Diamondbacks Alumni Greats: A Fan's Analysis

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are preparing for the Alumni game on Saturday, September 15, by turning their Sedona Red website to old school Diamondbacks purple featuring the original logo and alumni players flanking the margins.

Since the web site went purple, I went nostalgic, so here are some recollections of some top players and plays in Diamondbacks history.

Jay Bell

Bell is one of the original Diamondbacks to sign before the team began play in 1998. During the early years, he was a solid defensive player. For me, his two standout plays are when he scored the winning run in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series and Bell winning a million dollars for lucky fan Gylene Hoyle, who predicted Bell would hit the grand slam on July 11, 1999.

Tony Womack

Womack was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in February 1999, and he became a solid middle infielder helping Bell. Womack also had two memorable grand slams: first, on July 21, 1999, Womack cleared the bases off the Houston Astros Billy Wagner and raced around the bases himself to make score an inside the park homer. The second was a tear filled grand slam he hit on Father's Day, 2001, after his father passed away that April. One more Womack moment forever cemented him with Bell as Womack hit a double off the New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Game Seven that tied the game as Midre Cummings scored and Bell ended up on third. Rivera then hit Craig Counsell, setting up Luis Gonzalez to hit the biggest hit in franchise history that won it all.

David Dellucci

Dellucci was another original Diamondback who was selected in the 1997 expansion draft from the Baltimore Orioles. During his time in Arizona, he was always hustling and making diving catches here and there. He is most noted for leading the National League in triples in 1999, which fans know the triple is the most exciting play. I know, Dellucci does not have many statistics to back up his play--or being on a list of top players for that matter, but no statistic is available for hustle.

Brandon Webb

Signing as a rookie with the Diamondbacks, Webb became the ace of the staff after Randy Johnson moved on after the 2004 season. During his time in the desert, Webb was third in 2003 Rookie of the Year voting, a three time All-Star, runner-up in the 2007 and 2008 Cy Young Award after winning it in 2006. His final season in 2008, Webb was 22-7, and I'll always remember his sinker ball dropping off the table for another strike out or ground out. It's too bad an arm injury ended his career.

Richie Sexson

To most Diamondbacks fans, Sexson is probably public enemy number one since he was only with the team for 11 months after a six player deal sent Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge DeLaRosa, and Junior Spivey to the Milwaukee Brewers for Sexson and his 8.7 million dollar salary in December, 2003. Sexson only played in 23 games before a shoulder injury ended his season. Sexson was granted free agency on November 1, 2004.

Yet, Sexson blasted one ball that hit the BankOne Ballpark (Chase Field) Jumbotron on April 26, 2004, that broke part of the screen leaving a black spot, and a slot in my memory banks.

With the current players being surrounded by alumni players during the San Francisco Giants series, perhaps, some winning ways will rub off for an end of season run.

One can only hope.

Phillip Jackson, a long time baseball fan, has been living in Phoenix since 1981 and a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks since the team was awarded circa 1996. Follow him on Twitter @Pjacksonaz

Read all of Phillip Jackson's Diamondbacks articles here


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