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Bullpen cart makes its triumphant return thanks to Arizona Diamondbacks

There have been rumblings — and social-media pleas — for the return of bullpen carts, those cool little buggies that used to bring relievers in from the bullpen beginning this season.

In fact, the White Sox were the first to use the cool little carts in 1951, though the Cleveland Indians used less-cool little red wagons a year earlier.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are blazing an old trail, announcing they will begin using the old-school transports. Of course, the 21st-century version will contain sponsorship logos.

“I think it wore out its welcome,” Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. “There were these new stadiums, and the focus shifted to the guys running through gates and onto the mound. We think the time is right to bring it back.”

The Diamondbacks had two golf carts retrofitted with big caps in Tampa by a company called SportsKartz.

ESPN reported that the Milwaukee Brewers were the last team to use a bullpen cart, in 1995. That was not a retrofitted golf cart but a Harley-Davidson fitted with a sidecar for the pitcher.

“I love it,” Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters Tuesday. “It brings a little personality. We’re probably the only sport that can do something like that.”

Of course, things slid out of control in the 1970s, when some teams — including the Yankees — used regular cars to transport relievers. Check out the photo below of Yankees fans showering A’s reliever Rollie Fingers with trash as he rode in from the bullpen in a Toyota.

Fans shower refuse on car carrying Oakland A’s relief pitcher Rollie Fingers from the bullpen of New York’s Yankee stadium in the ninth inning of second game Sunday, Fingers, who turned in a sparkling relief job in the first game, lost the second of the d
Fans shower refuse on car carrying Oakland A’s relief pitcher Rollie Fingers from the bullpen of New York’s Yankee stadium in the ninth inning of second game Sunday, Fingers, who turned in a sparkling relief job in the first game, lost the second of the doubleheader 5-2 when he gave up a two-run homer to the Yank’s Oscar Gamble. June 7, 1976