Playing Wide Open

I’ve lived in the Phoenix area for six-and-one-half years and I am still not accustomed to the summer weather. I remember when we first moved down here. It was in April and the weather was great. Highs were in the upper seventies and lows in the sixties. It was like perpetual summer. My kids were swimming and we thought the natives from Arizona were crazy when they told us that it was still to cold to swim. Then summer hit. Temperatures were in the upper one-tens and if you stood to long on the concrete without moving, your shoes would melt to the sidewalk. Whenever I made a comment as to the heat, I was always given the same answer, “but it’s a dry heat.” Yeah, my oven’s a dry heat too but I don’t go sticking my head in it. When the Diamondbacks were created and they were designing the stadium, I had to wonder how they were going to deal with the heat. I cannot imagine an extra innings afternoon game that stretches over four hours in 120 degree heat. That would be worse for baseball than the designated hitter. The Diamondbacks obviously understood this and therefore designed a domed stadium. Of course, baseball is supposed to be played outdoors and on real grass, neither of which can be accomplished with a dome. The design therefore was one where the roof may be opened and closed depending on the weather. Typically, that means that the Diamondbacks play with the roof open in April and part of May. They play indoors with the roof closed during the hot months of June through the first part of September. Lately though, the weather has begun to cool down and I knew it wouldn’t be long before we would once again be able to play under the stars. As I arrived at the game today, I had on my shorts and a T-shirt and my flip-flops which is the standard uniform that I usually wear to the game. I sat in my seat filling out my scorecard preparing for the upcoming game. With 20 minutes before the first pitch, I stopped dead in my tracks, my pen hovering over Steve Finley’s name in the number five spot. Had my ears deceived me? I had not heard this sound for nearly four months. It was the roof opening music! Tonight, we would be playing wide open. There is nothing quite as cool as having the roof open and 40,000 fans cheering the Diamondbacks. Man I love this game.

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