The crack of the bat. Whether it’s in a Major League ballpark or a city diamond with Little Leaguers, that’s the sound of spring.
FOX Sports Arizona and the D-backs are celebrating sluggers of all sorts with “Baseball Day Arizona” on Saturday, April 13
The day will include 24 hours of baseball and softball programming on
FOX Sports Arizona, highlighted by three live game broadcasts featuring Arizona teams, including high school baseball, college softball
“Baseball’s been such a big part of Arizona—in every corner of Arizona,” says FOX Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh. He cites college ball, junior college,
Cactus League, Minor League
“‘Baseball Day Arizona’ is a celebration of all we’ve discovered along
the way,” says Walsh, who’s worked University of Arizona, Tucson Toros, Phoenix Firebirds and D-backs games.“I think it’s the perfect touch for what we’re able to do—show games and tell the stories around them.
“We have a softball game in the middle of it.
Walsh’s colleague, Jody Jackson, calls “Baseball Day Arizona” an appropriate tribute to the state.
“There’s so much baseball and softball being played in Arizona,” she says. “From tee-ball to professional, we just want to celebrate all of it.”
Jackson is affected by baseball daily, thanks to her 12-year-old son Connor (football and baseball) and 11-year-daughter Caitlyn (volleyball and softball).
“It’s not just the sport, but it’s life and parenting and dealing with athletes as youngsters,” she says. “Seeing my husband coach them is a really cool experience.
“My son participated in Little League All-Stars at 10, 11 and 12. I found it’s truly a community. You see the same people. You see little brothers and sisters pulling wagons with snacks. I’ve always loved sports. It’s about sharing experiences with people. I’ve made lifelong friends.”
Jackson has a war chest filled with baseball memories. Sticking out in her mind is the D-backs’ last Wild Card Game when Archie Bradley hit a triple.
“That whole game was unbelievable,” she says. “We had a four-hour pregame show. ‘Baseball Day’ is the only thing that’s longer. I remember the crowd being so crazed. It was so great.
“You play so many baseball games just to get to that point. The game was better than I ever expected it to be. They play 162 games. It is a very mentally draining sport. I don’t know if people at home see it that way. That’s part of why I love covering baseball. It’s something different every day and it brings people to the TV every night.”
Cy Young-winning pitcher/FOX Arizona post-game analyst Brandon Webb says “Baseball Day Arizona” will equally draw fans to the tube.
“What’s cool about it is they’re incorporating women’s softball, a high school game at Chase Field and it ends with a big-league game, the D-backs and the Padres,” he says. “It’s cool to be able to get all the different levels and genders involved in it.”
The special makes sense. After all, Webb says, baseball drives Arizona.
“So many people come in to watch their favorite teams during Spring
Training,” Webb says. “We have a baseball mecca. A lot of great athletes have come out of Arizona because we can play here year-round. There’s NCAA, junior college, high school, Fall League. There’s a lot of baseball and big baseball fans here. is is going to go over well.”
Here’s the lineup
Twenty-four hours of “Baseball Day Arizona” begins at midnight Saturday, April 13:
Midnight: Rockies at D-backs from April 1, 1998 (first D-backs regular season telecast on FOX Sports Arizona)
3 a.m. Padres at D-backs (replay of previous night’s game)
6 a.m. Diamondbacks Live Postgame (re-air)
6:30 a.m. Braves at D-backs from April 26, 2001 (Luis Gonzalez 13th homer in April – then MLB record)
9:30 a.m. “Baseball Day Arizona” pregame
10 a.m. “Baseball Day Arizona: Corona del Sol vs. Desert Vista”
12:30 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Live”
1 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona: Arizona vs. Grand Canyon” softball
3 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Live”
4:30 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Pregame”
5 p.m. Padres at D-backs
8 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Postgame”
8:30 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Recap”
9:30 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Postgame”
10 p.m. Padres at D-backs (replay)