Arizona Diamondbacks

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 00:39

The history of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Information about the MLB team Arizona Diamondbacks.

Also called the "D backs," the Arizona Diamondbacks are a pro baseball squad in Arizona. This squad is a member of the West Division of the Major League Baseball, which is part of the National League. Since 1998, the D Backs have been playing at the Chase Field.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: story behind the franchise

From 1940 to 1990, the city of Phoenix experienced an incredible leap. From the 99th biggest city in the country, it became the 9th biggest. Indeed, baseball was a tradition in Arizona, way before considerations of having a big-time team were thought of.

An attempt to have an expansion team was spearheaded by Martin Stone and Elyse Doherty, the Phoenix Firebirds' owner. It was in the late 80s that Stone approached Bill Bidwill of the Cardinals regarding the sharing of a domed stadium. Bidwill then chose to have a long-term lease with the State University of Arizona to have the Sun Devil Stadium as the venue of the future NFL franchise. This deal terminated Stone's bid.

During the fall of 1993, Colangelo of the Phoenix Suns announced he was putting up an ownership group, the Arizona Baseball Inc. After a name-a-team contest, the winner label was Diamondbacks, after the state's famous native rattlesnake.

The bid of Colangelo got strong support from Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf among others. It was in March of 1995 that Colangelo's ownership group was granted a franchise to start playing at the 1998 season. The franchise fee paid to the Major League Baseball was $130 million.

The Diamondbacks, during the team's earlier days, ran as the Suns' subsidiary. A lot of managers from the Suns and America West Arena got transferred to the Diamondbacks.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: the making of a statewide team

Right from the start, Colangelo desired to market the Diamondbacks to a state-wide base, and not just to Phoenix and nearby suburbs. He also insisted that the team name "Arizona Diamondbacks" should be used and not "Phoenix." A lot of residents of Phoenix did not agree with this decision. Still, many fans based in other areas of the state agreed with the controversial decision. The second biggest city in Arizona, Tucson, was chosen as the headquarters of the Diamondbacks' training. TV and radio deals got struck with affiliates in Vegas, Prescott, and Flagstaff.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: from 1998 to 2002

The first league game of the squad was against the Rockies in March of 1998. The crowd was tremendous, reaching a level of 50,000 plus. This game was a victory for the Rockies, and history buffs would always remember this as a game when Andy Benes was on the mound.

For the first five seasons, Diamondbacks were champions in three division games in 1999, 2001, and 2002. The team, in 1999, won a hundred games and clinched the National League West.

It was in 2001 that this squad was graced with the presence of two baseball icons, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. The team had post-season wins versus the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, and got to play at the World Series. This World Series was one of the most memorable events in baseball history; the Diamondbacks crushed the fire-breathing New Yprk Yankees, with a score of 4 to 3. They became the youngest franchise to clinch a World Series. This series was considered as the start of the end of the Yankees' domination.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: 2006

A disappointment to Arizona fans, the Diamondbacks finished at 4th. This season, however, had two amazing performances by Orlando Hudson and Brandon Webb. Orlando Hudson was the recipient of the Gold Glove award. During the same season, Brandon Webb, in November 14, got the Cy Young Award. This ball warrior was an expert in sinkerballs.

To prepare for the 2007 season, the team did a lot of trades. Brewers and the Diamondbacks did a momentous trade -- Claudio Vargas, Greg Aquino, and Johnny Estrada were given to the Milwaukee Brewers for Dave Krynzel, Dana Eveland, and Doug Davis. The Marlins and the Diamondbacks reached an agreement to get Yusmeiro Petit for cash and Jorge Julio.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: new uniforms

The team disclosed in 2006 that for 2007, the uniforms would be changed. The nitty-gritty was supposed to be kept under wraps, but a leak somehow happened. The media printed the leaked upcoming design for everyone to appreciate. The new color design was a great surprise. Some fans liked the new color scheme. The team's traditional colors -- purple, copper, and turquoise -- were changed to a shade of red. The shade of red was called the "Sedona Red," which was similar to the Arizona Cardinals' Phoenix Coyotes' team colors.

The official showing of the new uniforms happened at a charity affair. Uniforms were paraded by the players. The uniforms' A design however, remained as is, while the D logo (snake-like) was altered just a bit, and a shoulder patch was added.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: changes in the team

It was not just the uniforms that changed. The following are just some of the changes in the team:

# Diamondbacks' Luis Gonzales no longer returned as left fielder. This ball icon committed to a one-year contract to play with the Dodgers for the 2007 season.
# Another strong player, Craig Counsell, committed to a two-year contract with the Brewers, no longer to be seen in the 2007 season at the camp of Diamondbacks.

# Jay Bell, both coach and player, gave up his obligations as a coach. Still, he supported the team as one of Bob Melvin's advisers.
# Thom Brennaman went to the camp of the Cincinnati Reds organization to collaborate with his father while doing booth work.

Along with these changes in the 2007 season, the team had a lot of success, with a young squad composed of Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, Miguel Montero, Chris Young, Chad Tracy, Carlos Quentin, Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, and Brandon Webb. In the year's regular season, the team had the strongest record, with a total of 72 losses and 90 wins.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: victories during the 2008 season

When the team won the opening game on March 31, the Diamonbacks had the an excellent record in the Major League, 20 to 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost the first series to the New York Mets. The team led the NL West even if the record was only 47 to 48 during the All-Star Break period.

In August of the same year, Dan Haren committed to a four-year deal until 2012 with the Diamondbacks. The deal was worth $41.25 million. This also included a $15 million club option until 2013.

Once thought of as a pitching prospect, Owings had a hard time during this year with just a 7.09 ERA. In August, the squad got David Eckstein, former MVP of the World Series, to do secondbase duties, which was vacated when Orlando Hudson got on the injured roster. The former was traded from the Blue Jays for Chad Beck. The squad ended the season with an 82 to 80 record, which was just good for second place in the NL West.

History of the Arizona Diamondbacks: trademark moves

The Diamondbacks have always been known to entice position players to pitch in already blown out games. The first such event was in 2001, when Bob Brenley had outfielder Steve Finley for a relief inning. The latter pithced a shutout and a no-hit inning. But Finley walked a batter. Ball trivia buffs would recall that Brenley did this not just once, but twice.