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Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Franchise

Updated on November 29, 2015

Diamondbacks Stadium

Arizona Diamondbacks season opening game in 2010
Arizona Diamondbacks season opening game in 2010 | Source

Diamondbacks Baseball

The Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team was born in the late 1990’s when they and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (they have since dropped the ‘Devil’ from their name) made their debut in Major League Baseball. MLB went through two separate expansions in the 1990’s adding teams in Arizona, Colorado, and two in Florida.

It was only fitting that baseball have a professional team in Arizona since the state plays such an important role in Spring Training every year.

When Spring Training comes around teams report to one of two locations; the cactus league is in Arizona and the grapefruit league is in Florida. Geographic location basically dictates which facility your franchise uses but the teams in the Midwest can kind of go either way, since they are about in the middle of both states anyway.

Even though the Diamondbacks are one of the youngest franchises in MLB history they have already made a mark on the game. They have won five division titles (1999, 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2011) in the National League West and have a World Series title as well.

In addition to being successful on the field they also play in one of the better facilities in the game; it has also been recently selected by Major League Baseball to host the All-Star Game back in 2011.

Chase Field

Chase Field is a baseball only venue that features a retractable roof, pretty nice feature for those 120+ degrees summer days in Phoenix. The stadium was originally called the Bank One Ballpark (aka The BOB) when it was originally opened back in 1998; it kept this name until 2005 when it became Chase Field.

I was actually in school in Phoenix when the stadium was being built. Even though I didn’t have the need to drive near the construction site I could still see it in the distance from the nearby freeways.

For those casual fans you might have seen this field on the highlights once or twice since it has a rather unique amenity for fans. Beyond the right center field fence sits a swimming pool and occasionally it comes into play when fans are going for home run balls. Since the pool isn’t that far away from the fence hitters have been able to deposit balls into the pool.

In my opinion it is a great way to watch a game in Arizona. Pools are highly common anyway so why not sit in one while you take in the game? You might even get to dive for a baseball!

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Major League World Series

The franchises one and only World Series title was won back in 2001. The team itself was very talented and had a couple of players that have the credentials to make them serious Hall of Fame candidates when their eligibility comes up.

What made their championship run so interesting to watch is because it was their first real voyage into the MLB postseason. The team had only one previous taste of the postseason and that was two years prior. Even though the roster still had some veteran players they had plenty of less seasoned players as well who didn’t know what to expect in the higher pressure postseason.

To further stack the deck against the Diamondbacks was their World Series opponent, one of the most successful teams in the game, the New York Yankees. With Arizona entering the contest possessing a goose egg in the championship column, the Yankees had twenty-six championships at the time; in terms of franchise history this was a baseball version of David and Goliath.

I remember watching a few games and hoping this little Arizona franchise could get the job done. The Yankees were up to the challenge though and the Series went the full seven games. I can also recall Arizona’s two workhorses on the mound Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling gutting it out on the mound and throwing as many innings as their arms would allow.

Fast forwarding to the end of game seven the Yankees had the best closer in the game, Mariano Rivera, on the hill pitching to the undersized power hitter from Arizona, Luis Gonzalez. For those that don’t know Rivera, he basically only throws one pitch but it is devastating. Rivera’s cut fast ball has sent many bats to the kindling pile with its late movement.

Gonzalez was trying to get a base hit to score the winning run from second base, not an easy task against the best closer in the game. Gonzalez managed to get a pitch he could get just enough wood on and he flared it into shallow left center field, it was enough to get the runner home to score the game winning run.

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Even though the team is young in years when compared to some of the other franchises that have been around for over one hundred years it still has had some very good players come through. The biggest name is probably Johnson who is a first year Hall of Fame guy once his name appears on the ballot. Schilling is more on the fence about making it to Cooperstown, same for Gonzalez.

Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson (The Big unit) pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Randy Johnson (The Big unit) pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks | Source

Baseball in Phoenix


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    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      teaches12345 - Baseball has always been a passion of mine so I thought it would be fun to do one of these historical pieces for each franchise. I'll get to the Reds soon since I am going in alphabetical order. Thanks for commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am ready for hotdogs and soda after reading your hub! Glad to see you listed my Cincinnati Reds on the list of choices. Thanks for the sharing on the Diamondbacks history -- you are quite a talented writer.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Mmargie1966 - I'm glad you enjoyed reading it because I had fun writing it. Thanks for voting too.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Larry - Stats are a part of the game that many people love, maybe that is why fantasy baseball is so popular.

      For me I just love the game. I enjoy trying to figure out what the manager might be thinking about next and what the other team is trying to do on the field. Even though there is a huge push towards the stats that you aren't a fan of there are still a bunch of fans that just enjoy seeing the game being played. Thanks for commenting.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      That was a fun read! I voted up and interesting!

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your Hub, even though I never watch baseball on television any more. I grew up in the days of Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese broadcasting the game of the week. I was not bomborded with counless stats such as how well a left-handed first baseman hits against a left-handed pitcher or artificial turn at a night game as opposed to batting against a right handed pitcher, who started out as a shortstop. Tell me who is on base, the count and something humorous or interesting to fill in the void. Talk about the umpire. Tell me what the player does in the off season. Do not expect me to remember or care about those stats. I do not want to rant as I have been accused by some hubbers. I just miss the old days when baseball was a game between two teams instead of a game with 18 individual players all seeking their moment of fame.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      billy - I still remember him in an Expos jersey!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We had him when he first came up, and we got to watch him develop into one of the greatest. My God he was wild when he first started out...scary wild.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      billybuc - The Dbacks are young but they have accomplished a good amount in only a few years of existence. Johnson was a joy to watch pitch. People still talk about his outing in the All-Star game when he completely embarrassed John Kruk. Thanks for commenting

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As a Seattle Mariners fan, I have a little more knowledge about the Diamondbacks than some other fans might.....and the history of this team is pretty impressive considering how young a team it is.

      Nice job on the hub; I still miss Randy Johnson!