By Alana Meraz
There are many reasons to have an affiliation with a team. Maybe it was your parents’ favorite team, or where you were from, or maybe you just randomly picked a team one day and decided to stick with it till the end. For me, the Arizona Diamondbacks are my ride or die team. Two of my earliest childhood memories include this team.
November 4, 2001. This is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. I was three-years-old, soon to be four when this game took place. I was at home watching the game with my family. When Luis Gonzalez hit a single and Jay Bell scored, I swear you could hear my whole house yelling from 10 miles away. My younger cousin who was with us started crying because he got so scared.
As I got older my love for the Diamondbacks and baseball as a whole just grew larger. My favorite childhood memory actually takes place inside Bank One Ballpark, now Chase Field. I was at a baseball game with my mom and grandma. It was a common occurrence and after-school activity to attend a game, sometimes I even left school early (shhh).
It was a Thursday night at Bank One Ballpark, my mom had picked me up from school and was taking me to a game. I was sitting in the upper level enjoying a hot dog and lemonade, as one does. It wasn’t a packed rivalry game against the Dodgers, and the stadium environment was calm. In a matter of minutes, the gentleman behind me lost his beer. The victim? Me. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but my school polo was drenched in beer. He apologized many times for spilling his drink and I was just in a state of shock. Nothing like this had happened to me before. My grandma rushed to the mini team shop on the concourse to buy me a shirt.
In the end, it worked out in my favor. I got a new D-backs t-shirt, ice cream, and a story to last a lifetime.
Fast forward to 2015, I was trying to pick a major at Arizona State and stumbled across sports business. I never really thought about it as a career path but I am very thankful I did.
Two years later, I applied to be a part of the Game Operations team with the Diamondbacks. A literal dream come true, I was going to spend the whole season at Chase Field. During this time, I was able to help create the same memories I had for kids that were coming to Chase Field. Every day I interacted with kids, whether they were on a field trip, or they wanted a picture with Baxter or were participating in one of our in-game promotions. The joy and excitement they had when I asked if they wanted to participate in the Hot Dog Race or Steal Second Base were unmatched. It made me feel so fortunate that I was able to help create these memories.
We haven’t gotten back to the World Series since then. And if you ask me, I blame it on the fact we changed our team colors, I will rock purple and teal forever. I am eternally thankful for this sport and this team. Life throws curveballs at you more often than not, but with baseball by my side, I feel I can conquer them all.