Arizona Diamondbacks reach World Series, ending 2-decade drought | Phoenix New Times


D-backs make the World Series! Peek back at 2001, the last time it happened

The Diamondbacks won the World Series two decades ago, when Jake Plummer led the Cardinals, iPods debuted and “Lord of the Rings” hit theaters.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. celebrates in the clubhouse on Tuesday after the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League Championship Series in Game 7.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. celebrates in the clubhouse on Tuesday after the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League Championship Series in Game 7. Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images
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For the first time since 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks are headed to the World Series.

An underdog facing elimination, and needing back-to-back road wins in Philadelphia, the D-backs pulled off the incredible on Tuesday: a Game 7 win. The 4-2 win ended the season for the Philadelphia Phillies and sent Arizona to the World Series. The D-backs face the Texas Rangers on Friday at Globe Life Field in Arlington. (They return to Phoenix for Games 3, 4 and 5 starting on Monday.)

What a roller coaster ride. Many fans left Arizona's season for dead following a nine-game losing streak to start August, putting the D-backs at 57-59.

But the never-say-die squad followed that losing streak with an 11-2 run and never looked back. They gutted it out down the stretch, flirted with the edge of the MLB Playoffs cliff and secured the final National League postseason spot in the last days of the season. The rest, as they say, is history.

Having an opportunity to watch Arizona play in the World Series is a long time coming for die-hard Diamondback fans. It's been more than two decades since Arizona beat the New York Yankees in seven games in an all-time classic 2001 World Series. 

Twenty-two years since Diamondbacks played in the Fall Classic seems like a long time. OK, it is. But to put the wait into perspective, we've compiled a list of things going on in 2001 in hopes of transporting you back. We'll skip over the obvious stuff 2001 is unfortunately known for to focus on the lighter side of the year.

Let's take a trip back to the last time the Diamondbacks sat just four victories from winning the World Series. It's the only time an Arizona-based pro sports team won a championship.

Apple introduced the iPod

No, that's not a typo, kids. Back in 2001, iPods were all the rage, not Airpods. Trust us. They were big.

In October 2001, Apple launched the iPod, a $399 technological miracle that held 1,000 songs. Looking back, it's debatable which seems more incredible: that the iPod could hold 1,000 songs or that people paid $399 for it.

Wikipedia launched

Much to the dismay of encyclopedia makers worldwide, Wikipedia, one of the world's most popular and widely used online reference resources, officially launched on Jan. 15, 2001. Now, the entire world runs to become an expert on various things by visiting a website launched just before Spring Training, the start of the season in which the Diamondbacks won it all.

Wikipedia — a calculator, but for everything our history teachers tried to make us memorize.

‘Lord of the Rings’ debuted

The first film in "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy, "The Fellowship of the Ring," was released in 2001, sparking a huge interest in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy series. The film even got some people to read books.

College students today likely don't recall the trilogy, which concluded in 2003. But as the Diamondbacks and Yankees battled it out in 2001, it was all the rage.

‘Hanging By a Moment’ topped the charts

Transport yourself back to when Creed and Sugar Ray dominated the airwaves. It was a time when NSYNC was still a thing, and Alicia Keys's debut hit "Fallin" was topping the charts.

Are you there? Soak this fact in: Lifehouse's "Hanging By a Moment" was the Billboard Year-End No. 1 hit of 2001. We can almost smell the inside of our Honda Civic and hear the grinding gears of the CD changer in our car. What a time it was. This song would hold up if the Diamondbacks decide to make it their World Series anthem.

Jake Plummer led the Cardinals

To fully put how long it's been since the Diamondbacks played for a title, we must only look at what another professional sports team in town — the Arizona Cardinals — was up to at the same time. In 2001, Jake "The Snake" Plummer led the Cardinals to a 7-9 record. 2001 also was the last time Pat Tillman played football. He retired in the offseason to join the U.S. Army.

Plummer, of course, also played college ball at Arizona State University. These days, he can be found running an alternative medicine mushroom farm. Yeah, it's been a while.

Forgotten Phoenix Suns

After there were the Jason Kidd Phoenix Suns teams, and before there were the Steve Nash Suns teams, there were the 2001-2002 Suns teams — a squad you likely remember for, well, being between those two eras. That's generous, we know.

Those Suns — who won 36 games under coach Scott Skiles — still employed Dan Majerle, Joe Johnson, Steven Marbury and Shawn Marion. In retrospect, not exactly what you would call a winning recipe. But at the moment, it felt fine. 

Thankfully, that fall Arizona focused on Luis Gonzalez and the Diamondbacks winning a title. 
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