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Scenes from Spring Training: Welcome to Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Mar 2, 2011, 10:50 AM EDT


I’m in the press box of Phoenix Municipal Stadium.  I can’t say for sure how long I’ll be here, however, because real estate is at a premium.  Most of these boxes have two rows. The first row is for the beat writers who cover the team every day, the official scorer and people like that.  The second row has spaces for reporters covering the visiting team and a few empty slots. I usually slide into an empty slot.

Here the second row — a full 15-20 spaces, which is large for Arizona — is dedicated to the Matsui Brigade. As in, the Japanese media covering Hideki Matsui.  I’ve heard tell of the size of that contingent, but seeing the kind of real estate theyoccupy is something to behold.  For now I’m in a visiting media slot.  There a five of them. The Indians are the visitors, so I may be safe.  If Paul Hoynes or Jordan Bastain kick me out of my slot, I’ll have no reason to complain.

Get a load of this stadium, though.  It was built in 1964.  That poured concrete facade is the tell.  It reminds me of a government building in Brasilia or something.  Which isn’t a criticism, because I rather like government buildings of that era for some strange reason.  They can be hideous in their Brutalism, but they’re comforting to me.  They remind me of elementary school. Heck, they remind me of Denney Hall on the Ohio State campus, where I probably spent most of my in-class time as an undergrad.  I’m digging Phoenix Municipal.

Oh, and this doesn’t hurt:

I’m heading down to the clubhouse. I promise to not to tell you if I see anything interesting.

  1. Old Gator - Mar 2, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Given the political ambiance of Arizona now, I would probably have guessed the stadium had been designed by Albert Speer. Ten foot thick cyclopean walls of cement, horrible yes, but they keep the horned toads out.

  2. spudchukar - Mar 2, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Knowing that the vast majority of the citizenship seem to be “Swinging for the Fences”, I would be careful which side of the wall you park your fanny. If you notice any razor wire, find the nearest exit, ASAP. Calcaterra probably sounds Spanish enough to detain you until the All-Star Break. One more word to the wise, if they ask you who your employer is lie. Tell them you are meeting Glenn, Bill and Sean for a Sarsaparilla apres ballgame.

  3. spudchukar - Mar 2, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Later this P.M., I will be hopping aboard Boeing’s best, and alighting in the Sunshine State. So if there are any messages you would like me to deliver to your favorite players or teams just drop me a line. Or as I used to query the catcher as I stepped into the batter’s box, “Any thing you want me to tell your buddies at 1B, 2B, or 3B on my way by them?”

  4. goldstar4robotboy - Mar 2, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Many of my college years were spent at pre-upgrade Phoenix Muni, working for teams in three leagues (Pacific Coast, Cactus, Arizona Fall). Of all the Cactus League stadiums built before 1994 (when the Peoria facility opened, ushering in a building boom), Muni had the greatest amount of charm comma shabby.

  5. Loren - Mar 2, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    You should absolutely chat with Rickey if you get half a chance. I don’t think he says anything that’s not interesting and/or amusing.

  6. cur68 - Mar 2, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    More and more you sound like Bill Bryson on a travel piece. Warms me right to the core of my frost-shriveled beaver loving soul, so it does.

    • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Ah, there you are. Hope you were happy with the image of Raquel in the beaver pelt. However, I have found a terrific image of a Pleistocene dire beaver, lest you think I was deranged due to a horned toad puncture of the instep or some such thing:

      Yes, they did exist. And yes, there may still be some lurking out your way. What is that thing in Lake Winnepegosis after all? Here’s your answer.;

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        Nah, thought you were deranged from snakehead bite never mind stepping on Phrynosoma. Mama Mia! That is some big beaver you found there. That’d keep a man warm of nights. I’m still enjoying Welch wrapped in snugly beaver fur. That woman was a sight to see (lo those many years ago) and even better in pelt of castor (for such I too choose to believe it is and all those that say pelt of polyester; a pox on your houses!). I’ve been telling my daughter for years that Ogopogo is little more than giant beaver seen from the wrong end. I shall amend this asserting forthwith based on information gathered and submit this picture into evidence.

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