Saturday, June 10, 2017

The chase at Chase

PHOENIX – While we aren't going abroad this year, Elizabeth and I have embarked on our most ambitious summer baseball tour – at least six stadiums in six cities featuring 11 teams spread over the course of the season.

Chase Field (a.k.a. the stadium formerly known as The B.O.B. -- Bank One Ballpark)
Our trip out west this month began with a game at Chase Field, most famous for hosting historic Game 7 of the 2001 World Series that the Yankees lost on a Luis Gonzalez bloop single over the infield ...

... and for having a swimming pool over the right field fence.

(No one hit a splash-down home run, but the Brewers' hitters kept Diamondbacks right fielder David Peralta pretty busy.)

The Diamondbacks, while only being around since the 1998 season, really play up their "history" with gigantic characters based on their former stars, such as Gonzalez, Matt Williams (really, Matt Williams?), Mark Grace and, of course, Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

We didn't know this until we saw the back of a giant head, then saw children posing with "scary Randy Johnson," as Elizabeth called him.
Scary Randy Johnson with scary Mark Grace not scaring fans. 
After watching photo session after photo session with them, Elizabeth decided she, too, wanted a photo with scary Randy Johnson. But just before she moved to pose with them, the two Disney-characterized players took off down the concourse

We gave chase. Through the crowd, we bobbed and weaved, trying to keep up. They were remarkably fast and agile for two top-heavy giants who kept having to duck under banners and high-five fans. We kept getting caught behind slow moving crowds of Diamondbacks fans. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be.

Meanwhile, the game featured several former Orioles cast-off pitchers, all of whom gave up runs, including Arizona's T.J. McFarland (3 earned runs in 1 1/3 inning) and the Brewers' Oliver Drake (2 earned runs in 1/3 inning) and starter Zach Davies, who gave up 3 earned runs in the first inning, then settled down to earn the win.)

Our view from the upper deck of former Oriole Zach Davies. 
 There were lots of pitching changes and mound visits.

Whatever they told the Diamondbacks' starter didn't work. 

The Diamondbacks ended up losing 8-6, which is the fourth consecutive time we've seen the home team lose. 

But, on the bright side, we ultimately got our picture of Elizabeth with scary Randy Johnson. We caught them just before they ducked into the Giant Scary Players' Locker Room. 
Elizabeth asked Scary Randy Johnson what the sign was for a fastball when he pitched for the Diamondbacks. Or perhaps she asked him what place he thinks the Baltimore Orioles will finish this year. Or maybe he was telling me that I could only take one more photo. 

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