The hero of the 2001 World Series made his return to the desert on Saturday night, as Luis Gonzalez officially announced his retirement as a player. Later on in the day Gonzalez was announced as a new special assistant in the front office for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Thursday, Luis Gonzalez turned 42 years old, which most likely was a factor that led to his retirement. “Obviously, when you’re a professional athlete, it’s tough to close a book on something that you love to do,” said Gonzalez in a press conference before the D-Backs took the field against the Houston Astros.
In his new position, Gonzalez will aid Arizona's president and CEO Derrick Hall and other places throughout the franchise. Luis Gonzalez has announced that he will be flexible and adjust to the various roles set up for him. Gonzo is probably the Arizona Diamondback's most beloved player in the team's brief history.
He was the one player that helped beat the Yankees in the 2001 fall classic and bring Arizona's first and only major sports championship.
Many fan's hearts were broken when the team let Gonzalez go after the 2007 season. He joined the team in 1998, the Diamondback's second season. In his final game at Chase Field on Oct. 1, 2006 the Diamondbacks had an incredible crowd.
Although Gonzalez might not be a hall of famer, he definitely left his legacy in the dessert. Saturday night, hed was received with a great ovation from the crowd as he was presented with the key to Chase Field.
Gonzalez led the Diamondbacks and the National League with 206 hits in 1999. Gonzalez participated in five All-Star Games. His career batting average is .283 and slugged 354 Home-runs. Gonzo drove in 1,439 runs in 19 seasons.
He spent that time in several places: The Houston Astros, The Chicago Cubs, the Detroit Tigers, The Florida Marlins, The Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was last seen in the majors with the Marlins in 2008.
2001 was Luis Gonzalez's most memorable and best season. He hit 57 Home-runs and helped the d-Backs win it all. Its great to have Luis Gonzalez back with the Diamondbacks.