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Luis Gonzalez      

Legendary Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielder

Luis Emilio Gonzalez, nicknamed "Gonzo", is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. Gonzalez spent his best years with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was one of the most popular players in that organization's history. He delivered the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series off Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees to give the Diamondbacks their first and only World Series championship to date.

Gonzalez made his major league debut on September 4, 1990. He finished the rest of the 1990 season with 4 hits (2 doubles). The year of 1991 became the first full season of Gonzalez's career.

Gonzalez along with Scott Servais were traded to the Chicago Cubs for Rick Wilkins. Gonzalez finished the 1995 season with the Cubs by batting .290 with 7 homers and 34 RBI. Overall in 1995, Gonzalez had a .276 average, 13 homers and 69 RBI combined while he played with the Astros and Cubs. In 1996, Gonzalez batted .271 with 15 homers and 79 RBI. Gonzalez signed a one-year deal to return to the Astros in 1997. During 1997, he batted .258 with 10 homers and 68 RBI. In 1998, Gonzalez signed a one-year deal for the Tigers in 1998. In 1998, he batted .267 with 23 homers and 71 RBI.

In 1999, Gonzalez was traded to the Diamondbacks for Karim GarcĂ­a. Gonzalez began to become a star during his tenure with Arizona. He helped the Diamondbacks into title contention immediately, hitting a career-best .336 in 1999, leading the NL in hits with 206 and helping them win the National League's western division that season before the team fell to the New York Mets in a divisional playoff series. He was selected to his first All-Star Team in 1999.

The Diamondbacks reached the World Series that year and faced off against the New York Yankees, who featured Gonzalez's childhood friend Tino Martinez starting at 1st base. In the climactic moment, Gonzalez came to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning of game 7, with the score even at 2-2, the bases loaded and 1 out. The Yankee pitcher was Mariano Rivera, one of the game's most feared closers with an especially good record in the postseason (Rivera had never blown a save chance in a World Series before, or since). Gonzalez swung at Rivera's 0-1 pitch and hit the game-winning bloop single into left field that sealed the first franchise World Series title for Arizona.

Gonzalez announced his retirement on August 29, 2009 and joined the Diamondbacks front office as a special assistant to the president. In 2010, the Diamondbacks further announced that Gonzalez would be the first Diamondbacks player to have his number, #20, retired on August 7.

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