Sunday, May 15 – Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4. After a grandson’s college graduation in Tucson, my four-game southwest swing began with an easy drive to Phoenix. As noted from Toronto, indoor baseball isn’t my favorite. But Chase Field had a closer-to-outdoor feel and less constant echoing than Rogers Centre.
Access: Late on a quiet Sunday morning, I had no trouble finding street parking a couple of blocks away from Chase Field. After the game, the short distance to a nearby freeway headed west had normal post-game traffic but no problems.
Seats/pricing: When I mentioned I had served in the military, my ticket price dropped from $34 to $17 for an upper deck, front row seat between home and third. Terrific view. A foul liner came right at me, but the guy next to me reached in front and bobbled it to the deck below.
View: The roof on this convertible venue was closed because the outside temperature was in the 90s. Although numerous large windows let in outside light, there was no outside view.
Food: The food offerings included some chains such as Subway and Panda Express, an dessert specials including a caramel apple and a giant baked cookie. I went for the grilled chicken quesadillas, 3 for $9.00. I figured they’d be less messy than a taco. But they stuck to the serving dish, so were messier than planned, though very tasty.
Beer: Drafts were $11.25 and $9.75 for large and regular. Large cans were $12.75.
Crowd: 25,007. Whiffle bats and balls were the giveaway for young fans. At some parks in the east, you wouldn’t be surprised to see the balls, if not the bats, start to get thrown around, especially if the home team was trailing. But there wasn’t a trace of bad behavior here, even after the game ended on a controversial play discussed below. It’s what I’d expect out west.
Men’s Rooms: Clean, offered both paper towels and blowers, and a maintenance man was addressing a faucet issue when I walked in pre-game.
Neighborhood: Some bars and restaurants are north of the field, but on the grounds outside the turnstiles is a shaded street-like area with a large beer garden. A program honoring veterans took place before the game at the top of this area.
Arts and visuals: Many parks feature sculptures of franchise heroes. But the principal sculpture at Chase Field is a generic Diamondback player greeting a young boy, his mom, and little sister.
An odd but fascinating large glass box contains a Rube Goldberg-like sequence of rolling and dropping balls that trigger various devices along their complicated route. Fans bring signs to all the parks, but here, UPS offers a sign making station on the main concourse.
Baseball Moment: This one-run game ended on a review call. The D-backs had apparently tied the score on a force play at second for the second out but a safe call at first on the attempted double play. On appeal by the Giants, the call at first was reversed for the third out. The sequence illustrated the problem for fans when the rulings aren’t explained. I left the park thinking the third out had resulted from an illegal slide at second. NFL referees explain review calls to the crowd. There is no reason the umpire crew chief can’t do the same.