Subway may have Jared as its everyday pitchman, but on Wednesday the sandwich restaurant chain had D-backs pitchers Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders as guest Subway Sandwich Artists at its downtown location.
As a precursor to this Saturday's Subway FanFest at Chase Field, three-fifths of the D-backs' starting rotation traded in their usual leather ball gloves for hygienic plastic ones for food handling as they took customer orders and made and bagged up sandwiches.
"We were an assembly line, so it's different than what we're used to," Kennedy said. "We got to interact with the fans more than when we're playing on the field. Here, we really meet them and make them a sandwich. Well, Joe and Huddy were making sandwiches. I was just the greeter, taking the orders, so I had the easy job. The fans don't get to see us like this normally."
Saunders, who confirmed he had the toughest job in actually building the sandwiches, was kept busy helping fulfill the hundreds of lunch orders that came flying the trio's way.
"The biggest surprise was the constant flow of people," Saunders said. "They said they were going to be busy and that's no joke. They definitely were, so it was pressure for us as first-timers to keep the line moving.
"To have the fan base that we do and to build on the success we had last year, to see that support is huge for us. It brings our level of enjoyment up all the more."
Subway Store manager Mariah Howard was impressed with her temporary employees' initiative in taking direction well, in addition to the steady flow of customers -- both new and old.
"I saw hundreds of people I've never seen before," Howard said. "With a customer base like this, I know almost every person that walks through the door. I make their sandwiches maybe two or three times a week, but today I saw a ton of people I've never seen before. Having them come here to see the Diamondbacks is excellent. It's a great opportunity for us to be a part of the community, a part of the team and really get people aware of what we're doing down here."
Diehard D-backs fan Anya Herron was one of those customers who made the trip downtown as her personal warmup to this Saturday's Subway FanFest, which is free for fans from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. MT at Chase Field. In fact, the Mesa, Ariz., resident was one of the first customers through the door to snag a table.
"I was here at 9:30," Herron said, laughing. "I'm a fan of all of these guys, but Daniel Hudson is my favorite. He's a nice guy and he always takes time to sign autographs for fans. Joe looks really serious up there, but they've all done a great job."
While taking the mound in front of thousands of screaming fans might be a bit less intimidating, Hudson said it took him and his teammates a few minutes to keep the line moving in the early going, but once they did, hungry yet excited D-backs fans really got their money's worth.
"It's always fun as players to see the excitement of fans," Hudson said. "Every season, you start off on a clean slate. An event like this and this weekend's FanFest remind fans that baseball is back."
Josh Greene is the director of publications for the D-backs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.