As the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate their 20th anniversary season, the team will bring back a piece of baseball lore — the bullpen cart that has long been a part of the game’s history.
The OnTrac Bullpen Cart will be available to transport relief pitchers from both bullpens at Chase Field prior to entering a game, according to a press release.
“We have been working on this idea for several years and there’s no more appropriate time to bring back the bullpen cart than this season, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall said in a prepared.
“Fans of baseball in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s enjoyed watching their favorite players emerge from the bullpen in various vehicles and we’re excited for this special delivery to come to Chase Field.”
OnTrac President Rob Humphrey said he is happy to see his company on the bullpen cart.
“Our company is built around delivering exceptional service and exceeding our customer’s expectations,” he said in a prepared statement. “I am confident that the OnTrac bullpen carts will continue this high level of service when delivering D-backs pitchers to the games.”
Baseball historians have tracked the use of a bullpen cart to 1950 when the Cleveland Indians first used a “little red wagon,” while the first official entrance came in 1951 by the Chicago White Sox, according to a press release.
The Oakland A’s added one in 1955 and by the 1960s, the carts had become commonplace through Major League and Minor League Baseball.
The bullpen cart became part of professional baseball overseas, too, and is still used in some stadiums in Japan, the native country of D-backs reliever Yoshihisa Hirano, a release states.
The last known use of a motorized vehicle in Major League Baseball was in 1995 — three years before the D-backs’ first season — when the Milwaukee Brewers utilized a motorcycle with a sidecar. Current D-backs bullpen coach Mike Fetters was Milwaukee’s closer that season.
SportsKartz is fabricating the OnTrac bullpen cart. The D-backs will be the first club that SportsKartz has worked with after similar builds for two Minor League clubs.