The Arizona Diamondbacks are turning back the clock.
The Diamondbacks announced Tuesday they’re bringing back bullpen carts, marking the first time the vehicles will be used to transport major league relievers in more than two decades.
“We have been working on this idea for several years and there’s no more appropriate time to bring back the bullpen cart than this season, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” Diamondbacks president & CEO Derrick Hall said in a release, per The Arizona Republic. “Fans of baseball in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s enjoyed watching their favorite players emerge from the bullpen in various vehicles and we’re excited for this special delivery to come to Chase Field.”
It’s rather ironic that a big league team is reverting to an old novelty at a time when Major League Baseball is trying to attract younger fans. But there surely are plenty of seamheads who will enjoy the blast from the past, and it might even help improve pace of play.
“An ancillary benefit might be that it could speed up the game,” Hall said, per ESPN.com. “I expect a lot of teams to follow suit.”
The Diamondbacks’ carts, which are fitted with big caps by SportsKartz, a company in Tampa, Fla., will be sponsored by OnTrac, a West Coast courier service. So it’s not like the club’s decision was based solely on nostalgia.
Both the D-Backs and their opponents will have access to the carts at Chase Field, but pitchers aren’t obligated to use them if they’d prefer to continue running or walking to the mound. According to ESPN.com, the carts will come from the bullpens onto the warning track, head down the first- and third-base lines and stop at the dugout, at which point the pitchers will make their way to the mound.
The last known use of a motorized vehicle in MLB was in 1995, three years before Arizona’s first season in the league, according to The Arizona Republic. The Milwaukee Brewers used a motorcycle with a sidecar at that point.
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