The game of baseball has a way of elevating the human spirit. Whether it be an historic event or an individual achievement the game brings out the best and sometimes the worst of those who love the game. Lately the media has been filled with the negative aspects of the game. From minor events such as scuffing a ball or stealing a sign to the more egregious activities surrounding the Biogenesis investigation. It is easy to lose sight of the positive aspects of the game.
It was especially timely then that I received notice from Fox Sports Arizona and the Arizona Diamondbacks that they were teaming up to select the next D-backs legend to be honored in the Legends Entertainment District in downtown Phoenix. The Legends Entertainment District is a 13-block area in Phoenix that features some of the best entertainment in the city. Within its boundaries are US Airways Center, the home of the Phoenix Suns NBA and Phoenix Mercury WNBA teams, the Phoenix Convention Center, and Chase Field; home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On an annual basis Fox Sports and the major tenants of the Legends Entertainment District nominate and put up to vote a local sports or entertainment hero or legend. The general public has an opportunity to cast their ballots to elect the newest member of the Legends.
This is different from the Racing Legends that appear at the end of the fifth inning of Arizona Diamondbacks games. The Racing Legends feature caricatures from D-backs history that run a race from the visitor’s bullpen to the Diamondbacks on-deck circle. Those Racing Legends include Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Matt Williams, and Mark Grace.
The Legends District elected legends represent the best of the best that played or coached one of the Phoenix teams. The honors began in 2011 when the fans elected Diamondbacks Special Assistant to the President and former player Luis Gonzalez as the first recipient. Gonzalez’ election was followed up in 2012 with the selection of former Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson whose likeness now adorns the large bulletin board across from Chase Field.
This year’s nominees include three players and a former manager who all played an intricate part in bringing a world championship to Phoenix in 2001. The finalists for the 2013 vote are: Bob Brenly, Steve Finley, Curt Schilling, and Matt Williams.
Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.
– The Babe in Sandlot
Voting begins immediately and will run through Wednesday August 21st. The nominee who receives the most votes will be featured on a 42-foot tall super graphic across from Chase Field at the intersection of 7th Street and Jefferson.
Each of these candidates holds a special place in Diamondbacks lore. From Brenly’s masterful management of the team from 2001-2004 to Finley’s Gold Glove defense to Schilling’s dominance as co-ace and World Series co-MVP to Williams outstanding offense and stellar defense.
Fox Sports Arizona will unveil the newest D-backs legend during the pregame show on Saturday August 31st at 4:30 PM local time. This is the perfect opportunity. August 31st is Throwback Night for the Diamondbacks featuring retro-styled jerseys with the second annual alumni game to be held after the game.
Fans are encouraged to vote by logging on to foxsportsarizona.com/dbackslegend to elect the most deserving player/manager as this year’s recipient. It’s a perfect opportunity to reminisce the glory years of the Diamondbacks early history and recognize those who were such an important part.