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Original D-back comes up big in Alumni Game

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Original D-back comes up big in Alumni Game play video for Original D-back comes up big in Alumni Game

PHOENIX -- The man who owns the first hit in D-backs franchise history came up with the big knock in Saturday night's third annual Alumni Game.

Travis Lee's two-run single in the third inning led the Red team past the White team, 3-1, in front of a nostalgic crowd at Chase Field.

Lee also made some nice plays at first, but there will be a price to be paid for it.

"I'm not going to be able to walk for a week straight," Lee said.

Lee, who was the known as the "Original Diamondback" when the team began play in 1998, collected the first hit, home run and stolen base in franchise history.

As for where the ball from his first hit on Opening Night 1998 is, well, that's a bit of a mystery.

"I'm hoping my parents have it," Lee said. "I've moved a couple of times and I can't find it so I'm hoping my parents have it."

The three-inning game took place on Alumni Night. A crowd of 27,272 showed up for the regular season game between the D-backs and Rockies, and a good portion of them stuck around to see their former heroes don Arizona uniforms once again.

For many of the players it was the first time they had picked up a ball or bat in quite some time.

"Everything looks like it's coming in at 100 mph," former center fielder Steve Finley said after going 1-for-2.

Bob Brenly, who managed the D-backs to the 2001 World Series win over the Yankees and is currently an Arizona broadcaster, served as the commissioner of the event.

What did he think of the talent he saw on the field?

"I liked it a lot better years ago," Brenly joked.

Other than sore muscles, it appeared everyone came through the game without any injuries.

"I warned the guys before the game that just like a boxing match, make sure you protect yourself," Brenly said.

The White team, which was managed by Greg Swindell, got on the board first when Mark Little singled home Erubiel Durazo in the bottom of the second.

The Red team, though, struck back in the top half of the third, when right-hander Russ Ortiz loaded the bases by allowing a single to Alex Cintron and a pair of walks.

Third baseman Shea Hillenbrand drove home the first run with a sacrifice fly and then Lee singled sharply to right off Scott Brow to bring home a pair of runs.

"Winning never gets old," said left fielder Luis Gonzalez, who managed the Red team. "So it's nice to do it, especially wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. This is a fantastic night. The fans really supported us and we love to come out and see everybody."

Gonzalez drew plenty of cheers in the first inning when he blooped a double to left after the White team put on a defensive shift against him.

"We know a little bit about Gonzo and how he likes to pull the ball so we made a shift -- a big shift -- and he took advantage of it," outfielder David Dellucci said. "I think that's the first ball he ever hit to left in his career so it should be an automatic triple."

Mike Fetters, who gave up the double, went and sarcastically presented Gonzalez with the ball at second base.

 

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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