The Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers are on fire. Or at least, their taste buds are.
Archie Bradley emitted a loud “Woo!” as he bit into one of Taijuan Walker’s bison tacos.
“My mouth is on fire, bro,” he said.
Standing in front of specialty designed taco truck, Walker and his wife Heather handed out free tacos to teammates and fans at Salt River Fields on Monday ahead of the Diamondbacks’ spring training game against the Colorado Rockies.
Walker was the star, but as usual Bradley stole the show when he drove up blasting the horn on a golf cart full of Diamondbacks players. Though they were careful not to cut in front of any Arizona fans, the players all quickly snagged free tacos as well, marking Walker’s recipe up as a win.
“I would say definitely I like the mix of the crunchy and the soft… and then you get the bison, you get the beef. It’s two different types of meat. They’re fire,” Bradley said. “I like tacos because when you eat them, all the stuff pops out. That means there’s stuff all over my face right now. I’m good to go.”
Walker, a Diamondbacks pitcher who loves to cook, took a recipe passed down by his mom, Nellie Garcia, and gave it his own twist. Garcia was on hand as well, as her son got a chance to share his recipe with fans and friends.
The first fan in line was Owen Fitzgerald, following by his dad, Eamon. Both went with the bison tacos, which are Walker’s specialty.
“That was his recommendation. They’re great – you have to go with his recommendation when he’s the chef,” Owen said. The two were visiting from Redding, California, but the tacos certainly won them over.
The majority of the patrons at the taco truck were Diamondbacks fans, who found the chance to meet players a bonus on top of the free food.
“We love the Dbacks. It’s really nice that they would could out and spend time with the fans like this,” said Robert Owen-Jones, a fan from Tempe. “They’re even feeding Colorado Rockies fans, which is nice,” he joked.
But for Walker, who helped spearhead the event and promoted it on Twitter, it didn’t matter what jerseys fans were wearing.
“This is what Spring Training is about — interacting with the fans — and it’s their chance to get up close,” Walker said. “Doing something like this is just fun.”
Manager Torey Lovuello came through toward the end of the hour, as the taco session wrapped up and fans headed in for the game.
Everyone was pleased with the food, though Taco Bell may have something to worry about. Last season, the chain ran a promotion where Diamondbacks fans could get three free tacos at Taco Bell with the purchase of a large drink following games in which the team scores five runs or more.
“I should suggest something new,” Bradley said. “It should be five runs for Tai’s tacos.”
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