ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS PLAYOFF INFORMATION:
World Series Titles: 1
National League Championships: 1
National League Divsion Titles: 5
The Arizona Diamondbacks were one of two expansion teams to enter the Major Leagues during the 1998 season, and the public reception to greet the new team was astounding. More than 50,000 fans packed into Bank One Ballpark to see the Diamondbacks' first home game and little did they know that the ballpark would soon be the scene of one of the most unlikely championship runs in American sports. Though the Diamondbacks won only 65 games during their first year, the front office had a blueprint to build a championship contender.
Before the 1999 season, the Diamondbacks signed All-Star pitcher Randy Johnson and veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez. Johnson would win the Cy Young that year, and the Diamondbacks were soon being talked about as a real contender in the National League West. In 2000, the Diamondbacks made a blockbuster midseason trade for pitcher Curt Schilling, which gave them arguably the best 1-2 pitching punch in the Majors.
The 2001 season proved to be the magical run that the Diamondbacks were looking for, with Johnson and Schilling confounding hitters at the plate all year. Gonzalez enjoyed an MVP-type season at the plate, and the acquisition of first baseman Mark Grace helped to stabilize the batting order. The Diamondbacks would win the NL West and make quick work of the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves in the playoffs.
The Diamondbacks were pitted against the New York Yankees in the World Series, who had won the title twice over the past three years. It would turn out to be one of the best Fall Classics in years, with the Diamondbacks limping back home three games to two after closer Byung-Hyun Kim gave up two pivotal late homers to give the Yankees two heartbreaking victories. The Diamondbacks would turn the tables back home in the desert with a 15-2 win in Game 6. The team pulled off the upset in Game 7 when Luis Gonzalez hit the go-ahead single off of Mariano Rivera to win the Diamondbacks' only World Series.
In recent years, the Diamondbacks have been a strong contender in the National League West, with division titles in 2007 and 2011. The Diamondbacks have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and boast one of the most cutting edge ballparks in baseball. In the wide open NL West, the Diamondbacks have a great shot to capture the NL pennant in the near future.