Diamondbacks’ latest World Series draws quirky, coincidental connections to 2001

Oct 27, 2023, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm

In this Nov. 4, 2001, file photo, the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate their ninth-inning victory ove...

In this Nov. 4, 2001, file photo, the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate their ninth-inning victory over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series in their fourth year of existence. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)

(AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)

It’s been 22 years since the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees to win their first championship.

Years of mediocre baseball, some good years and some bad, helped build the team to what it is today. Just two seasons ago, the Diamondbacks finished with a 52-110 record. Hope was hard to come by.

With the help of a NLCS MVP Ketel Marte, a dominant bullpen and stellar performances from Arizona’s youngsters, the Diamondbacks defied the odds and cruised through the playoffs.

The Diamondbacks are now set to take on the Texas Rangers in effort to bring a second championship not only to the organization but to the city of Phoenix.

Interestingly, this year’s World Series draws oddly specific comparisons to the 2001 Fall Classic. Let’s take a closer look at these oddities:

The Aces strike a pair (of birds)

When someone thinks of Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, they don’t think of his five Cy Young Awards or his World Series heroics. They think of the time the D-backs ace made a bird vanish in thin air with one of his fastballs in spring training of 2021, pitching to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s uncle, Calvin Murray.

Oddly enough, the ace of the staff 22 years later, Zac Gallen, also struck a bird with one of his pitches this year.

While Gallen struggled in the NLCS series, maybe a revival in the World Series will win him World Series MVP, just like Johnson did all those years ago.

A presidential first pitch

One of the most famous first pitches in World Series history came in 2001 when President George Bush showed off his arm and threw a perfect strike in Game 3. It was an emotional moment for the country and city especially after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

Bush, a Texas native, will be throwing out the first pitch on Friday for Game 1. It’ll be his fourth ceremonial first pitch, but his first in a series opener.

The same All-Star game location?

The All-Star Game took place in Seattle in both 2001 and 2023. Seattle native Corbin Carroll, the Rookie of the Year favorite, will look to propel the Diamondbacks to their second title win.

World Series dates

The dates for the 2023 Fall Classic mirror the exact dates of the 2001 Fall Classic.

In 2001, the home team won every game. Will we see that same outcome in 2023?

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Diamondbacks’ latest World Series draws quirky, coincidental connections to 2001