Speed Reads

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Baseball's goofiest accessory is making its long-awaited return

Start your engines! After a 22-year hiatus, Major League Baseball is bringing back the beloved bullpen cart, with the Arizona Diamondbacks the first team to retire physically running to the mound. "This is actually happening," the team tweeted Tuesday, evidently hardly able to believe it themselves:

"Those goofy, baseball-shaped carts that dominated baseball in the 1970s arrived with little fanfare and departed with even less," MLB.com writes in its history of the buggy. ESPN's Darren Rovell notes that an entire generation of fans has grown up without the vehicles roaring to the mound to deliver relief pitchers during pitching changes.

"Bullpen carts have such potential as much more than just a '70s throwback," argued Deadspin last month. "They look wonderfully stupid (or the best ones do, at least). They don't take themselves seriously. They recognize and support the fact that baseball is supposed to be fun."

Diamondbacks bullpen coach Mike Fetters told ESPN that pitchers can still opt out of taking the cart if they want to (but why would they?). Learn more about the rise and fall of the bullpen carts at Mental Floss, and check out what we've been missing all these years below. Jeva Lange