Franchise history on display at alumni game

Five-run rally lifts Team Purple over Team Red

Franchise history on display at alumni game

PHOENIX -- Even though the D-backs are one of the two youngest franchises in MLB, that hasn't stopped the club from celebrating their short history. For the fifth straight year, the club hosted an alumni game, which took place before Saturday's game against the Reds at Chase Field.

The D-backs invited back some of the best players to have played for the team since they first took the field in 1998. Half of the alumni played for Team Purple, which wore the purple alternate jersey worn from 1998-2004. The other half played for Team Red, which wore the sedona red alternate jersey worn from 2007-15.

But no matter which team the D-backs alumni played for, they all shared a common goal.

"We get to play in the biggest game of the year for us, the only game of the year for us," said former catcher Chris Snyder, who played for Arizona from 2004-10. "I think everybody's looking to go out there, have a good time, and get off the field and still be in one piece."

Team Purple won the three-inning game, 5-2. Stephen Randolph hit a two-run double and Andy Stankiewicz added a two-run single as part of a five-run rally in the second. Reggie Sanders and Willie Bloomquist drove in Team Red's runs.

Some of the franchise's best players started in the game. Luis Gonzalez batted third and played left field for Team Purple. He had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, the same year he clubbed 57 homers.

Other alums included former All-Stars Jay Bell, Matt Williams, Steve Finley, Mark Grace and J.J. Putz.

"It's a lot of fun, this is a great part of the history of the game, where you get to get former players to come back, be a part of a great organization here," said Gonzalez, whose No. 20 is one of two numbers to be retired by the franchise. (The other is Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who did not pitch in the alumni game.) "Although we haven't been in existence that long compared to a lot of other teams, they do a great job of keeping this group together, making them come out here and have fun with the fans. To have an opportunity to do this again, it means a lot."

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.