The Arizona Diamondbacks announced details of the ninth annual SUBWAY D-backs FanFest, which will take place on Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Chase Field. Last year's event drew an estimated 25,000 fans to Chase Field.
The free event will offer fans access to current players, coaches, alumni and broadcasters, including autograph and photo sessions on the field. Children 12 and under will receive free autographs in a special area, while others can receive access to autograph sessions with a donation to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. An interesting wrinkle is that for the first time, online autograph pre-sales for specific sessions will be made available to fans prior to FanFest. That should perhaps help dilute the lengthy queues for tickets required at previous events.
Among the D-backs players currently scheduled to attend: Heath Bell, Willie Bloomquist, Eric Chavez, Josh Collmenter, Patrick Corbin, Adam Eaton (no...the other one), Paul Goldschmidt, David Hernandez, Aaron Hill, Eric Hinske, Daniel Hudson, Chris Johnson, Ian Kennedy, Jason Kubel, Brandon McCarthy, John McDonald, Wade Miley, Wil Nieves, Cliff Pennington, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, Tyler Skaggs, Justin Upton and Brad Ziegler. In fact, probably quicker to say who won't be there: on a quick glance, looks like Miguel Montero, J.J. Putz and Tony Sipp are the only names missing. [Edit: @AZ_Raider_Fan points out Gerardo Parra is also missing. Hmmm...]
You want coaches, commentators and the rest? Got you covered. Manager Kirk Gibson, hitting coach Don Baylor, pitching coach Charles Nagy, first base coach Steve Sax, bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock, bench coach Alan Trammell, Assistant Hitting Coach Turner Ward, Third Base Coach Matt Williams, plus new broadcasters Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume, as well as returners Greg Schulte, Tom Candiotti,and Richard Saenz will also be in attendance, along with Luis Gonzalez and several other former D-backs players. Looks like most of the features from previous years will be back in play.
- D-backs home clubhouse tours
- Player photo opportunities, courtesy of Smile Generation
- Question and answer sessions with D-backs players, coaches, broadcasters and alumni
- Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Yard Sale
- Family Fun Zone featuring speed pitch, T-ball and other interactive inflatables, presented by Cox Communications
- Wiffle ball fields and clinics featuring D-backs players, coaches and staff from the D-backs Baseball Academy, presented by Grand Canyon University
- Live Sports 620 KTAR broadcast throughout the day
- FOX Sports Arizona KidKaster auditions
- Kids' arts and crafts area, including a D-backs poster-making station and chance to color APACC player headshots to be featured in Sunday games throughout the season
- Tryout registrations for National Anthem, Rally-backs, Golden Glovers or D-backs Legends Racers - so, if you want to be Mark Grace, now's your chance...
New features include an interactive display showcasing the new Mountainside Fitness Platinum location at Chase Field - sure 'hacks will be trying that out! - and a Chevrolet car exhibit with co-branded giveaway items for fans
This year also sees the first-ever D-backs Race Against Cancer. The race will start and end at Chase Field and will wind through the streets of downtown Phoenix. The 5k run will begin at 8 a.m. and the 1k Family Fun Walk at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and will be distributed to Arizona non-profits that provide screening, treatment and support for those dealing with cancer, a worthy cause. Race participants also get in to the FanFest an hour early, at 9am, along with season ticket holders. The first 3,000 fans in attendance get a SUBWAY cash card, loaded with an amount ranging from $1-$100.
Season tickets and mini-plans can be bought at the event, and there'll be information on group outings [single-game tickets go on sale in March]. Fans can register for alerts leading up to the event by texting FANFEST to 76925. For updates, you can also check the D-backs site, or call 602.462.FEST (3378). Fairly sure there'll be a full report here on the SnakePit!