The majority of the fan base of the Arizona Diamondbacks will remember that Sunday October 1, 2006 was decreed as Luis Gonzalez day by the governor of Arizona. The day will be replayed in everyone’s mind and it will consist of the cheers for Gonzo and Craig Counsell. Some may even remember that Miguel Batista also carried the line-up card to the umpires before the game and that Bob Melvin brought Batista into the game in the ninth inning to throw to one batter then leave the game to thunderous applause by a grateful stadium of loyal fans. But lost in the midst of all of this was the passing of another torch. One that has been carried for the past 13 years to a time even before baseball had arrived in Arizona. In 1993 Jerry Colangelo approached Rich Dozer to ask for his assistance to bring baseball to the state. Dozer had been a successful accountant and had a very good position within the Phoenix Suns organization. But the challenge to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to the valley of the sun was too much to pass up. So Dozer began working to secure a team for the Phoenix area. The results of his efforts along with countless others were realized on March 9, 1995 when commissioner Bud Selig announced that a franchise had been awarded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Subsequent to that announcement Jerry Colangelo named Rich the president of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He along with the staff that he build began working on the details that would lead to March 31, 1998 when Arizona played the Colorado Rockies in their first game as a big league team. His work ethic and attention to detail were amazing as he guided the team’s business operations to a successful first year and then built upon that to make the Diamondbacks successful.

My first experience with Rich Dozer came during the inaugural season when I would see him interacting with various people around the stadium. I knew who he was from pictures I saw in the media guide and programs. He was always very nice and would always say hello whenever you passed him on the concourse. Regardless of how busy he was, Rich would take the time to talk with the fans and make sure they were enjoying their experiences at the ballpark. This open communication has always been appreciated but on a fateful night in early September 1998, it led to something he could never have imagined.

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