Diamondbacks Bring Back Promotional Bullpen Carts
Younger baseball fans are used to seeing relief pitchers and closers trot out from the bullpen when their number is called, but some older fans might remember pitchers taking the mound via motorized carts.
Guess what: The motorized pitcher-mobile is coming back (at least in Arizona).
The Diamondbacks will be the first team to use the golf cart since MLB teams stopped using them more than 20 years ago, according to ESPN.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 6, 2018
"I think it wore out its welcome, Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall told ESPN. "There were these new stadiums, and the focus shifted to the guys running through gates and onto the mound. We think the time is right to bring it back."
The main catalyst for the new cart was a new sponsorship with OnTrac, a courier service, which will place its logo on the front and helmet of the cart.
Also, with a lot of baseball "fans" saying the game takes too long, this could be a way to speed up the game, which could catch on with more teams.
The Brewers were the last team to use the cart in 1995. Since then, pitchers have typically jogged from the bullpen to the mound.
Just think: If this trend hadn't gone away, that climactic scene in "The Rookie" when Dennis Quaid's character runs out from the bullpen to the delight of his family and players he coached would be really different. His parents, wife, kid from "Two and a Half Men" and players all nervously eying the bullpen to see if he steps out, only to see a goofy golf cart with Dennis Quaid (sorry, Jim Morris) stoically riding to the bullpen, rather than triumphantly jogging through the outfield.
In all seriousness, if the D-Backs' experiment goes well, this would be a great opportunity for teams to secure more on-field sponsorship in a new way.