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Why I'm a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks: Geographical randomness

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Welcome to the refreshed AZ SnakePit! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

Back in the mid-nineties, I was living in London, and writing a movie fanzine called Trash City. One day I received a letter from a wannabe subscriber in Phoenix containing $20. We discovered a mutual interest in Monty Python. Fast-forward two decades: I’ve moved to Arizona, discovered the joys of baseball, and married that subscriber - proposing to her immediately following Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. As Mrs. SnakePit frequently reminds me, it’s the best twenty bucks she ever spent. That’s the short version, and it’s plausibly horrific, that if she’d been living in Los Angeles, I’d be a Dodgers fan now. BRB, got to take a shower...

But at the time, there was no major-league baseball in Phoenix. On my first visit here, in 1997, we went downtown and stared into a pit, trying to figure out where home-plate might be, the bleachers could be located, and so forth. It was only later, we discovered we were at the wrong building site entirely. But the future Mrs. SnakePit kept me informed, sending me memorabilia like a Travis Lee rookie card as the franchise started, and I religiously made trips into central London, to pick up a copy of Baseball Weekly from the only shop which sold it. [This being largely pre-Internet and certainly pre-baseball-reference.com. Kids, ask your parents!]

I moved out on a permanent basis in November 2000, and unsurprisingly, the following year was the one which tattooed my heart with a D. I just wish I’d been able to appreciate my first full season more. I didn’t realize at the time, what a once in a lifetime thing it was, to have Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling going every five days. Having reached the World Series in my first season, I naively presumed we’d get there every year, so I’d have plenty more chances to buy seats to Game 7. Yeah. About that. So, we instead watched at Farrelli's Cinema Supper Club in Scottsdale.

As I sat there, it struck me, it'd be a memorable moment to propose. Not if we lost. That would be totally disheartening for us both. But I made a quiet vow to the baseball gods. Let us win this one, and I'll make an honest woman of the lady next to me - who had no inkling of this at all. I spent the time between pitches working out what I was going to say and after Bautista doubled Finley home in the sixth, started practising my speech. However, matrimonial prospects dwindled as the Yankees tied the game, then took the lead. When Rivera fanned our guys in the 8th, things looked bleak indeed for wedding-dress suppliers in the Phoenix area.

Of course, we know how this ends. Grace singles; Rivera can't handle Miller's bunt; Womack doubles down the line; Counsell takes one for the team. And then, glory of glories, Gonzalez fists one off his knuckles and it floats through the air to land on the outfield grass. Crowd goes wild, strangers are hugged: everyone went through that. But I dropped to my knees, and poured my heart out to my one true love, asking her to spend the rest of her life with me. It was epic, a proposal that would go down in legend, truly one for the ages.

Unfortunately, due to the frenzied delirium in Farrelli's at that moment, she didn't hear a word of it.

I’m fairly sure the second proposal was nowhere near as eloquent, but it did the job. She accepted, we were married the following July, and are now approaching 15 years of wedded bliss.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m a Diamondbacks fan.

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