2016 MLB Ballpark Road Trips: the NL West

Photo by Eric Kabakoff

Photo by Eric Kabakoff

 

Arizona’s Chase Field

This park opened as Bank One Ballpark when the Diamondbacks joined the league and brought major league baseball to the area in 1998. It has both a retractable roof (it can get a little hot there in the summer) and natural grass, a then-remarkable combo. It was actually the first ballpark in the United States to have a retractable roof. Mercifully, it had good air conditioning too. This was also the first park to feature a swimming pool. It’s in a private area behind right field and is available for private functions only, so don’t get too excited about bringing a bathing suit.

The Diamondbacks don’t have a ton of successful history in their eighteen years of existence. It basically comes down to Randy Johnson and the 2001 World Series, so there are multiple callouts to both of those. There’s also a “Legends Race.” Milwaukee has its Racing Sausages and Washington, D.C. has its Racing Presidents, but here in Phoenix there are racing likenesses of former Diamondbacks Mark Grace, Johnson, Matt Williams and Luis Gonzalez. Mirroring his pre-Diamondbacks career with the Cubs, Grace has yet to win. Also, it’s worth noting that none of these players were known for their speed back in their playing days. There are also murals in the main rotunda that you can see as you enter, calling attention to the history of the area and providing a nice local touch.

Check Out: the D-Bat Dog, a $25 corn dog that is eighteen inches long and comes stuffed with bacon, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. A cardiologist costs extra.

Fun Fact: This is the only park in the major leagues that houses a physical fitness facility, in this case a branch of Mountainside Fitness. You can and probably should go there after eating your D-Bat Dog.

Leave a Reply