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Why I'm a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks: Timely hits

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I started following the team when I was 11 years old.

For me, baseball was a love at first sight. My reasons for loving baseball is the numbers game and the general unpredictability inherent in the game itself. My first exposure to the sport was when I was 8, back then I was living in Austin, TX, which was also the same year that the Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series. I moved to Arizona the following year. I didn’t start watching Diamondbacks games until 2004, although now I complain when I’m unable to watch the game.

My biggest reason for latching onto the Diamondbacks was mostly because they were the local team when my interest in baseball spiked. If it happened while I was in Austin, I’d probably be an Astros fan and instead of a Paul Goldschmidt jersey, it would likely be a Jose Altuve jersey. As with everything else in baseball, timing is more important than anything else. Moving to Arizona at 9 years old and living there since, there really wasn’t another team to compete for my interest. Now, I couldn’t even dream of rooting for another team.

After moving to the east part of the Phoenix metro area, I didn’t follow the Diamondbacks until 2004, which by then were they breaking up the World Series core from the 1999-2002 seasons. I give credit to my 6th grade math teacher, Mr. Pearson, for re-igniting my interest in baseball and the Diamondbacks in general. The first year I started following the team was in 2005, back when the middle of the order was called the G-Force. I didn’t know much about the rules of baseball, so I got MVP Baseball 2005 for the Nintendo Game Cube. MVP 2005 to this day is still the best baseball game ever made, in my opinion.

My first Diamondbacks game came in May 2006. The Diamondbacks beat the Reds 3-1 in that game, back when Claudio Vargas was actually a thing with the Diamondbacks. I started attending more games frequently the subsequent years before my parents bought season tickets starting in the 2010 season. Since then, I’ve been to hundreds of Diamondbacks games, witnessing the run the 2011 team had to win the division and playoffs closely and the agonizing failures of the other seasons. Over those seasons, I’ve watched really good players Diamondbacks players such as Chris Young, Justin Upton, Paul Goldschmidt, and AJ Pollock.

One of my favorite games was in 2014 is when Clayton Kershaw and his many Cy Youngs came to Chase Field and got obliterated in the 2nd inning of what would end up an 18-7 game. Some other notable games I’ve attended include the Josh Collmenter start where he gave up 3 hits, induced 3 double plays on literally the next batter, and faced the minimum in the only Maddux (complete game shutout in less than 100 pitches) I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. I’ve twice watched a pitcher lose a perfect game in the 6th inning to a mediocre hitter and then meltdown for a big inning in the last calendar year.

I actually first discovered the Snake Pit while doing a search for Paul Goldschmidt on Google every day in the 2011 season, reading John Baragona’s daily recaps to see Goldy do some more amazing things. I got my first Goldschmidt autograph at the Futures Game at Chase Field back in 2011, which was about a month before his major league call-up. A little bit after that, I joined the website and didn’t become a regular participant until the 2014 season. One of my goals in life is to be able to have a career in baseball, even though I was never good enough to play the game on the field.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about the game. From other contributors on the Snake Pit, Fangraphs, and other baseball websites, I have a pretty decent feel for the nuances in the game although there is still more to learn. Currently baseball is in an information revolution where we can now track exit velocity, how far a defender has to move to make a catch, and other fun stuff to get a better feel for how talented a player is. All the new information available to the average fan has only strengthened my love for the game. Here’s to hoping the Diamondbacks can actually make use of the information to build a better ball club.