History of the Arizona Diamondbacks

One of the two newest teams in major league baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, was established as a National League expansion team in 1998. The team has had a very successful, short history, winning five National League West division titles, one National League pennant and one World Series in 15 years. The Diamondback's last win was in 2011 when the team won the National League West division title.

The idea for a major league baseball team in Arizona started in 1993 with Jerry Colangelo, the main owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. He organized a group to bring major league baseball to Arizona and two years later, the group's request for an MLB franchise was granted. Three years later, in 1998, the Diamondbacks started playing in Phoenix.

The Diamondbacks were successful almost immediately, winning the National League West divsion title in their second year of play. They did not play as well in 2000 and their first manager, Buck Showalter, was fired and replaced by Bob Brenly. The 2001 season was a strong one for the D-Backs, partly due to an outstanding pitching rotation led by Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. That year, the Diamondbacks won the National League West division title, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League division series and then went on to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the National League pennant race. The young team faced the veteran New York Yankees in the World Series and, to the surprise of many baseball fans, defeated the Yankees to win their first World Series.

The D-Backs won the National League West division title again in 2002 but they did not advance to post-season play. That good season was followed by a downfall, with the D-Backs ending up in 2004 with the worst record in major league baseball. Although the Diamondbacks still had Randy Johnson, they lost 111 games in 2004. The terrible 2004 season led to Colangelo selling his holdings in the D-Backs and the hiring of a new manager, Wally Backman, who lasted for only ten days. Bob Melvin, who at the time was the bench coach for the team, was promoted to manager.

The Diamondbacks' new owners began to rebuild the team with free agents and trades. Randy Johnson was traded to the Yankees. New players on the team included Javier Vazquez, Shawn Green and Jose Cruz. The changes improved the D-Backs' record to 77-85 in 2005, but they fell back again in 2006, finishing fourth in the National League West division.

The 2007 season started on a good note for the D-Backs, with the return of Randy Johnson. He joined Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb, giving the Diamondbacks a strong pitching rotation. Young hitters, including Conor Jackson and Stephen Drew, rounded out the team. The revitalized Diamondbacks finished the 2007 season with a 90-72 record and their fourth National League West division title. They then defeated the Chicago Cubs in the National League division series but they lost the National League Championship series to the Colorado Rockies.

Although the Diamondbacks played well in 2008, they were no match for the Los Angeles Dodgers once Manny Ramirez was added to the Dodgers' lineup. The Diamondbacks finished the season in second place in the National League West division, with a record of 82-80. The San Francisco Giants have dominated the NL West division since then, except for 2011, when the Diamondbacks won the division title.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Arizona Diamondbacks