The Arizona Diamondbacks will use a humidor at Chase Field this season, general manager Mike Hazen told AZCentral.com.
The Diamondbacks will join the Colorado Rockies as the only teams in the majors with a humidor at its their home park. Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall hinted last year that the team hoped to install one during the 2017 season, but that never materialized.
During a radio interview last April, Hall cited pitchers’ difficulty in gripping the baseball in Arizona’s hot, dry air as one of the primary reasons for the humidor.
“They all talked about the grip,” Hall told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “The one thing you don’t really want to do is negatively impact the offense because that’s part of the fun of Chase Field or Coors Field.”
Hall also said during the interview that the Coors Field humidor, installed in 2002, didn’t “diminish the offense” at the ballpark. But data shows that home runs at Coors Field have decreased by 22 percent since 2002, along with several other offensive statistics.
Major League Baseball suggests the best conditions in which to store baseballs is 70 degrees with 50 percent humidity.
Alan Nathan, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Illinois, estimated in a 2017 study that a humidor at Chase Field would reduce home run production by 25 to 50 percent, citing the lower humidity in Arizona than Colorado.