The long, dark winter, interrupted only by rolling of your eyes as work colleagues discuss other sports, is at an end! It’s Opening Day of the 2018 MLB season! [Well, everywhere except Cincinnati, because Cincinnati sucks. :)] The Arizona Diamondbacks will kick off their season against the same team they faced in the NL Wild-card Game last October. There, they eventually defeated the Colorado Rockies in one of the most heart-stopping contests in Arizona sporting history. The Rockies are also the team the D-backs faced twenty years ago, when the opening series for the franchise took place at Bank One Ballpark in 1998. So, no shortage of history here.
Whether you’re going to Chase Field to attend the game in person, or planning to stay at home, here’s all the information you need to know. With games elsewhere about to start - there’s a 9:40 am Arizona time first pitch in Miami, where the Marlins welcome the Cubs - feel free to treat this as a Gameday Thread for all the other games around baseball. Of course, there will be further stories being posted as we get closer to first pitch in Arizona at 7:10 pm, so stay tuned for those...
At Chase Field
- At time of writing (Wednesday afternoon), there are still limited tickets available through the team website. Most of these are in the top deck, but there are a few in the lettered sections, if you feel like dropping $175 (plus the dreaded “convenience fees”) a seat. Secondary markets are an alternative, as usual.
- Game Seven Grill will open at 2:00 p.m
- Fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the Opening Day Street Festival, presented by Fry’s Food Stores. This will begin at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Gila River Casinos Plaza along 4th Street and Jackson and will feature food trucks, D-backs inflatables, music by Sapphire Sky and several other activities
- The gates to Chase Field will open at 4:45 PM for the general public
- As fans enter the stadium, D-backs staff will hand out 40,000 2018 D-backs Schedule Magnet, courtesy of Pepsi, and 40,000 Rally Towels, courtesy of Leslie’s Pool Supplies.
- Before the game there will be presentations of the various awards won by the D-backs last year:
BBWAA National League Manager of the Year award to Torey Lovullo
Louisville Silver Slugger Award presentation to Paul Goldschmidt
Rawlings Gold Glove Award presentations to Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke
- The national anthem will be sung by local favorite and creator of “D-backs Swing,” Roger Clyne, followed by a flyover by four F-35s from the 309th Fighter Squadron from Luke Air Force Base
- Weather permitting, the roof will be open for the game: the temperature at first pitch is currently forecast to be around 80F, dropping to the low seventies by the end of the game, so dress accordingly
- The ceremonial first pitch will include a D-backs representative from each of the club’s six Postseason teams.
1999 – Erubiel Durazo
2001 – Luis Gonzalez
2002 – Mark Grace
2007 – Brandon Webb
2011 – J.J. Putz
2017 – Archie Bradley
If, like me, you’re not able to get to the game, there are still plenty of ways you can follow long. On radio, there’s 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and KHOV 105.1, where Greg Schulte and the gang will be providing their usual expert coverage. But for most people, it will probably be to Fox Sports Arizona that they’ll turn, as well as (for me, personally!) streaming on the FOX Sports GO app or FOXSportsGO.com. They’ve got 101⁄2 hours of D-backs’ programming, beginning at noon. Here’s their schedule:
- 12:00 pm: #OurSeason: D-backs 2017
- 12:30 pm: D-backs Season Preview 2018
- 1:00 pm: #DbacksGiveBack
- 1:30 pm: Best Of The Local Nine 2017
- 2:00 pm: Mark Grace Storytime Theater
- 2:30 pm: D-backs Driven In: David Peralta
- 3:00 pm: D-backs Driven In: Andrew Chafin & Zack Godley
- 3:30 pm: #OurSeason: D-backs 2017
- 4:00 pm: The Local Nine 2017
- 4:30 pm: D-backs Season Preview 2018
- 5:00 pm: D-backs Live pregame show, from Game 7 Grill on the Chase Field plaza
- 7:10 pm: Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks
- After the game: D-backs Live postgame show