When the Arizona Diamondbacks returned home from a disastrous road trip where they went just 2-8, there didn’t seem to be anything to look forward to for the final six home games of the season.
The Diamondbacks must have sensed the malaise of its fan base. The team took the ten-game road trip to do a little housekeeping at Chase Field to begin to build excitement to 2011 and especially the fact that Phoenix will be hosting the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star game.
Almost as soon as you walk through the turnstiles you will notice the changes. Hanging high above home plate attached to the rafters of Chase Field is a banner depicting the 2011 All-
Star game logo. I have no idea what the actual dimensions of this banner are but the thing is huge.
It has been interesting watching the fans reactions when they first see this banner. The most common response is, “Whoa! Where did that come from?” That is typically followed by questions of how long it had been hanging there as if they had somehow missed this gigantic sign all season.
Besides the banner above home plate, there is other All-Star logo signage around Chase Field. Behind the plate next to the batter’s eye suite are smaller signs that appear on camera whenever a player is warming up in the on-deck circle for either the home team or the visiting team.
Other signs appear on the concourse above the left field bleachers, and prominently at the entrance to the Sandlot children’s area in the upper deck.
It is not just signs that are new; the Diamondbacks have also begun adding memorabilia from prior All-Star games. In the rotunda of the main concourse next to the display of the 2001 World Series trophy, the Diamondbacks have placed the Diamondbacks Statue of Liberty figure from the 2008 All-Star Game.
This statue, which is nearly nine feet in height, was one of 42 statues that were displayed around New York City prior to the All-Star game at Yankee Stadium in July 2008. Unless you were fortunate enough to be in New York that summer, this may be your only opportunity to see this.
Travelling to the upper deck you will find the Sandlot kids area, which includes playground toys as well as batting cages and other activities for the kids. Adjacent to the play area for the very small children is a Arizona Diamondbacks statue from the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim, CA.
Like the Statue of Liberty, the Mickey statues were displayed around town leading up to the All-Star game at Angels Stadium this past July. Like Lady Liberty, Mickey is also decorated in Arizona Diamondbacks colors and logos.
These statues have proven popular during their three days of appearance. Fans are constantly standing admiring these items or having their pictures taken with them.
The signs and figures are having their intended impact. Fans are talking about the 2011 season and in particular the All-Star game that is coming to Phoenix. The crowd is buzzing with excitement for what next year holds for this organization and for baseball.