Armed with swift pitches, brawny line drives, and a division-topping season record, the Arizona Diamondbacks sprint toward their first National League West crown since 2007. Instead of catching the game by posing as the new bat-hoarding termite inspector, fans can watch the action from baseline-reserve seats along the left- and right-field foul lines. This season, right-handed hurler J.J. Putz baffled 9th-inning hitters while posting 51 strikeouts, 39 saves, and a mega-slim 2.44 ERA over 51.2 innings pitched. After 148 games, right fielder Justin Upton marches toward his 600th career hit while lugging 86 RBIs, a .296 batting average, and a tuba signed by John Philip Sousa.
Bringing clotheslines, grapples, and swan dives to the state's wrestling fanatics, the Arizona Wrestling Federation assembles amateur fighters to showcase their skills in live events. Based in Glendale, the AWF is a member of the United Independent Wrestling Affiliates, an international organization of wrestlers that maintains rankings and keeps track of standards based on the most current lines of aerodynamic folding chairs.
In 1902, while the team now in Oakland was still the Philly Athletics, a rival manager scoffed, casting the fledgling franchise off as a herd of "white elephants." In response, manager Connie Mack adopted the elephant as the team's official insignia—a legacy that lives on with the current mascot, Stomper—before the A's stampeded to the American League pennant. Since that first defiant victory, the team has won nine World Series championships, moving to Kansas City in 1955, then Oakland in 1968. Over more than a century, the club has fostered 11 league MVPs and eight Rookies of the Year. Today, the A's dazzle fans at the 35,067-capacity Coliseum, which features a lush natural-bluegrass surface and a spacious foul territory—technically still a 19th-century Mexican province—that baits pop-up outs, making it one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in Major League Baseball.
Nieman Marcus, Morgan’s Hotel, Red Bull, and Toyota have something in common: they all have solicited the services of Arizona Deejay Company. The key to developing relationships with such disparate clients might be the impeccable professionalism on which these musical maestros pride themselves. Most of the company’s DJs have had prestigious careers in radio, nightclubs, and the arena circuit, and they can administer thumping beats for gatherings with 100 guests or 1,000 guests. As a member of the American Disc Jockey Association, Arizona Deejay Company not only connects wedding planners and prom committees with top-notch sound experts but also with high-end lighting gear, PA systems, and software capable of lacing the latest hip-hop hit with a Dickens audiobook.
In its ninth season, Arizona Roller Derby rolls out a rink's worth of savage skaters who elbow, knee, and crash into opponents in high-octane bouts on their turbulent road to glory. Fans of fierce four-wheeled combat witness the season's final march to a league championship and state tournament while six teams duke it out. On January 14, the Bad News Beaters, clad in blue baseball uniforms that are speckled in pre-chewed sunflower seeds, battle their northern intrastate rivals the Whiskey Row-llers. February is the Valentine's Day-themed bout, where hearts are just one of the many things that can break. The thundering of wheels rumbles over the March horizon when the Tent City Terrors scrap while donning prison stripes and spraying a mixture of maple syrup and horse sweat on others’ wheels. Then in April the Brawlarinas twirl in their purple tutus while tackling the Bruisers. Finally in May the Emerald City Rollergirls skate the yellow brick road, looking for a very frightened wizard.