The 2001 World Series (the "November Series") took place between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees and was arguably one of the most exciting World Series in recent memory. The best-of-seven-games series determined the World Champion of Major League Baseball in 2001. It featured two extra-inning games, three late-inning comebacks and went to the maximum 7 games.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, breaking a record previously held by the Florida Marlins, reached the World Series in just their fourth season of existence, and took on the storied 3-time defending champion New York Yankees, who were trying to become the first team to win four straight titles since the team won five consecutive titles from 1949 to 1953. Additionally, the Series would be taking place in New York City only seven weeks after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, representing a remarkable boost in morale for the fatigued city. Arizona captured the Series, 4 games to 3, thereby dethroning the defending World Champions and earning their first title in team history.
Arizona won the first two games at home handily, but New York won the next three in close contests at Yankee Stadium, including two dramatic ninth-inning comebacks against Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim. Arizona won the sixth game behind Randy Johnson, who then came in to pitch in relief of Curt Schilling in game 7. The Diamondbacks won the game 3-2, with Jay Bell scoring the winning run on a bloop single by Luis Gonzalez, in the bottom of the ninth inning off the Yankees' ace closer, Mariano Rivera.
It is notable that the home team won every game in the Series. This had only happened twice before, in 1987 and 1991; both times, the Minnesota Twins won the Series. This Series was also the subject of an HBO documentary Nine Innings From Ground Zero in 2004. 
September 11 and the Month of NovemberEdit
Due to the postponement of games in September as a result of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, the World Series began Saturday, October 27, 2001, the latest start date ever for a World Series. The Series went seven games, the last three of which were the first major-league games (other than exhibitions) played in the month of November.
Arizona showed no opening day jitters and chased Yankee's starter Mike Mussina off the mound after just three innings. The Yankees gave up 5 unearned runs and the Diamondbacks rode Curt Schilling's seven strong innings to a 9-1 rout. Craig Counsell homered off Mussina in the first and Luis Gonzalez homered in the third, drove in two runs, and scored twice.
|W: Curt Schilling (1-0) L: Mike Mussina (0-1)|
|HR: ARI – Craig Counsell (1), Luis Gonzalez (1)|
Sunday, October 28, 2001 at Bank One Ballpark
Arizona continued to take control of the series behind the arm of Randy Johnson. The Big Unit pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only four baserunners while striking out 11 Yankees hitters. Matt Williams hit a three-run homer in the seventh off Yankee starter Andy Pettitte. Arizona won the game, 4-0, and took a commanding two games to none lead as the series headed to New York City.
|W: Randy Johnson (1-0) L: Andy Pettitte (0-1)|
|HR: ARI – Matt Williams (1)|
The series was opened in New York by President Bush, who memorably threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a strike to Yankees backup catcher Todd Greene. Bush became the first sitting President to throw out a World Series first pitch since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Yankees starter Roger Clemens allowed only three hits and struck out nine in seven innings of work. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched two innings for the save. Scott Brosius broke a sixth inning tie with an RBI single to left. The Diamondbacks wasted a great outing from starter Brian Anderson by committing three crucial errors and running themselves out of the first inning.
|W: Roger Clemens (1-0) L: Brian Anderson (0-1) S: Mariano Rivera (1)|
|HR: NYY – Jorge Posada (1)|
Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at Yankee Stadium
Arizona manager Bob Brenly decided to gamble and start Curt Schilling on three days' rest. The gamble worked: Schilling pitched seven strong innings and left the game with a 1-1 tie. The Diamondbacks took a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth on an Erubiel Durazo double and a fielder's choice, which prompted Brenly to bring in closer Byung-Hyun Kim for a two inning save. Kim struck out the side in the eighth. However, in the ninth the Yankees began their comeback. With one out, Paul O'Neill lined an opposite-field single in front of left fielder Luis Gonzalez. After Bernie Williams struck out, Tino Martinez drove the first pitch he saw from Kim over the wall in right-center field to tie the game at 3-3. Brenly stuck with his closer as the game headed into extra innings. As the clock in New York struck midnight, and with two outs in the tenth on a 3-2 pitch, Derek Jeter completed the comeback with a walk-off solo homerun to right, earning the title "Mr. November". The Yankees won 4-3 and evened up the series at two games apiece.
|W: Mariano Rivera (1-0) L: Byung-Hyun Kim (0-1)|
|HR: ARI – Mark Grace (1) NYY – Shane Spencer (1), Tino Martinez (1), Derek Jeter (1)|
Thursday, November 1, 2001 at Yankee Stadium
For game five, Brenly started Miguel Batista, who pitched a strong seven and two-thirds scoreless innings. Mussina bounced back from his poor game one start, but allowed solo home runs to Steve Finley and Rod Barajas in the fifth. With the Diamondbacks leading 2-0 in the ninth, Brenly again went to his closer and again the Yankees dramatically came back. Jorge Posada doubled to open the inning, but Kim retired the next two batters. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Scott Brosius knocked the 1-0 pitch out for a home run to tie the game at 2-2. For the second night in a row, the Yankees had improbably tied the game with a two-run homerun in the bottom of the 9th, with two outs. The game went into extra innings and the Yankees won it in the 12th when Alfonso Soriano knocked in Chuck Knoblauch with a base hit off Albie Lopez. New York went ahead three games to two in the series as the teams headed back to Arizona.
|W: Sterling Hitchcock (1-0) L: Albie Lopez (0-1)|
|HR: ARI – Steve Finley (1), Rod Barajas (1) NYY – Scott Brosius (1)|
Saturday, November 3, 2001 at Bank One Ballpark
With Arizona in a must-win situation, the Diamondbacks provided Randy Johnson with all the offense he would ever need. Johnson struck out seven in six innings of work, giving up just two runs. The Diamondbacks rocked Yankee starter Andy Pettitte for six runs and chased him off after two innings. Jay Witasick relieved him and fared even worse, yielding nine runs in one and a third innings. The Diamondbacks hit six doubles and Danny Bautista went 3-4 with 5 RBIs. They set a World Series record with 22 hits and crushed the Yankees 15-2. Arizona handed New York its most lopsided loss in 293 postseason games. The win evened the series at three games apiece and set up a game seven for the ages between Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, again pitching on three days' rest.
|W: Randy Johnson (2-0) L: Andy Pettitte (0-2)|
Sunday, November 4, 2001 at Bank One Ballpark
It was a matchup of two 20-game-winners in the series finale that would crown a new champion. Clemens at 39 years old became the oldest game seven starter ever. Schilling had already started two games of the series and pitched his 300th inning of the season on just three days' rest. The two aces matched each other inning for inning and after seven full, the game was tied at 1-1. Many felt that Schilling had pitched long enough, but Brenly stayed with his ace into the eighth. The move backfired as the Alfonso Soriano hit a solo home run on an 0-2 pitch. After Schilling got one out, he gave up a single to David Justice, and he left the game trailing 2-1. Brenly brought in Miguel Batista to get out Derek Jeter and then in an unconventional move, brought in the previous night's starter Randy Johnson, who had thrown 104 pitches, in relief to finish out the game. It proved to be a smart move, as Johnson got out all four Yankees he faced.
With the Yankees ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, manager Joe Torre turned the game over to his ace closer Mariano Rivera for a two-inning save. Rivera was one of the surest things in the late innings, and he had pitched brilliantly throughout the postseason up to that point. Rivera struck out the side in the eighth and lowered his ERA in the postseason to a major league-best of 0.70. He was not at his sharpest in the ninth, however, and it would cost him. Mark Grace led off the inning with a single to center. Rivera then made an errant throw to second base on a bunt attempt by Damian Miller, putting runners on first and second. Rivera appeared to regain control when he fielded Jay Bell's bunt and threw out pinch-runner David Dellucci at third base. However, the next batter, Tony Womack, drove a double down the right-field line that evened the score. After Rivera hit Craig Counsell with a 1-1 pitch, Luis Gonzalez would become the hero, knocking a soft single to center on an 0-1 pitch that plated Jay Bell with the winning run. This ended New York's bid for a fourth consecutive title and brought Arizona its first championship in just its fourth year of existence.
|W: Randy Johnson (3-0) L: Mariano Rivera (1-1)|
|HR: NYY– Alfonso Soriano (1)|
Quote of the SeriesEdit
"Floater...center field! The Diamondbacks are World Champions!"--Joe Buck, announcing that the Diamondbacks had won the World Series.
- Randy Johnson became the first pitcher since Orel Hershiser in 1988 to be the winning pitcher of the clinching games in the LCS and World Series.
- The Yankees became the first team to appear in four straight World Series since the 1961-64 Yankees.
- The Diamondbacks win very well put the "Ex-Cubs Factor" jinx to bed, as the D-backs not only defied the jinx to win the Series, but two of the three (Grace and Gonzalez) actively participated in the Series-winning rally.
|Major League Baseball World Series|