'You've gotta believe!' The Diamondbacks did just that during the 2001 World Series
Randy Johnson celebrates after beating the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series in Phoenix, AZ.
“You’ve gotta believe!”
That was the Diamondbacks’ rallying cry over and over throughout a mildly chilly evening on Nov. 4, 2001, at Bank One Ballpark. It was Sunday, Game 7 of the World Series against the 26-time world champion New York Yankees, the Pinstripes were hungry for a fourth straight title, and they were closing in on it.
The mood turned almost surreal in the top of the seventh inning when a dust storm suddenly blew into the stadium, blowing trash around and momentarily darkening the field. As a light rain followed and suddenly stopped, Diamondbacks players kept telling each other the same thing.
“We can do this! We can!” left fielder Luis Gonzalez remembered imploring his teammates.
“You’ve gotta believe!”
This Diamondbacks team believed all year, starting way back at the beginning of spring training in Tucson. They were assembled for just this kind of occasion, this type of moment – a veteran band of players from different teams – coming together to win as one and bring Arizona its first major sports championship.
“In spring training, our goal wasn’t to get to the World Series, it was to win the World Series,” Gonzalez said. “And we believed in our hearts that we could do that.”
Though they were known to joke and clown around like college boys, the 2001 Diamondbacks played harder than they ever partied. For many of them, such as infielders Mark Grace, Matt Williams and Jay Bell to outfielders Steve Finley and Reggie Sanders and their ace pitcher, Randy Johnson, they knew this might be their last chance at World Series glory.
They weren’t about to spit it away.
As Finley said earlier in the season: “Everybody came to camp this year healthy and in some of the best shape I’ve ever seen these guys. We know we have a golden opportunity here and we want to be ready to take advantage of that.”
A pair of 18-win months in May and June helped solidify their expectations. Winning eight of their final 11 games, they captured their second National League West Division title, going 92-70 to finish two wins ahead of the second-place Giants.
Upon dispatching both the Cardinals and Braves in the NL divisional and championship series, it was time to put the Diamondbacks’ belief to the ultimate test by facing the vaunted Yankees in the Fall Classic. Given the backdrop of the September 11 attacks and the grief and fatigue that swallowed all of New York, the Yankees were the sentimental favorites.
And really, who could argue that?
Flash back to Game 7 after the almost-apparitional swirling wind and rain appearance, and the Yankees found themselves just six outs away from winning it all. Alfonso Soriano had just golfed an 0-2 pitch from Curt Schilling over the left field wall to lead off the eighth inning to give New York a 2-1 lead.
Schilling struck out Scott Brosius and allowed a single to David Justice, but the Diamondbacks managed to get out of the inning. Miguel Batista, Arizona’s Game 5 starter, came in to relieve Schilling and record the next out. Manager Bob Brenly then called upon Johnson, his Game 6 starting pitcher, to get the final out of the eighth, which he did.
But the Diamondbacks’ backs were squarely against the wall as Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who hadn’t blown a save since 1997 – a full year before Arizona ever played its first major-league game – slowly and coolly strode to the mound. It didn’t look good for the home team.
The Yankees, after all, hadn’t lost a game they had led after eight innings in the postseason since dropping Game 4 of the 1947 World Series to the Brooklyn Dodgers. And on this night, they had the “Sandman” on the hill with his devastating slider, ready to put the Diamondbacks to bed.
It was time to believe. “You’ve gotta believe!”
“We were all in the dugout saying, ‘We believe. You’ve gotta believe,'” Grace said at the time. “We weren’t just thinking it. We were saying it out loud.”
They believed in Game 1 and the result was a dominating, almost too-easy 9-1 victory over the Bronx Bombers. Craig Counsell and Gonzalez each homered, Sanders reached base three times and Grace drove in a pair of runs. Schilling, meanwhile, pitched seven low-stress innings, which including having to throw only 18 total pitches to the final 14 batters he faced.
After the game, Finley gave the baseball he caught for the final out to Jerry Colangelo, the team’s managing general partner.
“I was happy to do it,” Finley said.
As a certified Yankee hater, this was a pleasure to watch back almost 20 years later.
But even now, knowing the result, it seems impossible.
Arizona manager Bob Brenly let Curt Schilling go out for one inning too many — simple as that. Schilling, who started on three days rest, was untouchable through six innings (albeit with the benefit of umpire Steve Rippley's absurdly wide strike zone), but showed signs of slowing in the seventh. He escaped with just one run allowed in the seventh, but Steve Finley needed to race into left center field to catch a hard-hit fly ball from Shane Spencer to avoid a complete blowup.
In the eighth, a very young Alfonso Soriano golfed a Schilling pitch over the left-field wall to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead, and Schilling finally got the hook.
Miguel Batista and Randy Johnson recorded the last two outs of the inning, but based on what we knew was coming, the game was over. It had to be.
Mariano Rivera would pitch the last two innings of the game. He came in with a 0.70 ERA in his postseason career, and had converted 24 of his 25 playoff save opportunities.
And Rivera summarily struck out the side in the bottom of eighth.
Done. No chance. Another revolting Yankees celebration for this young Orioles fan to watch.
But Brenly turned out to be Nostradamus. During his mound visit to remove Schilling, he made a prediction, presumably to relieve the pitcher's frustration for being in line for the loss.
"That ain’t going to beat us," Brenly said. "We’re going to get that back and then some."
After Johnson cruised through the top half of the ninth inning, everything came together in the bottom half.
The 37-year-old Mark Grace singled up the middle, then Damian Miller got a bunt down, in an attempted sacrifice to move the tying run to second. Rivera fielded the bunt, but instead of getting the sure out at first, he chucked the ball into center field, in an attempt to get the lead runner at second.
Pinch hitter Jay Bell put down another bunt, but this time Rivera gunned down the lead runner at third. Now, with a runner at first and second with one out, a double play could end it.
Tony Womack had other ideas. The shortstop whacked a double down the right field line to tie the game.
Rivera hit Craig Counsell with a pitch to load the bases, and the infield was in to face Luis Gonzalez.
Rivera struck out Gonzalez in the eighth, but the outfielder got just enough of the ball in the ninth. The jam-shot bloop over shortstop Derek Jeter's head would have been easily fielded if the infield wasn't in, but it landed softly, a step onto the outfield grass, to score Bell and give the Diamondbacks their only World Series victory.
The Yankees dynasty that began in 1996 was mercifully over.
Our policy relating to data collection and privacy has fairness at its heart and is never intended to cause objection or complaint and to that end if there is any dubiety we will not store your information. As a business we wish to stay in communication with your and keep you up to date with news, offers and updates on our product which you may find of interest, but we will only do this with your clear and specific consent.
KILLIE FC is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
KILLIE FC may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 13th Jun 2018
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online and offline.
Where we collect this information
As a business we collect data for a number of sources, but our data policy applies to all of the following including personal data collected at reception, check in, exhibitions, on and off-line competitions, guest questionnaires, online bookings, online communications, digital newsletter sign ups from websites and social media, shared promotions with partners and others not listed.
We confirm that unless specific consent is given by the user the information shared will not be stored beyond the purpose intended. If specific consent is given to use the information collected it will be stored securely and digitally encrypted and password protected.
A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data, using Google Analytics normally but on occasion other aggregation tools that advise us about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
Controlling your personal information
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
â whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes
â if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us or by clicking unsubscribe where available.
We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting only if you specifically consent to us that you wish this to happen.
We undertake that third parties will only include businesses that support our business and your stay such as travel providers, visitor attractions, event providers and others directly related to our business offering.
If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us [email protected] as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.
Our Website and In House Data Collection Policy
Our email collection policy is fully consent based and in entering your details clear consent is given by the user to receive future marketing materials from ourselves. The following information makes clear our policy on use of consent based email marketing and communications.
What we collect
We may collect the following information on a consent only basis:
â name and job title
â contact information including email address
â demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
â other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers
What we do with the information we gather
The majority of the information we gather is required for contractual and legal purposes and to allow us to offer products and services as purchased.
When consent is given to use the information for marketing and communication purposes it is used for the following reasons:
â We may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
â From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you using your provided email address for market research purposes.
Your information will never be shared with any third parties and at all times you have the right to unsubscribe permanently from our database with a simple click of the unsubscribe information at which time your details will be deleted from the mailing lists and removed from the database permanently with no archived records retained.
Your use of the Killie FC Web Site is subject to these terms and by using the Site you show your agreement to such terms. If you do not accept our terms, please do not use the Web Site.
This Web Site belongs to Killie FC.
Headings used in these terms and conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.
The images, logos and names on this Web Site which identify Killie FC or third parties and their products and services are proprietary marks of Killie FC and/or the relevant third parties. Nothing contained in this Web Site shall be deemed to confer on any person any license or right on the part of Killie FC or any third party with respect to any such image, logo or name.
Killie FC reserves the right, at any time and without prior notice, to remove or cease to supply any product or service contained on this Web Site. In the event that such removal takes place we shall not be liable to you in any way whatsoever for such removal.
Telephone calls using the telephone numbers provided on this Web Site and email correspondence with Killie FC at the email addresses accessible through, or discernible from, this Web Site may be recorded or monitored. By using such communication methods you are consenting to the recording or monitoring of the same.
The price of calls may vary depending on your telecoms supplier. Please check with your operator for exact charges.
This Web Site is for non-commercial, personal use only. The services contained on this Web Site may be supplied on a commercial basis on payment to Killie FC or its service or product suppliers of its charges from time to time. Please contact us on Email: [email protected]
In the event that you use any of the services contained on this Web Site for commercial use, Killie FC shall be entitled to charge you at its applicable rates in respect of such commercial use.
The copyright in the material contained in this Web Site belongs to Killie FC or its licensed source. Any person may copy any part of this material, subject to the following conditions:
the material may not be used for commercial purposes;
the copies must retain any copyrights or other intellectual property notices contained in the original material;
the products and technology or processes described in this Web Site may be subject to other intellectual property rights reserved by Killie FC or by other third parties with no license granted in respect of those intellectual property rights); images on this Web Site are protected by copyright as its text by IPR and may not be reproduced or appropriated in any manner without the written permission of their respective owner(s).
We reserve the right to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes on the Web Site. It is your responsibility to review the Web Site terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the latest terms and conditions. Your use of this Web Site after a change has been posted will be deemed to signify your acceptance of the modified terms and conditions. We recommend that you print off and retain for your records a copy of these terms and conditions from time to time and a copy of any terms and conditions relating to any product or service which you apply for online, together with any related application form completed and submitted.
Any amendment to terms and conditions must be agreed in writing by us, or, if appropriate, by the relevant company or individual supplier with whom you contract.
Whilst Killie FC has taken due care and attention in the preparation of the contents of this Web Site, this Web Site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos, icons regarding or relating to Killie FC or our products and services marketed on the site (or to third party products and services), are provided on an 'as is' basis without any representation or endorsement being made and without any warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy.
To the extent permitted by law, all such terms and warranties are hereby excluded. In no event will Killie FC be liable, whether in contract or tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty) or otherwise for any losses sustained and arising out of or in connection with use of this Web Site including, without limitation, loss of profits, loss of data or loss of goodwill (in all these cases whether direct or indirect) nor any indirect, economic, consequential or special loss.
Killie FC does not represent that the information contained in this Web Site is accurate, comprehensive, verified or complete, and shall accept no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this Web Site or for any reliance placed by any person on the information.
Killie FC does not warrant that the functions or materials accessible from or contained in this Web Site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected or that this Web Site or the server that makes it available are virus or bug free or represent the full functionality, accuracy, reliability of the materials.
If any of these Terms and Conditions (or any terms and conditions relating to a product or service referred to in this Web Site) should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by reason of the laws of any state or country in which such terms and conditions are intended to be effective, then to the extent of such illegality, invalidity or unenforceability, and in relation to such state or country only, such terms or condition shall be deleted and severed from the rest of the relevant terms and conditions and the remaining terms and conditions shall survive, remain in full force and effect and continue to be binding and enforceable. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude Killie FC's liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence of Killie FC.
All Intellectual Property Rights (including, without limitation, all database rights, rights in designs, rights in know-how, patents and rights in inventions (in all cases whether registered or unregistered and including all rights to apply for registration) and all other intellectual or industrial property rights in any jurisdiction) in any information, content, materials, data or processes contained in or to this Web Site belong to Killie FC or its licensed source. All rights of Killie FC in such Intellectual Property Rights are hereby reserved.
Killie FC makes no representation that any product or service referred to on or through the Web Site is appropriate for use, or available in other locations. The information and other materials contained in this Web Site may not satisfy the laws of any other country and those who choose to access this Site from other locations are responsible for compliance with local laws if and to the extent local laws are applicable.
These Terms and Conditions and any terms and conditions relating to products or services described in this Web Site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of Scotland. Disputes arising in relation to the same shall, unless otherwise expressly agreed, be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.
Certain (hypertext) links, advertisements or suppliers promotion will lead you to Web Sites that are not under the control of Killie FC. When you activate any of these links, you will leave Killie FC Web Site by opening a new window and we have no control over and will accept no responsibility or liability in respect of the material on any such other Web Site. By allowing links with third party Web Sites Killie FC does not intend to solicit business or offer any security to any person in any country, directly or indirectly.
Every effort will be made to carry out the contract but its due performance is subject to cancellation by Killie FC or to such variation as we may find necessary as a result of inability to secure labour, materials or supplies or as a result of any act of God, War, Strike, Lockout or other labour dispute, Fire, Flood, Drought, Legislation, or other cause (whether of the foregoing class or not) beyond the sellers control.
We have tried to make this website as accessible as possible and easy to use for everyone, regardless of circumstance or ability.
All our page templates comply with the WCAG Priority 2 checkpoints as a minimum requirement. And we make every effort to ensure that all the content on our site meets this standard too. We are making every effort to ensure that we don't exclude any users. For example:
We try to publish all our text content as accessible HTML rather than in other formats such as PDF. Where we do publish PDFs or other formats our policy is to make them as accessible as we can.