Last November, my parents and I went to Arizona to visit some family for Thanksgiving. Naturally, I figured out a way to navigate us to Chase Field on the way home to San Diego. Since it was offseason, we were only able to take a picture in front of the ballpark, so I didn’t count it as a part of my ballpark journey.
This year, I turned 21 years old. Most people consider this a big milestone for birthdays. My only birthday request was to watch the Padres play in Arizona and cross off ballpark #4! Luckily, one of my best friends, Emily, and her parents have season tickets in Arizona and were kind enough to gift me their tickets for that game. Thank you again, Emily, Val, and Ned ❤
After 5 hours and 357 miles, we arrived at Chase Field about 30 minutes before the gates opened. Once the gates opened, there were three things on our to-do list: buy a dbacks hat, visit guest services to get our first visit certificate, and head down to the visitor’s side a.k.a. the Padres!
At Chase Field, the visitor’s dugout is housed along the first baseline. My mom & I found a spot along the first baseline wall in right field to watch the Padres while they took pregame and warmed up. Of course, I had to bring a sign saying it was my 21st birthday!
It definitely helped grab the attention of the players! Eric Hosmer, Joey Lucchesi, Phil Maton, Luis Urías, Matt Wisler, Kirby Yates, Chris Paddack, and Franmil Reyes all took the time to come over to say happy birthday, take a picture, and chat for a bit.
The most memorable interactions were with Chris Paddack and Franmil Reyes! Paddack came over to say happy birthday and thanked me for my support at his debut with my sign “In the Mullet We Trust”. (You can read my post about his debut here.) He told me that his family got a big kick out of me and loved chatting. My mom happened to record the end of the conversation where he said, “You’re a true fan, happy birthday!”. It was nice being acknowledged for my support of the players and team.
While the players were stretching and warming up, Franmil Reyes saw my sign and waved at me. He was in the middle of throwing long toss with Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. After his warm-up, he walked over to my mom and me, then gave me his warm-up ball! It was such a small and simple gesture, but it meant the world to me.
Our seats for the game were fantastic! We were sitting field level in the second row by 3rd base. If you plan on sitting field level, please be aware that there is NO protective netting at Chase Field. I’m personally in favor of the netting, so hopefully it will be a feature required in all ballparks within the next few seasons.
*Red Denotes Arizona Diamondbacks, Blue denotes San Diego Padres*
- Home Runs:
- 1ST INN: Manuel Margot solo to left field (395 ft).
- 3RD INN: Ketel Marte 2-run to left field (365 ft).
- 5TH INN: Fernando Tatis Jr. solo to left field (377 ft).
- 6TH INN: David Peralta 3-run to left (368 ft).
- 8TH INN: Christian Walker solo to right (400 ft).
- Eric Lauer (L): 5.0 IP 8 H 3 R 0 BB 5 K
- Zack Greinke (W): 7.0 IP 4 H 2 R 1 BB 6 K
My first experience at Chase Field was awesome celebrating my 21st birthday! I wish I had spent more time exploring the ballpark, but that just means I have to make another trip out there next season! Next time around, we’ll probably sit in the upper deck to get a different perspective of the field.
The next Chase Field trip, I’ll be focusing more on food, attractions, and history of the ballpark. Stay tuned for that post in 2020!
A big thank you to my awesome dad who drives our family around for these baseball adventures ❤ YOU’RE THE BEST!
*Author’s Note: This post has been backdated to the day this event occurred. It was written on October 24, 2019, to the best of my recollection.*