FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Arizona Diamondbacks today dedicated Joe Garagiola, Sr. Field, the 32nd "Diamonds Back" Field, presented by APS. The field is the second to be dedicated in 2012, following Justin Upton Field on April 5. It is also the second field to be dedicated in Flagstaff, Ariz. after Mark Grace Field was introduced in 2003.
"Joe is a legend and a great Diamondback and to be able to honor him is very special," said D-backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick. "We hope this field will be a great gathering place for kids in Flagstaff to learn the importance of being good teammates as part of a team."
Kendrick was among several key D-backs and Flagstaff city officials on hand at the dedication ceremony, including Garagiola, Sr. and D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, who emceed the dedication ceremony. Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke, Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation President Mike Kennedy and Arizona Public Service Vice President Daniel Froetscher were also on hand.
Garagiola currently serves as a color analyst on select Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasts on FOX Sports Arizona. He was inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2009, the D-backs renamed the broadcast wing of the press box at Chase Field the "Joe Garagiola Broadcast Wing & Booth".
He made his Major League debut in 1946 with his hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He enjoyed a nine-year Major League career as a catcher with the Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and New York Giants. At age 29, Garagiola retired as a player and turned to broadcasting, calling games for the Cardinals, New York Yankees and California Angels. He also enjoyed an eight-year stint as a panelist on NBC's "Today" (1967-73, 1990-92). From 1983-88, he called NBC's "Game of the Week" every Saturday alongside Vin Scully including three All-Star Games, three National League Championship Series and three World Series.
Joe Garagiola, Sr. Field is located at Joel Montalvo Park, 2211 E. First Ave. in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Since 2000, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has built or refurbished 32 baseball fields that have cost more than $6 million. With the aid of APS, local businesses and monetary donations from individual players, the program has allowed children from across the state to play baseball and softball at quality facilities. The fields generally feature new lights, an electronic scoreboard, new fencing and backstops, new irrigation and new grass and dirt.