10/04/07 10:25 PM ET
D-backs fans raise the volume
Arizona generates excitement to draw new crowds
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
"I hope it's like that again tonight," Price said. "I don't see any reason why it won't be. I thought it was outstanding. I think everybody was a little afraid the Cubs fans would be too vocal, but they weren't."Chad Carroll, 32, also arrived early, waiting for Chase Field's gates to open about three and a half hours before game time with his boys, Zayn, 7, and Alex, 5. The family came dressed in "Anyone, Anytime" T-shirts and the boys wore red D-backs hats full of signatures from Arizona players.
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Carroll and his children watch D-backs games at home when they can't come out to the ballpark, exactly the kind of thing that helps a young franchise build a fan base."It means a lot," Carroll said of attending a playoff game with his sons. "This is my first postseason game ever. I grew up in Boston and I used to go to Red Sox games every once in a while. [It was] nothing like this." Although the D-backs don't boast a fan base like the Cubs or Red Sox being only in their 10th year of existence, the plan for this playoff run is to make sure Arizona youngsters grow up D-backs fans -- as opposed to many of their parents, who rooted for squads like the Dodgers, Giants and Cubs. "I think it's time," Hall said. "I think the support of those other clubs and the allegiance to those other ballparks is fading, and I think it's fading fast, and this is a Diamondbacks town, and I think our fans are now taking pride in making this a difficult place for the opposition to play." Unlike the 2001 team, which included no players still in a D-backs uniform for the 2007 run, Arizona expects this to be just the start for a club that remains competitive for years with a similar core that has been built through the farm system. Hall said that will help D-backs fans identify with their teams as the fan base continues to grow. Sitting in Friday's Front Row Grill in left field at the ballpark, 22-year-old Bob Kuerner eagerly awaited the future of the club he's grown up with. "It's only going to get better," Kuerner said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.