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20 years later: Luis Gonzalez reflects on 9/11 and 2001 World Series Championship

The world paused to grieve and the 2001 World Series was delayed. But eventually, the Arizona Diamondbacks went on to defeat the New York Yankees and win the title.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — I think we all remember how old we were, where we were, and how we felt watching the Twin Towers crash down on Sept. 11, 2001. 

Luis Gonzalez was an outfielder for the Diamondbacks at the time. As the world paused to grieve, the World Series was delayed weeks.

In October, it was back on, bringing some sense of normalcy to New York City as the D-backs faced off against the Yankees. 

Two decades later, Gonzalez said it all still feels like yesterday. 

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"I’m forever with these guys, we’re brothers we keep in close contact we have a group chat and it's hard to believe it has been 20 years now," Gonzalez said. 

He said he vividly remembers his game-winning hit in Game 7.

"To be a huge part of Arizona history, to bring the first world championship here to this state, it's an honor," he said.

The D-backs defeated the Yankees in a nail-biter.

WATCH: Luis "Gonzo" Gonzalez reflects on 2001 World Series

"I just couldn’t believe it," he said.

It’s considered one of the greatest World Series of all time, and when our nation was going through the worst of times. 

"Although we do celebrate the 2001 World Series win we also remember," he explained. "We have that inscribed in the middle of our championship ring on the inside of our ring it says 'Never Forget 9/11' so for us that was a big time not only in our careers but in history."

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Gonzalez said some couldn't bear it, but most of the team did visit Ground Zero one month after the terrorist attacks. 

"I remember as a group we talked about having an opportunity to go out to Ground Zero to pay our respects, to salute all the first responders," he said. "To see the smoke, and all the firefighters it was crazy."

The gravity of it all was not lost on Gonzalez.

"That’s when you realize there are a lot more important things in life than just playing the game of baseball."

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