February 9, 2007
After the inaugural 1998 season, management made a decision that they needed to change their plans to take an aggressive approach to building a winning baseball franchise in Phoenix. During that off-season they began to stock pile players who were proven winners. It was immediately clear that Jerry Colangelo was not just looking for hired guns; he was looking for players with character and a winning tradition. Much has been made about the Randy Johnson signing that year as has the signing of Steve Finley and the trade for Luis Gonzalez. What is somewhat lost in the mix is the addition of Todd Stottlemyre. Some of this may be the fact that Stottlemyre had a series of bad luck befall him and his availability was somewhat limited due to injuries. What a lot of fans don’t understand is the intangibles that Todd brought to the Diamondbacks. His clubhouse attitude and willingness to play through pain were a huge part to the success that Arizona saw in 1999. And while he had a partially torn rotator cuff, Stottlemyre still was able to contribute and was rewarded as the pitcher who won the first play-off game in franchise history. Unfortunately this would be his crowning moment in a Diamondbacks uniform and the injuries would pile up making his stay seem less valuable than it truly was. The Diamondbacks connection with Todd Stottlemyre has had additional benefits that may or may not have occurred otherwise.