Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 19

As Sam Sees It

The 2001 World Series would have been a memorable event for me under almost any circumstances. It was my first to see “live” and was an even better experience than anticipated. In fact, it was many times better and more exciting than anticipated. Nothing this old man has ever been around came close to matching the magnitude of this experience. You could not have scripted a more perfect series.

Four of the seven games played were decided by one run, two of those in extra inning. Three games were either tied or won in the bottom of the ninth. Someone else can do the research, but memory doesn’t recall any recent series with more close games.

The Arizona Diamondback pitching was nothing short of sensational. The most runs any Arizona starter surrendered in a game was two. The Yankee starters were not comparable over all, but got the job done when it counted most. There wasn’t much offense, but what there was was timely. The defense was both spectacular and sloppy, depending on which game we might be discussing. There were plenty of crucial plays that kept one team or the other in the game.

There were plenty of heroes. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, Arizona’s dynamic duo, split the MVP honors, as they should have. Miguel Batista and Brian Anderson pitched almost as well for the Diamondbacks. Roger Clemens was everything he was advertised to be for the Yankees. Tony Womack came through with the biggest hit of the night for the Diamondbacks in the final game, though Luis Gonzalez still needed to punch in the final run and clinch the win. Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius broke the Diamondbacks’ hearts for a while with game tying homers in the Bronx. Eventually, the Yankees won both of those games.

Arizona reliever B. H. Kim was almost the “goat”, but his team salvaged his reputation and maybe his career by winning the series. The home runs he gave up will now just be a minor distraction and a footnote. That is as it should be.

Now, let’s give some credit where it really goes. Thanks, Jerry Colangelo, for bringing Major League Baseball to Arizona. You run a top-quality organization from top to bottom. You hire good people and give good value.

Thanks, Diamondback fans and citizens of Phoenix and Arizona for acting like civilized human beings after winning this most elusive of titles. We don’t have to look far to see examples of how not to act. It has almost become commonplace for “fans” to really become fanatic and riot, to destroy property and the reputation of their communities. You did not see that in Arizona, which would argue that this state and city had something others lack: class.

What an awesome experience this was! What a privilege to cover this event! These are memories that I will cherish forever. Of course, I would like nothing better to do it all again next year and see if it gets any better the second time around.

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