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Diamondbacks celebrating 20th Anniversary of 2001 World Series

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Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Luis Gonzalez (C,raised arm) is congratulated by starting pitcher Curt Schilling (black jacket) and Craig Counsell (R) after Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 7 of the World Series for the Diamonbacks in Phoenix 04 November 2001. The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 3-2 and win the 97th World Series four games to three, becoming the fastest expansion club to take the title by doing so in only their fourth season of existence. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Luis Gonzalez (C,raised arm) is congratulated by starting pitcher Curt Schilling (black jacket) and Craig Counsell (R) after Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 7 of the World Series for the Diamonbacks in Phoenix 04 November 2001. The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 3-2 and win the 97th World Series four games to three, becoming the fastest expansion club to take the title by doing so in only their fourth season of existence. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Diamondbacks celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 2001 World Series this Saturday!

This Saturday is the day that the Diamondbacks will remember and celebrate the amazing World Series win over the Yankees in 2001. It’s the only World Series championship that the team has in its 23-year history. They are doing it before the game against the team who had the best record in history, the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Well, this year, they are playing the 2021 Mariners.

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The Dbacks are doing a giveaway, a special post-game event, and promoting a feeling of remembrance. After all, back in 2001, the fresh-faced team of rebels had to beat the Empire of baseball, the Yankees, who were seeking their 4th World Series win in a row.

I doubt anyone truly believed the Yankees would lose even though the Dbacks had Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling as a monstrous top-2 in the rotation. The Yankees had Roger Clemens and an offense that was in every player’s prime year.

Luckily, the Dbacks had the home-field advantage due to the National League winning the All-Star Game. Multiple players on the team had career years, including Luis Gonzales who had 56 home runs.

Game 1 was won thanks to Curt Schilling’s masterful pitching and an offensive explosion in the 3rd and 4th innings. The score was 9-1. Game 2 was Randy’s game. A complete game shut-out by the lefty king put the Yanks down two games. Matt Williams gave some firepower with a 3-run blast. The final score was 4-0.

Games 3-5 were set in NYC. That city and most of America cried during the games as they were taking place not long after the awful events of 9-11. Thus, it’s understandable why most MLB fans wanted the Yankees to win for New York’s sake. Yankees won game 3 after a great pitching performance by Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera. The final score was 2-1.

Game 4 was decided by a walk-off. Curt Schilling pitched brilliantly on short rest. The Dbacks had a 3-1 lead going into the 9th. Unfortunately, Byung-Hyun Kim gave up the lead and let the Yankees tie it in the bottom of 9th. Then Derek Jeter airlifted the ball to the seats in the bottom of the 10th to give the Empire the win.

With the series tied at 2, game 5 was pivotal for the momentum swing. Of course, the Yankees had the momentum going into the game. Miguel Batista was on the bump for the Dbacks and he gave probably his best pitching performance of his career. He gave 7+ scoreless innings and got the Dbacks to where they could win. They had a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth.

Welp, Kim gave up the two-run lead and to extras, they went. The Yankees eventually walked it off in the bottom of the 12th after Knoblauch slid under our catcher’s tag. The Yankees had all the momentum and back to Arizona, it went.

Once again, Randy led the Dbacks to victory through a masterful and incredible performance. He gave the team 7 strong innings while the offense absolutely battered the Yankees pitching. A final score of 15-2 showcased how the Dbacks felt being down 3-2 in the series.

Magic had to be infused with Game 7. It’s probably the best Game 7 in MLB history or maybe any sport’s history. I might be biased but I also am meaning that not many championships are decided by walk-offs between a Hall-of-Fame team and a nobody team.

A Hall-of-Fame pitching matchup between Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling gave way for a low-scoring game. Schilling gave 5+ innings on short rest. It was tied at 1 at the end of the 7th. Then, out comes the Big Unit with 2 outs in the 8th inning. Randy had pitched the day prior.

It was rather bewildering to see him come out with only hours of rest. Additionally, it was a big risk if the Big Unit was running on empty. Thankfully for the Dbacks and fans, he was at full-tank capacity.

Arizona Diamondbacks Randy Johnson
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Randy Johnson pitches during Game 2 of the 2001 World Series in Phoenix 28 October 2001. The New York Yankees are playing the Arizona Diamondbacks. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP) (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /

Randy finished the game on the mound and got the Dbacks to the bottom of the 9th with the Dbacks only down 2-1. The team was on their heels with back to the wall against the greatest closer in MLB history, Mariano Rivera.

Mark Grace led the inning off with a base hit. Two batters, one out later, Tony Womack hits the ball into the corner for a game-tying double. Rivera allowed another base-runner and then hit Craig Counsell. With that, the bases were loaded, and only one out in the inning.

Due to that, Manager Joe Torre of the Yankees decided to bring his infield in. The risk with that is a bloop broken-bat hat into shallow outfield would win the game. Well, it’s kind of romantic due to that happening. Luis Gonzalez, the leader/MVP of the team, hit a walk-off bloop single over the head of Derek Jeter to give the Dbacks the win.

Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Luis Gonzalez hits his RBI single in the bottom of the 9th inning off New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (#42) which won Game 7 of the World Series for the Diamondbacks in Phoenix 04 November 2001. The Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 3-2, winning the series four games to three and become the 2001 world champions. AFP PHOTO Mike NELSON (Photo by MIKE NELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MIKE NELSON/AFP via Getty Images) /

With that, the Diamondbacks became the quickest expansion team in ANY of the big-4 professional sports in America to win a championship. That record still stands today. The rebels and underdogs rallied together to win a World Series no one expected them to. It’s still the only Championship that the state of Arizona has in the 4 main professional sports.

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What will the Diamondbacks be giving away?

To commemorate the anniversary, the team is giving away a replica t-shirt of the ones that the team wore after winning the World Series. There are only 10,000 being given away so get there EARLY! I know I will be.

Additionally, the Dbacks made a surprise announcement today. They said that there will be fireworks after the game on Saturday. Fireworks are also planned for Friday night. This just gives you even more of a reason to go to the game!

More from Venom Strikes

Make sure you’re at the game! Let’s support our hometown team. Support them through the bad times and the good. Also, be sure to check out the Broadcast fundraiser on Saturday where if you donate certain monetary amounts, you can get a signed ball, jersey, or more!

If you don’t mind sitting in the upper level, go to the Dbacks site and get some of those $9 tickets for either game this weekend!

As always,

May the Force be with You…

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