Kids Work Their Way to Chase Field with Inner City Jam
On Tuesday evening, D-backs fans may have heard a rumble coming down Fourth Street toward Chase Field.
Walking toward the D-backs vs. Dodgers game were several hundred elementary school students from schools throughout the Valley, brought together for the 12th annual Inner City Jam.
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox has spearheaded the event since the D-backs’ first season back in 1998. It’s an opportunity to have children who might not normally make it out to a ballgame spend a night rooting on their D-backs.
Kids earn the chance to participate in the Inner City Jam through community service work, including helping out in their schools, neighborhoods and churches.
D-backs broadcasters Miguel Quintana, Oscar Soria and Richard Saenz attend the event annually, and were on hand to help emcee the event on Tuesday. Quintana was especially impressed with the handful of kids who won prize packs — a D-backs bag, a shirt or jersey, a cap and tickets to a D-backs game. One person from each participating school was chosen based on their community involvement that went above and beyond that of their peers.
“I like seeing kids from different schools,” Quintana said. “There are a lot of Hispanic kids who are involved with it, and most of the kids who won the awards went over and above what they were supposed to do.
“They were doing community service, helping neighbors with their yards, helping senior citizens. I think it’s interesting. It shows them that there is a reward for doing something.”
Mostly, Quintana said, the great part of the event is seeing all of the kids in matching D-backs shirts, headed to the ballpark where they can grab a bag of popcorn, scream as loud as they want for the D-backs, and just have fun for a few hours.
The school that made the loudest noise at the event got to lead the group parade to Chase Field.
“I think it’s exciting,” Quintana said. “The main requirement for those kids to be there was to be loud. So I think it’s really great that they get out of the school, come to the park and they can be kids and be loud. I like that idea. And I like the fact that they have to do community service so they can be a part of this group.”