As 2011 ends, this is a perfect time to look back at some of the amazing moments of the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks season. There are obviously dozens, if not hundreds, of memorable D-backs moments in what turned out to be a season that far exceeded even the most die-hard fans’ expectations.
So with that said, there were several moments that will be remember for years to come from a season that was as much fun a season the D-backs have had since 2001. For example, watching a just-signed Lyle Overbay crushing a go-ahead, two-run double off Roy Halladay to lead the D-backs to a 3-2 win.
Or Chris Young robbing the Rockies’ Ty Wigginton of a home run in the eighth inning to preserve a one-run victory.
However, there are five moments that will stick out more than any others during the 2011 season:
1. Kirk Gibson’s first ejection as big-league manager.
Gibson sure got his money worth during this heated exchange with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson. Gibson was arguing on behalf of Miguel Montero who had two borderline check swings called on him by Davidson. Gibson obviously disagreed with the calls and came out of the dugout like a rocket to argue with Davidson. The exchange lasted for several minutes until Gibson finally, reluctantly made his way to the clubhouse.
2. Justin Upton’s mammoth walk-off blast in the 10th inning to give the D-backs a 3-2 win and end a five-game losing streak against division rival Giants.
With one out, nobody on in the tenth, Upton walked up to the plate, teed off on the first pitch he saw from Santiago Casilla and hit a giant opposite field home-run. The Diamondbacks went on to win six of the next eight games thanks in large part to Upton’s clutch home run.
3. Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run home run off of Giants ace Tim Lincecum.
Goldscmidt spent most of 2011 absolutely destroying the minor leagues hitting at a .306/.435/.626 clip in 103 games. When “Goldy,” as he was nicknamed, finally came to the “bigs,” his production continued. In just his second big-league game, Goldy came to the plate in the fifth inning against superstar Lincecum. Unimpeded, Goldy took a 2-1 offering from Lincecum and deposited it deep into the left field bleachers to give the D-backs a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
4. Ryan Roberts walk-off grand slam to overcome what once was a five-run deficit against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a somewhat meaningless game, considering the D-backs already had clinched the NL West, the D-backs fell behind 6-1 in the top of the tenth inning and in the bottom of the tenth, they quickly grounded into two outs. It could have been really easy to just lie down and just proceed into the postseason. But not this team, not this season. The rally started innocently with a pair of singles and then a walk. But quickly, the D-backs were able to score on an error and another walk and finally Roberts’ grand slam to left field.
5. The Diamondbacks clinching the NL West and the proceeding celebration.
This list would not be complete without this moment! On September 23, the D-backs clinched the NL West Title with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over the Giants. Paul Goldschmidt was the hero in this game with a go-ahead two-run triple in the eighth. However, it was the post-game celebration that was so memorable as many of the D-backs took to the outfield pool jumping in and splashing like 13-year olds at their first pool party. It was a hilarious and exciting moment all rolled into one.
After a memorable 2011 season, moments like the ones above are what many of us will be reminiscing about years later. Tell me some of the moments I may have missed but are burned into your memory like it just happened yesterday!