The D-Backs are bringing back the beloved bullpen cart after more than 20 years.
It has been more than 20 years since relief pitchers rolled to the mound on an electric-powered cart, but the Diamondbacks are making it happen again.
The D-Backs entered the league after the bullpen cart was phased out, but they’re reviving it celebrate their 20th anniversary.
The return of the bullpen cart was reportedly one of the things MLB considered this winter to speed up the pace of play. (I don’t get how it would make the game faster if pitching changes still coincide with commercial breaks, but that’s beside the point.)
The Indians were the first team to experiment with vehicular pitcher delivery in 1950 and the Angels became the first team to use a golf cart in 1963. The Brewers were the last MLB team to bring pitchers to the mound in a motorized vehicle, abandoning their motorcycle and sidecar after the 1995 season. (MLB.com has an exhaustive history of the practice, complete with plenty of awesome images of old-school bullpen carts.)
Bullpen carts definitely tap into baseball fans’ nostalgia—one went for $112,500 at auction in 2015—although it’ll be interesting to see how the revival is received by fans. How much less dramatic will Archie Bradley’s entrance be now that he’s being chauffeured to the mound?