Current D-backs, 2001 champs dominate 20th anniversary team
PHOENIX — Twenty-and-a-half years of roster changes for the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise has seen talent come in one door and leave out the other.
There were bound to be omissions when the D-backs on Friday unveiled their 20th anniversary team as voted on by the fans.
Four current Arizona players and eight from the 2001 World Series championship team made the 16-man anniversary team, which was revealed at Chase Field in front of season-ticket holders.
“It’s pretty neat,” said current D-backs ace Zack Greinke, one of the five starting pitchers to make the squad. “I think you probably get a little bit of a bias from being the most recent player on the team … but I like it.”
Greinke’s teammates Paul Goldschmidt (first base), Patrick Corbin (starting pitcher) and A.J. Pollock (outfielder) also made the 20th anniversary team of 15 players and one manager.
Bob Brenly, who went 303-262 and managed Arizona to the World Series win, was one of eight on the list who were also on the Diamondbacks’ 10th anniversary team. He joined a predictable crew from the D-backs’ championship team: third baseman Matt Williams, second baseman Jay Bell, shortstop Tony Womack, pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, plus outfielders Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley.
“In 20 years, this organization has done a lot,” Gonzalez said Friday. “It’s been remarkable to see how many good All-Star players and Hall-of-Famers, everything that’s run through here in 20 seasons.”
Were there any obvious omissions, players skipped over due to depth at certain positions or, as Greinke surmised, due to a recency bias? Gonzalez tipped his cap to Craig Counsell, who played all over the infield with Arizona.
“He was a glue guy to our 2001 team. If there was a utility award, I’m sure he would have been on this team,” Gonzalez said.
Added Johnson: “So many players that had played here, someone is always going to feel like they should have been (on it). It’s kind of like the All-Star game, you know?”
The D-backs will honor the 16 men on the 20th anniversary squad in a pregame ceremony Aug. 4, and the first 20,000 fans at Chase Field will receive special t-shirts for the occasion.
D-backs 20th anniversary team
*Manager — Bob Brenly
First Base — Paul Goldschmidt
Second Base — Jay Bell
*Shortstop — Tony Womack
* Third Base— Matt Williams
Catcher — Miguel Montero
* Outfield — Luis Gonzalez
* Outfield — Steve Finley
Outfield — A.J. Pollock
* Starting Pitcher — Randy Johnson
* Starting Pitcher — Brandon Webb
Starting Pitcher — Curt Schilling
Starting Pitcher — Patrick Corbin
Starting Pitcher — Zack Greinke
*Relief Pitcher — Jose Valverde
Relief Pitcher — Brad Ziegler
* Denotes member of the 10th anniversary team