PHOENIX – Not in our pool. Not on our watch.
Throughout baseball’s postseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks have embraced a certain motivation that only they can claim: Keep the visiting team from rushing Chase Field and racing across the turf for a post-win splash in the stadium pool located in right-center field.
First, the Philadelphia Phillies were denied their pool party in the National League Championship Series when the Diamondbacks thwarted their opponent’s plans to clinch the pennant at Chase Field.
“I’ve seen that pool before, so I know exactly where it is,” Phillies backup catcher Garrett Stubbs had told. “If we take two here against Arizona, we’ll be bee-lining it for the water.”
Those were fighting words, taken personally by the Diamondbacks. So surely the organization was relieved Wednesday when the Rangers limited their celebration to the clubhouse after a 5-0 victory in Game 5 at Chase Field to secure their first World Series title.
It’s too bad the Diamondbacks weren’t able to replicate the delirious postgame moments from Oct. 11, after Arizona swept its rival the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series. The Chase Field pool area resembled a mini-version of spring break in Cancun.
“First off, seeing a team celebrate with a pool party is just awesome — but there’s just something uniquely Arizona and special about seeing the Dbacks do it,” said 12News reporter Cameron Cox.
“My favorite image from that moment is seeing the Dbacks’ young guys sitting on the ledge of the hot tub, feet hanging off the edge into the pool. (Arizona outfielder) Corbin Carroll has this big old smile on his face and has his arms around his guys.
“To me, that summed up this team and this season. Hanging in the pool with your teammates. It’s the ultimate team celebration and a cool throwback to when you were kids, and all you wanted to do was have a pool party with your friends after a game.”
Added Jody Jackson, a Valley sports journalist and MLB host/reporter: “It was so cool seeing them let loose and celebrate their goal.”
That was one of many iconic events that have occurred in the pool since Chase Field opened in 1998.
After battling through a tough National League and beating teams like the Phillies and Dodgers, the Diamondbacks are searching for their second Commissioner’s Trophy in the team’s 25-year tenure. And because the Diamondbacks have one of the state’s most famous pools in their own backyard, Major League Baseball is offering one fan a chance to win a season’s supply of Budweiser beer.
The post calls for fans to use #HitTheBuds for a chance to win when a player hits a home run into the pool area or the section above it.
Each time someone homers into the pool area or the section above it during the, you could win a season’s worth of !
Reply withfor your chance to win.
— MLB (@MLB)
With the pool being so recognizable, it draws comparison to other stadiums for top amenities.
Chase Field is, in fact, the only ballpark in the world to have a swimming pool and hot tub for fans to actually swim in and use. Fenway Park might boast the Green Monster, Yankee Stadium has Monument Park, Wrigley Field’s walls are covered in ivy and Oracle Park in San Francisco is graced with McCovey Cove, but baseball in the desert has its own exotic charm.
The luxurious amenity comes with a side of controversy and scandal around it, too.
The L.A. Dodgers did what?
Ten years ago, after the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks to clinch the NL West title, some of the L.A. players celebrated in an unconventional – and some would say, offensive – manner, by jumping in the Chase Field pool.
What seemed to be an overly excessive celebration that upset Diamondbacks players, front-office executives and fans, turned out to be way more controversial than anyone thought at the time. Jumping into Arizona’s hallowed pool wasn’t just a violation of one of the sport’s unwritten rules.
A few days following Los Angeles’ win, one of the Dodger players was caught boasting about what actually occurred in the pool during the celebration.
According to Tony Jackson, author and proprietor of DodgerScribe, the player “openly and loudly bragged after leaving the pool after urinating in it” and that “there are indications that MULTIPLE Dodgers players urinated in the pool.”
“I could call it disrespectful and classless, but they don’t have a beautiful pool at their old park and must really have really wanted to see what one was like,” Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Diamondbacks, said at the time.
Hall wasn’t the only one upset by the Dodgers’ behavior.
“I’ll give credit where credit’s due. They won the division, so congratulations to them. I would expect someone to act with a little more class. I highly doubt the New York Yankees would do something like that,” Arizona infielder Willie Bloomquist said at the time.
The Diamondbacks made sure to turn up their own pool party celebration this postseason following their sweep of the Dodgers in the NLDS a few weeks ago.
You never forget your first
A little over a month had passed in the Diamondbacks’ inaugural season at what was then Bank One Ballpark – affectionately called the BOB – and still not one home run had been hit into the stadium pool.
That all changed in mid-May, 1998, when three-time Chicago Cubs All-Star Mark Grace stepped up to the plate and blasted a ball that landed into the pool.
Ironically enough, Grace would later go on to become a key player on the Arizona roster in the 2001 World Series win that boosted the Diamondbacks into baseball immortality.
The plan for the pool to be incorporated into the stadium was not originally in the ballpark’s design. The inspiration actually came from the Chicago White Sox stadium’s “novelty shower,”.
The pool is not the only significant and unique feature that Chase Field offers. The ballpark was the first stadium built to have a retractable roof and an all-natural grass field, until the field switched to a synthetic grass turf designed specifically for baseball following the 2018 season.
Today’s pool suite package includes preferred parking passes, catering services, towels and even a concierge and typically runs guests anywhere from $4,750 to $7,000. For the World Series, however, the total cost to rent out the pool suite increased to $26,000.
Basketball x baseball collab
Dan Majerle, the former Phoenix Sun player who now owns popular downtown sports bar “Majerle’s,” located just a wild throw from the ballpark, once made ancatch on a ground rule double, a move thousands of fans over the seasons have tried to replicate.
These iconic moments are what make Chase Field and the pool so unique. Even the local media doesn’t always stay dry when reporting from giddy bashes near the water. Jackson said she has been in the pool three times, once only because she was pushed in by former Arizona pitcher Zack Godley.
Cox was part of a viral moment this postseason during a live stand-up that ended with him getting drenched. Cox, who said the experience was “one of the most random and coolest moments of my career,” was broadcasting from the pool’s staging area following the players’ mad dash across the field after Arizona swept the Dodgers in the NLDS.
The atmosphere was electric.
“Originally, my plan was to end our 10 p.m. show by jumping in after everyone left for the night if the Dbacks won— suit and dress shoes not included,” Cox said. “Then as we were around the pool watching them celebrate and interviewing some of the players, the team started chanting ‘Channel 12. Channel 12.’
“They were calling me out. So (I) had to deliver. Took my cell phone and wallet out of my pocket, unplugged my IFB and away I went,” Cox said of his leap into the pool. “The water was bath-water warm … and I bet you can smell the chlorine from the upper deck. I could still smell it in my nose about 24 hours later.
“My favorite part is I had to do the 10 p.m. news fully soaked. Well worth the memories.”
Alas, said Cox, “The suit and shoes did not survive.”