Luis Gonzalez lives out childhood dream, hits World Series Game 7 walk-off single
Game 7 of the World Series. Bottom of the ninth inning. Tie score. The bases are loaded and you're facing one of the best pitchers in baseball.
It's a situation you dream about while holding a Wiffle ball bat in your backyard as a kid. You're broadcasting the moment aloud to yourself as you flip up the ball, take a swing and win the game for your home team. Rarely, and quite cruelly, do we ever get a chance to live out this imaginative sequence.
But on Nov. 4, 2001, Luis Gonzalez found himself there: Jay Bell stood on third base, Tony Womack led off of second and the supremely-stanced Craig Counsell roamed around first. On the mound stood the Yankees' Mariano Rivera -- perhaps the greatest closer in baseball history. A man who had compiled a 0.70 ERA, held opposing batters to a .176 batting average and won four World Series (including a World Series MVP) in 77.2 postseason innings up to that point.
But with the infield drawn in and the left fielder coming off the best season of his career, a little poke up the middle was all it took to send the D-backs to their first-ever World Series championship:
"It was obvisously a childhood dream come true and to be in that spot was unbelievable," Gonzalez said about the at-bat back in 2011.