One Thousand and Counting

Tonight was a milestone in Arizona Diamondbacks history and it went by relatively unnoticed. When Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson threw a first pitch fastball to Omar Infante for a ball, it marked the beginning of the 1000th home game in franchise history.

The team who began play on March 31, 1998 had now played the equivalent of a millennium of games at a combination of Bank One Ballpark and Chase Field. The accomplishment was very low key for the organization.

A brief announcement by the public address announcer and a ceremonial first pitch by long-time fan Frank Gennario who has not missed a home game since Opening Day 1998 was about the extent of the celebration. I was hoping for something a little bigger l guess.

Having been to a large number of these games myself I would have loved to see merchandise available at the team shop that recognized the event even if it was just a T-shirt or a pin. This was definitely a missed opportunity.

Looking over the statistics, the Diamondbacks have been fairly successful in those 1,000 games at home. Their overall record is 533-467 which is a 0.533 winning percentage compared to an overall 0.496 percentage for the entire 2008 games they have played. If the team had that kind of winning percentage now they would be in the hunt for a play-off spot instead of being 13 games under 0.500.

In the 13 years the Diamondbacks have been playing they have posted a winning record at home in seven seasons (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008). There have been five seasons with a losing home record (1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009). With the loss to the Braves the 2010 season is even at 14-14 which means this year’s Diamondbacks problems have mostly been on the road where they are 9-22.

It is amazing to think there have been a thousand Diamondbacks home games. During that time a lot of historical baseball has been seen. There was the no-hitter by Jose Jimenez and the St. Louis Cardinals, the 20 strikeout game by Randy Johnson against the Cincinnati Reds, and the triple play started by Mark McGwire of the Cardinals.

None of those events compare in excitement to those on November 4, 2001 when the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees to become world champions on a bloop single by Luis Gonzalez. So as I stood to cheer the Diamondbacks past accomplishments at Chase Field I was just as excited to open a new chapter for the next 1,000 games to see what will be coming next.


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