The secret humidor of Chase Field

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Chase Field has a humidor like the one at Coors Field, and our Royal Norman really wants to see it. Baseballs have been stored in a humidor at Coors Field since 2002. (AP) Chase Field has a humidor like the one at Coors Field, and our Royal Norman really wants to see it. Baseballs have been stored in a humidor at Coors Field since 2002. (AP)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

I want to see a humidor. Not just any humidor, but the humidor reportedly being used at Chase Field to alter game baseballs. But I can’t see it. It’s a secret, for now.

The Diamondbacks aren’t doing any media on it. When I called, my pitch was, "I’m not the media. I’m a meteorologist." That didn’t work.

Someday I suspect we’ll get to see it and it probably will be much like the man behind curtain -- interesting, but not that interesting.

[READ MORE: Eye on the ball: Humidor debuts in Diamondbacks opener]

The Colorado Rockies humidor is not a secret. Here’s a picture with the fellow who invented Colorado’s humidor.

And here’s another where players actually got to sit in it.


Who knows why the big secret. At least one-third of the PCL minor league teams are using humidors because of the big elevation differences in the West.

But perhaps its because the D-backs started, then stopped the program last summer when Major League Baseball said it had to be in place for an entire season.

Nevertheless, it is going to impact the game you see at Chase Field.

[RELATED: What's new at Chase Field]

The balls, we’re told, will be kept at 70 degrees and 50 percent humidity making it “soggier” than a baseball sitting out at Chase Field when it’s 100 degrees and the humidity is at 20 percent.

The baseball will be slightly heavier and with have a slightly rougher surface. Both will add resistance meaning the ball won’t travel as far as, say, a 2017 baseball at Chase Field. Also, that slightly rougher “feel” could help pitchers with their grip.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Diamondbacks]


Last year, Chase was the third “easiest” ballpark to score runs. It probably won’t be that high this year. In fact, one of the experts on baseball physics says the change will be great. Alan Nathan from the University of Illinois predicts a reduction in home runs of 25 percent to 50 percent. Wow. Here’s a link to his article, which is pretty in depth.

Above: Alan Nathan at Fenway Park.

Last year there were 312 home runs hit at Chase Field. Care to guess how many will be hit this year?

And hey D-backs, let the meteorologist take a look at your humidor someday. It’s my two favorite things -- weather and baseball -- in one. You'll make a weatherman happy.

[MORE: Weather blog]


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