One of the most popular figures in D-backs history because of the way he interacted with fans and his game-winning single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series to give the organization its first world championship, Luis Gonzalez is in his 11th full season in the front office and fifth as Senior Advisor to the President & CEO with the D-backs. Gonzalez rejoined the organization in August 2009 after officially retiring as a player following his 19-year Major League career.
Gonzalez was voted by fans as their favorite D-backs player of all-time in a poll of Phoenix Business Journal readers.
In his role, Gonzalez assists D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall and other departments throughout the baseball and business side of the organization. He also continues to make an impact in the community with the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, interacts with season ticket holders at special events, meets with corporate partners, fills in on the D-backs’ radio and television broadcasts and spends time with Major and Minor League players throughout the organization. Gonzalez also interacts with children at the team’s D-backs Baseball Academy camps and participates in the annual week-long Fantasy Camp.
For his contributions as a player and a member in the community, Gonzalez became the first former player to have his number retired by the D-backs on Aug. 7, 2010. His No. 20 jersey can now be seen in 5-foot purple numbers on the right field façade at Chase Field next to Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which was retired in perpetuity by Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997, and Randy Johnson’s No. 51, which was retired in 2015.
In 2018, the D-backs also opened up Gonzo’s Grill, presented by Tyson Foods on the left field concourse at Chase Field, where a portion of the proceeds benefit his charitable initiatives.
Gonzalez focuses many of his efforts in the community on the men and women who risk their lives every day to ensure our safety through his Gonzo’s Hometown Heroes Fund. All of the proceeds of the fund will benefit projects, programs and nonprofit organizations that support police officers, fire-fighters and first responders across Arizona. His “Going Gonzo for Kids” initiative through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars from 2010-17 to a variety of Arizona-based children’s charities.
Luis Gonzalez Field was dedicated in Tempe in 2005 while his uniform No. 20 is 1 of 2 that adorns the scoreboard of D-backs Legends Field in Payson, Ariz.
In 2014, Gonzalez was inducted into the Latin American Sports Hall of Fame and the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown in Florida. Later that year, he was enshrined in the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in La Romana, Dominican Republic, alongside former Major Leaguers Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Ozzie Guillen, Pedro Martínez and Roberto Kelly. In 2015, Gonzalez was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame and in 2019, he was inducted into both the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame.
Gonzalez compiled a .283 batting average, 2,591 hits, 354 home runs and 1,439 RBI during his career with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, D-backs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Florida Marlins. His 596 career doubles rank 18th in baseball history. Gonzalez is 1 of only 25 players in Major League history to collect at least 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 350 home runs and 1,000 RBI, joining legends like Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., Dave Winfield, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tony Perez, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Adrian Beltre and Albert Pujols. The 5-time All-Star retired as the D-backs’ all-time leader in games played (1,194), hits (1,337), doubles (310), home runs (224), walks (650), runs (780), RBI (774), at-bats (4,488), total bases (2,373), slugging percentage (.529), on-base percentage (.391) and OPS (.919). For his many community contributions during his playing career, Gonzalez was named the 2005 winner of the Branch Rickey Award, presented by the Rotary Club of Denver to individuals in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their community and who are strong role models for others.
Gonzalez was the Astros’ fourth-round selection in the June 1988 draft out of the University of South Alabama, where he earned _Baseball America_’s All-Freshman second team honors and was later inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He graduated from Tampa’s Jefferson High School in 1985, earning a spot in the school’s Hall of Fame and teaming with former Major Leaguer Tino Martinez. The school also produced MLB Hall of Fame manager and former D-backs executive Tony La Russa.
Gonzalez was a 2-time D-backs nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award (2000 & ‘03). Each year, the team gives out the Luis Gonzalez Award to the D-backs player who best exemplifies the talents, spirit and heart of the D-backs legend both on and off the field, as voted by his teammates, coaches and staff members. The team also presents a corporate partner each year with the Luis Gonzalez Community Champion Award for its efforts in giving back to the community.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona State Fair.
He and his wife, Christine, reside in Scottsdale, Ariz. And have triplets, Megan, Alyssa and Jacob, who was the Giants’ second-round pick (58th overall) in the June 2017 draft.