12 April 2008

Friday Night Sights

Some snaps walking to tonights ballgame in downtown Phoenix.

First up is the world's ugliest ampitheatre, aka Patriot's Park. It was built in the 80's and will be torn down in the 00's.

Next is the art deco Luhrs Tower, right across Jefferson Street. It was the tallest building in Arizona when constructed in 1929, two years before the Empire State Building . OK, so it's a little shorter. What of it?

This gentleman wanted me to turn to God or his website, perhaps both. Alas, I was blinded by The Light.

Cute little band playing inside the stadium rotunda. They were good too!

How does one celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inaugural Diamondbacks in their purple and turquoise? Why, distribute 35,000 red T-Shirts, of course. What a silly question!

Fuzzy pic of the 1998 team, honored in a pregame ceremony. Buck Showalter is center foreground. In back(l to r) are Matt Williams, Gregg Olson, unidentified, Jay Bell, Kelly Stinnett, Jorge Fabregas, Omar Daal, Andy Benes (the huge guy), Travis Lee, Joel Adamson and Brent Brede. Four most popular no shows were Devon White, Brian Anderson, Andy Fox and David Dellucci.

The player turnout was disappointing and the ceremony itself kind of underwhelming actually. It was nice to see Thom Brennaman host the festivities, though. He said the right things about both ownership groups and received a very warm ovation, as big as that for any player.

Andy Benes throws to Fabregas, recreating the birth of major league baseball in Phoenix.

Gordon Biersch doesnt appear to be a big hit with the fans. This is only a third of their space. They actually had six or eight order takers standing around with no customers each time I walked by.

We sat behind home plate, upper level, and this spirited kid's group behind us generated lots of noise. But you can see lots of empty seats just beyond home towards third base.

Dbacks shoot off fireworks after Friday nite games. Not as flashy as Disneyland, but comparable to the nightly displays at San Diego's Sea World. They turn down the lights, play dramatic music and light roman candles for about fifteen minutes. I was very impressed with the show and atmospherics. This picture doesnt do it justice. Highly recommended for kids or romantics.
The white dot towards the bottom of the frame is not the moon, but the analog clock suspended above the scoreboard.


Tracy said...

I was kind of hoping the team would wear throwback jerseys, but that would probably have made Derrick Hall's and his band of Merrymen's heads explode. I missed the pre-game and only saw parts of the rest of the game. Was Jerry there?

Seeing some of the old footage on TV and hearing some of the comments of the players was pretty cool. It brought back really fond memories of Opening Day in '98.

I need to get to Fry's and check out that 10th anniversary DVD. Have you seen it?

Russell said...

If attendance doesn't go up with the way the team are playing at the moment then there is a real problem. The D-Backs seem to be playing teams who don't think the season has started yet.

Matt said...

I was kind of hoping the team would wear throwback jerseys

Definitely. Participants seemed to really enjoy reuniting, lots of hugs,etc, but there was something missing from the inaugural "celebration". Jerry was not there (Dozer & Garagiola Jr were), maybe that was it. The '98 video at the stadium was actually pretty lame...quickly edited stock footage that rekindled memories for those of us who were there, but didnt really educate newer fans as to how excited the valley really was. I imagine that was on purpose.

The whole ceremony lasted about 15 minutes - which incl introducing the grounds crew,etc. - it was just quick and superficial,IMO, more of an FO task than a genuine celebration. Havent seen the DVD but will check it out.

Your blogspot site looks great, btw.

Matt said...

If attendance doesn't go up with the way the team are playing at the moment then there is a real problem.

Attendance is up, but there's clearly a problem when you barely edge over 30K on a Friday nite under these circumstances. The weather is awesome, two big draw gimmicks (1998 celebration & fireworks), your NLCS nemesis is in town, and you're playing the majors' best and most watchable baseball - by a considerable margin. It's hard to imagine a market drawing less under these exact circumstances, coming off an NLDS appearance and 90 wins. Cleveland's successful and struggles at the gate - but their April weather can be pretty bad too.

Personally, I had a blast and got more than my money's worth. Flew solo, enjoyed marvelous conversation, and saw terrific baseball from 8th row uppers right behind the plate - for $11 (part of a ten ticket flex pack) plus $2.50 for a round trip bus ticket.

But I'm not the average fan. If I brought someone, I couldnt get that same section/row, and wind up in worse seats at prices almost 50%higher, plus parking and gas - easily $50 for two.


I realize that's nothing nowadays, but to a lot of average Joes in a young market like Phoenix, it's just too much for the upper deck. Certainly too much to make it any kind of a habit.

Anonymous said...

For the record, most of the 1998 players polled were thrilled that the team had abandoned the original purple-and-teal color scheme for red. "I was never a big fan of the purple," Lee said. "I think they needed a change, and the red is a really nice change."

Phunny how you fail to mention this.
Kinda goes against your agenda now, doesn't it?

Jeff said...

Dbacks look great! Can they keep this up all year? Saw a great no hitter into the 8th today (story to follow when I sober up...tomorrow? Monday?) Anyway, Delucci couldn't make it because he is busy prepping the Italian national team with Piazza for the next World Baseball Classic. Those purple unis sure do bring back memories though -- well, one particular bloop single by Gonzo in the '01 WS at least. Wow. And that was before Schilling started bleeding before every start!

Matt said...

Can they keep this up all year?

Depends what you mean by "this", Jeff.

.818% baseball? No
2 to 1 run differential? No
3 hitters on 60 homer pace? No
Webby winning 42 games? No
NL Leading Team ERA? Highly unlikely
Pinch hitters batting .500? No

They've been the best MLB team, by far, over the first two weeks. Undoubtedly, in every way. But a three game lead with 151 to play? I'd say it's pretty wide open.

I'm confident they're one of the six best teams in the NL, which by my measure, is a step up from last year.

Matt said...

Dear Anonymous,

If you want to get it on, there's only one requirement here. You dont need to setup an acct or provide a valid email address. You dont need to provide an ID (although I'd prefer one for clarity's sake). You dont need to agree with me or be nice. You can speak your mind here, provided you have one.

But if you expect me to acknowledge your "contribution", it needs to be coherent and reasonably relevant to the subject at hand.

You Phailed.

Tracy said...

Thanks, Matt. Sorry if I got you into trouble with the purple uniform comment. :-(

Matt said...

Not at all. It's a welcome outlet for my new found Christian charity ;-)