If you’ve been to a spring training game in Tempe, you’ve been to Tempe Diablo Stadium, the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 1991. I’ve been to this ballpark quite a bit, both for work and to catch a game or two. But I wanted to know a little more about the place. So I reached out to Jerry Hall, the stadium’s manager.
Jerry was born in Colorado but moved to Arizona 20 years ago. For the last eight years, he has served as Stadium Manager of Tempe Diablo Stadium. After admiring the view from his office, (his window looks out onto the field from behind home plate), I peppered him with questions about the ballpark.
Did you know that Tempe Diablo Stadium is the second smallest stadium in the Cactus League? It’s true. But, despite “only” having around 9,600 seats, last year it had the fifth highest attendance of all the Cactus League Stadiums. Because of its small size, Tempe Diablo Stadium gives fans a more intimate feeling when watching a ballgame. Another unique feature of the ballpark is its view of the buttes past the left field wall.
For spring training, fans have access to players they don’t normally get during the regular season. You’re allowed to head over and watch practice (Jerry says you get good views at either practice field) or hang out and try to get autographs from your favorite players. Where’s the best place to try and get your baseball signed? Head over to the walkway by the first base side of the field. That’s where you’ll have the best access to players. But the ballpark isn’t the only place you could run into one of the Angels this spring. Keep your eyes open when you’re on Mill Avenue. It’s one of the places here in Arizona that the team likes to kick back and relax on their off days.
What about when spring training is over? The ballpark is used year round for events. The high school state championship is played at Tempe Diablo, along with some baseball camps and clinics and men’s senior league baseball games. The stadium also hosts a car show and benefit walks throughout the year as well. You can also call and arrange to have a tour of the stadium as well.
I asked Jerry what his favorite memory is of Tempe Diablo Stadium and after he thought for a moment, he told me about what it was like when the team signed Albert Pujols a few seasons ago. “It was crazy,” he said. “There was so much media and fans around the ballpark that we had to hire extra staff and more security. There were about 1,000 people here at the ballpark every day. I’ve never been around anything like that before.”
For more information about Cactus League Baseball or Tempe Diablo Stadium, be sure to visit TempeBaseball.com or call 800-283-6734.