A Funny Thing Happened at Chase Field

There are days when I just have to shake my head and wonder. I’ll be the first person to admit that I live a far from normal life. There are very few people who would have as understanding a wife as I do to put up with me and my resident insanity.

For the past 13 seasons she has been more than patient as I live and breathe baseball from mid-February through October and at times into November. My journey with baseball has also been far from normal.

Whether it is the saga of the “Lucky Hat” (which incidentally I need to replace from the looks of the Diamondbacks so far this season) or my ”Bucket List”, I just seem to be a magnet to the bizarre.

Before Spring Training started, I was sending what probably seemed like a daily email to my Season Ticket Representative, Mandi Howard, asking her one question or another. I still don’t know how she does it. No matter how strange my email requests are she always replies in a positive manner. She definitely deserves a raise for having to deal with a fan like me.

Anyway I happened to be exchanging email with Mandi and she sent me a note asking if I would be willing to answer a few questions to be included in an upcoming Season Ticket Holder newsletter.

The Box Score is a monthly email newsletter that goes out to all the Diamondbacks season ticket holders that gives us information on the team, upcoming events, and gives us an opportunity to get to know each other better. It is an incredible idea and I look forward to reading it each month.

As part of The Box Score there is a spotlight of one season ticket holder where the team asks them what having Diamondbacks Season Tickets means to them. It’s a simple question but one that has a different answer from each fan.

I sat and pondered what I would write. I quickly jotted down a few thoughts and sent it back to Mandi along with a photo of myself. I subsequently forgot all about the request as baseball season started and I was too busy pestering her with questions about tickets, stadium giveaways, and anything else team related I could think of.

Yesterday the May issue of The Box Score arrived in my in-box. I eagerly opened the PDF file to see if this would be the month I would finally win the trivia contest (someday I am going to win an autographed baseball).

There staring back at me on the screen was a picture of myself along with the few thoughts I had written a while back. Hopefully the Diamondbacks won’t mind if I recount my answer here.

My wife Trina and I have this discussion several times every season about what Diamondbacks Season Tickets mean to me. She believes they are second only to breathing and well ahead of my family on my list of priorities. That’s not true, I think breathing is overrated.

From that fateful day in 1995 when the Arizona Diamondbacks were awarded on my birthday I knew I would be a season ticket holder. I stood in the rain at America West Arena and placed a deposit on two season tickets for a team that was still three years away from playing their first game.

Having season tickets has been an amazing experience. It gives me an opportunity to share my love of baseball with my kids and gives me the perfect excuse to spend quality time with each of them. Our season tickets never go unused; each game I take one of my children or my wife. The kids have grown up at Chase Field as a result of us being season ticket holders.

The staff at Chase Field has adopted my family and we’ve made friends with players and game day staff that will last forever. My family and friends joke that I am on an opposite schedule from the Diamondbacks, when they are home I am away and when they are away I am at home.

Most of my kids are now grown but when they return the first thing they want to know is if the Diamondbacks will be in town and can they go to a game. They just assume we will always be season ticket holders and baseball will be a part of our lives.

Each season we look forward to that day in March when season tickets arrive in our mail box. As a family we gather around looking at each ticket trying to imagine what magic that game will hold.

The Diamondbacks make it easy to be fans. They treat their season ticket holders not just as customers but as friends. I know I can call down at any time and be greeted by a friendly voice willing to do whatever they can to make my game experience better.

Being a season ticket holder has so many benefits but perhaps the best thing about it is the opportunity I have of being grouped with others who have the same passion for Diamondbacks baseball as I do.

Last night my daughter Tiffany and I went down to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks play the Los Angeles Dodgers. We were there early as usual and were sitting in our seats waiting for the pre-game festivities to begin.

Soon the seats around us began to be filled with fans coming to the game. The people sitting behind us were the same as yesterday. We said hello and the lady leaned forward and asked me, “Don’t you ever go home?”

My reply was simply, “I am home” since Chase Field is where I spend most of my time from April to October. Everyone laughed at my comment and my somewhat misguided priorities.

The woman then said my words reminded her of something she read early that day. It was in The Box Score Season Ticket Holder newsletter. It was about this guy who said that the Diamondbacks were more important than breathing.

I explained that was me. She replied, “I know, you sound just like that guy.” I explained that no, what I meant was that really was me.

She completely freaked out. She made me turn around so she could look at my face and see if it was really me. Once she was convinced she had to tell everyone around her that I was in the newsletter. For the next several innings she quizzed my daughter about what life was really like at our house.

It is probably the first and only time anyone has ever quoted me to me. When we arrived home after the game last night Tiffany had to tell my wife and her brother and sisters about the lady that recognized dad and how she had to convince her that dad was as crazy as he sounded. I’m not exactly sure what that was supposed to mean.



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