On This Date In D-Backs History: First NL Pennant

By Matthew Hochberg

Curt Schilling, an Arizona all-time great, is now an analyst with ESPN. Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

While it may be hard to believe, there was a time, not too long ago when the Arizona Diamondbacks were not just a .500-level baseball team. On October 21, 2001, the D-Backs defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the NLCS and advanced to their first World Series in franchise history.

The Snakes faced off against the mighty New York Yankees in the Fall Classic, who were looking for their fourth consecutive championship. Arizona, however, beat them 4-3 in the highly contested best-of-seven matchup. Luis Gonzalez‘s walk-off bloop single off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 was the series clincher for Arizona. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were the co-MVP’s, combining for a 4-0 record and 1.40 ERA in the series, while striking out 45 Bronx Bombers in 39.1 innings. It was the first World Series to ever reach November.

Looking toward 2014, the Diamondbacks will try to reach the playoffs after falling short the last two seasons. There are certainly talented pieces on the roster, but it will be interesting to see what, if any, moves general manager Kevin Towers will make this offseason.

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