Young.

In the middle of the game, Tim got a little restless in the seats so my dad took him to the kids play area, which is behind the seats in the upper deck out in left field.  Tim had lots of fun sliding and generally monkeying around:

10 - chase kids play area.jpgAmazingly, I took zero action shots at this game.  So here is a random picture of us enjoying the game…

11 - 3 cook guys in arizona.jpg…I have no clue why I’m wearing my sunglasses indoors in that picture.  And here are some more pictures:

12 - lap lounging.jpgAfter seven innings of an excellent pitchers dual, the Reds relievers entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and promptly stunk it up.  After giving up a lead off triple to the pinch-hitting Jeff Salazar and striking out Stephen Drew, the Reds relievers walked three consecutive batters.  The final walk scored Salazar making the game 2-0 in favor of the Diamondbacks.  Mark Reynolds then struck out.  Chad Tracy then strode to the plate and promptly watched the first pitch sail to the back stop.  Another run scored on the wild pitch.  Tracy then struck out.  For the Reds, it wasn’t the most impressive way of striking out the side.

Next it was the Diamonbacks relievers turn to pitch terribly.  After 8 innings of scoreless baseball by Brandon Webb, the Diamonbacks bullpen gave up four singles in the bottom of the ninth.  But, alas, they were unable to blow Brandon Webb’s stellar performance.  The 3-2 victory was Webb’s 20th of 2008.  It was the first (and only) time Webb has won 20 in a season, and he was the only NL pitcher to accomplish that task in 2008.

After the game, we stuck around for fireworks.  After a bunch of waiting…

13 - waiting for fireworks.jpg…they opened the roof and the show began…

14 - chase field fireworks.jpg…it was fine, but not all that impressive compared to the excellent fire works show we’d seen the prior month in Cincinnati.  Part of the problem was that the fireworks were shot off the top of a building (I think a parking garage) across the street from Chase Field and they barely made it above the framing of the roof.

Nevertheless, despite no Griffey, no catching a baseball, and not overly impressive fireworks display, we had an excellent time spending Tim’s Second MLB Anniversary with my folks in Arizona.

For see the rest of Tim’s MLB Anniversary games (through 2009), follow the links below: