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All-Time Team – Arizona Diamondbacks
Best Team 2001
The 2001 Diamondbacks won the World Series primarily through the efforts of their two extraordinary pitchers, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. The two hurlers dominated the New York Yankee lineup in the Fall Classic the same way they ruled National League batters all season long. Still, Arizona was not a two-man team. The Diamondbacks also had a solid lineup that featured Luis Gonzalez, who hit 57 home runs and batted .336 during the regular season, setting in the process team records in virtually every major offensive category.
The Diamondbacks used a Game Seven rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand Yankee closer Mariano Rivera his only career postseason loss. Considering Rivera’s history of success in postseason play, Arizona’s accomplishment was truly amazing. Gonzalez got the game-winning hit, while Johnson got credit for the victory after relieving Schilling, who surrendered only one run in eight innings of work. The two pitchers combined for all four Arizona victories in the Fall Classic.
Luis Gonzalez: Gonzo holds franchise records in everything but stolen bases and triples. His 2001 season clearly ranks as the greatest in Diamondbacks history, establishing him as one of only two players to cross the 1.000 OPS number in a single season.
Randy Johnson: The Big Unit won the Cy Young Award four straight times as a member of the Diamondbacks. He established himself as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game during his time in Arizona, rivaling Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax,Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton as the premier left-hander of all-time.
Catcher – Damian Miller
Miller called a good game and was a solid hitter, compiling a .270 batting average and a .340 on-base percentage. He served as the team’s primary receiver during the championship 2001 campaign.
First Base – Conor Jackson
More home runs, RBIs, and games played than any other Arizona first baseman.
Second Base – Orlando Hudson
Hudson’s outstanding defense and solid base running skills earn him a spot in the starting lineup.
Third Base – Matt Williams
Although he had most of his finest seasons for the Giants, Williams hit 35 homers, knocked in 142 runs, and batted .303 for Arizona in 1999, while also playing a Gold Glove caliber third base.
Shortstop – Jay Bell
Bell is another player who spent most of his career playing for other teams. However, he had his biggest year as a member of the Diamondbacks, hitting 38 home runs, driving in 112 runs, and scoring 132 runs for the team in 1999.
Left Field – Luis Gonzalez
As stated earlier, Gonzalez is the team’s all-time leader in virtually every statistical category. He also compiled the greatest single season in club history.
Center Field – Steve Finley
One of the best all-around players in team history, Finley won two Gold Gloves and hit 153 home runs in his five-plus years in Arizona. He also served as the team’s starter at the position during the 2001 championship season.
Right Field – Danny Bautista
Bautista owns the second highest batting average in team history.
Starting Pitcher – Randy Johnson
In six seasons with the Diamondbacks, Johnson averaged:
17-8 Record, 2.65 ERA, 1.76 Adjusted ERA, 232 IP, 305 SO, 1.042 WHIP, en route to winning four Cy Young Awards.
Starting Pitcher – Curt Schilling
Schilling made a name for himself during his time in Philadelphia. But it wasn’t until he joined the Diamondbacks that Schilling became a truly great pitcher, and that he gained general recognition as arguably the finest postseason pitcher of his generation. Schilling combined to win a total of 45 games in back-to-back seasons, and he totally dominated the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
Starting Pitcher – Brandon Webb
Webb boasts a record of 87-62 after seven full seasons in Arizona, along with a very respectable 3.27 ERA. He captured the 2006 N.L. Cy Young Award, then bettered his performance two years later when he posted a career-high 22 victories.
Starting Pitcher – Brian Anderson
Unspectacular, but solid, having posted a 41-42 record in his five seasons with the Diamondbacks.
Starting Pitcher – Miguel Batista
Another serviceable pitcher who compiled an overall record of 40-34 in four full seasons with the Diamondbacks.
Closer – Jose Valverde
Valverde had a great 2007 season, with 47 saves. Although he experienced something of a meltdown during that year’s postseason, he remains the best closer to-date in team history.
Manager – Bob Brenly
Timing is everything, and a talented squad certainly helps. The Diamondbacks surprisingly won 100 games in just their second season, and they followed that up by posting 85 victories the next year. Team management subsequently decided to make a change, relieving Buck Showalter of his duties and replacing him at the helm with Brenly. Arizona’s new manager led the team to 92 victories and the world championship in his first year as skipper, pulling off a huge upset in the World Series against the heavily-favored Yankees. Brenly also led the Diamondbacks to one other playoff appearance, making him the only manager in club history to pilot the team to more than one postseason berth.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
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