This date in FOX Sports Arizona history
On Sept. 7, 1996, FOX Sports Arizona hit the airwaves with our first telecast — a Pac-10 football showdown between Washington and Arizona State. Check back with us daily as we recount some of the top sports moments in Arizona during our 20 years of serving the state's sports fans.
Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer passes for 465 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Cardinals trailed 28-0 before rallying to within seven points, but their game-ending drive fell 4 yards short of the tying touchdown. Frank Sanders had 11 receptions for 190 yards.
Arizona, which started the season 2-6, wins its third consecutive game with a shocking 34-24 victory over second-ranked Oregon in a nationally televised Thursday night game at Arizona Stadium. Antoine Cason scored a pair of touchdowns — one each on an interception return and a punt return — and the Wildcats took advantage of a knee injury suffered by Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon.
Carson Palmer passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 39-32 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. But the game's signature moment is Drew Stanton's unforgettable sideline dance/celebration during Andre Ellington's 48-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run.
Cotton Fitzsimmons steps down as Suns coach following an 0-8 start. Danny Ainge takes over as ninth head coach in franchise history.
Danny Manning scores 35 points on 14-of-21 shooting to lead Suns to a 140-139 victory over Portland in a game that required four overtimes to decide. It was the eighth four-overtime game in NBA history. Phoenix's Rex Chapman sank an off-balance, one-handed 30-footer to force the third overtime.
Randy Johnson wins second consecutive NL Cy Young Award and becomes the eighth pitcher to win the award 3 times. Johnson went 19-7 with a 2.64 ERA and a league-leading 347 strikeouts to earn 22 of 32 first-place votes. Atlanta's Tom Glavine finished second.
Bob Melvin is named National League Manager of the Year in voting by the Baseball Writers Association for guiding the Diamondbacks to a 14-win improvement, the NL West division title and their first postseason berth in five years. He would also win similar honors from The Sporting News.
Paul Goldschmidt finishes second to the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen in NL Most Valuable Player voting — the highest finish by a D-backs' player in franchise history. (Matt Williams was third in 1999, and Luis Gonzalez was third in 2001). Goldschmidt belted 36 home runs, drove in 125 and had a .302 batting average.
Randy Johnson wins his third consecutive NL Cy Young Award and fourth of his career — earning 30 of 32 first-place votes (teammate Curt Schilling got the other two). Johnson led the league in strikeouts (372) and ERA (2.49) while compiling a 21-6 record for the world champions.
Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes from John Skelton, including a franchise-record breaking 70th of his career, to help the Cardinals to a 21-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Fitzgerald broke Roy Green's record of 69 with a 7-yard scoring reception in the fourth quarter and finished the game with seven catches for 146 yards.
Vernon Fiddler scores his first career hat trick to lead the Coyotes to a 5-4 victory over Calgary at Jobing.com Arena.
Arizona 24, No. 8 Cal 20. The Wildcats improved to 5-5 with a 24-20 victory over eighth-ranked Cal, handing the Golden Bears their first Pac-10 loss and registering Arizona's second consecutive victory over a ranked opponent. Antoine Cason's 39-yard interception return for a touchdown provided the game-winning score for the Wildcats, who trailed 17-3 in the third quarter before rallying.
Cornerback Aeneas Williams is inducted into the Cardinals Ring of Honor.
Ka'Deem Carey rushes for a Pac-12 and school record 366 yards and five touchdown on 25 carries and accounts for 400 yards of offense in Arizona's 56-31 victory over Colorado at Arizona Stadium.
Mike Smith makes 33 saves and becomes the fourth goaltender in franchise history to win 100 games as the Coyotes defeat the Kings 3-2 in Los Angeles. “It means I'm getting old,” Smith said.
Terry Battle ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Sun Devils improved to 10-0 and clinched the second Rose Bowl berth in school history with a 35-7 trouncing of California at Sun Devil Stadium. Derrick Rodgers had 5 1/2 sacks and the ASU defense limited the 6-3 Golden Bears to a net total of 5 rushing yards.
Eight seasons into their existence, the D-backs unveil new team colors and uniforms at the Valley Ho resort in Scottsdale. Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand and black replace the franchise's distinctive Purple and Teal, garnering mixed reviews from the local fan base. Team president Derrick Hall explained it this way: “You're just not going to get everybody to wear purple for whatever reason.”
Ninth-ranked Arizona State storms to a 34-3 lead and defeats 10th-ranked Notre Dame 55-31 at Sun Devil Stadium to run its record to 8-1.
FOX Sports Arizona televises the Diamondbacks' World Series parade, which attracts some 300,000 fans to downtown Phoenix.
Patrick Peterson returns a punt 99 yards for a touchdown two minutes into overtime to give the Cardinals a 19-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. It is one of four punt returns for a touchdown by the rookie cornerback.
Future Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams ties an NFL record by returning Stephen Davis' fumble 104 yards in the Cardinals' 16-15 victory over the Washington Redskins. The return was originally listed as 103 yards, one yard short of the record but was reviewed and updated the following day.
Randy Johnson unanimously wins his fourth consecutive Cy Young Award, joining Greg Maddux (1992-95) as only pitchers to do so. It is the fifth Cy Young Award of Johnson's career. Johnson's teammate Curt Schilling was second in the voting.
Arizona, which came into the game with a 2-6 record, trounces seventh-ranked and unbeaten UCLA 52-14 at Arizona Stadium for its first victory over a ranked opponent since 2000. The Wildcats were 2-19 in their previous 21 Pac-10 games before coming through for the first signature win of Mike Stoops' coaching tenure.
In one of the most dramatic Game 7 finishes in World Series history, the Diamondbacks rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for a 3-2 victory, giving the franchise a world championship in just their fourth season of existence. It remains the one and only championship in the four major sports in Phoenix professional sports history.
The heroes were many, but it was Luis Gonzalez who was responsible for the iconic game-winning moment, dumping a little flare over a drawn-in Yankees infield to score Jay Bell. Mark Grace led off the inning with a single, Rivera added to the mess by throwing away Damian Miller's sacrifice bunt attempt, and Tony Womack tied the game at 2 with a double to right field off the normally invincible Rivera.
Curt Schilling, who pitched the first seven innings, and Randy Johnson, who got the final four outs after pitching seven innings the day before, shared MVP honors.
Facing elimination but back in front of the home crowd, the Diamondbacks batter Yankees pitching en route to a 15-2 victory in Game 6 of the World Series, setting up a fateful Game 7. After scoring one in the first and three in the second, they break the game wide open with an 8-run third inning off of Andy Pettitte and Jay Witasick.
They did it without the benefit of a home run, pounding out a World-Series-record 22 hits. Reggie Sanders had four, and Tony Womack, Danny Bautista and Matt Williams had three apiece. Bautista drove in five runs — one in the first inning, another in the second, two in the third and one more in the fourth.
Ed Jovanovski became the first defenseman in franchise history to record a hat trick in the Coyotes' 4-3 win over Nashville at Jobing.com Arena.
Arizona loses to California 56-55 in the longest football game in major college history — a four-overtime affair that ended when Wildcats coach Dick Tomey decided enough was enough, opting for a fake extra-point attempt rather than extend the game into a fifth overtime session. The game would help spawn a rule change in college football overtime: Everyone goes for 2 after the 3rd overtime.
Cal quarterback Pat Barnes threw for eight touchdowns and 503 yards, both school records, and Keith Smith accounted for seven Arizona TDs (five throwing, two rushing). Jeremy McDaniel set Arizona records with 14 catches for 283 yards.
Jeremy Roenick scores his first goal as a Coyote, knocking in the game-winner in overtime to give Phoenix a 3-2 victory over the Flames in Calgary.
Another day, another month, another heart-breaking 1-run loss for the Diamondbacks, who found themselves trailing the World Series 3 games to 2 following a 3-2 loss to the Yankees in New York.
Following the script from the night before, the D-backs were one out away from victory when closer Byung-Hyun Kim served up a game-tying 2-run home run — this one to Scott Brosius. The D-backs loaded the bases with one out in the 11th but couldn't get a run home, and the Yankees won it on Alfonso Soriano's run-scoring single off Albie Lopez with one out in the 12th.
“There's a deal with the devil, no question,” Arizona first baseman Mark Grace said afterward.
Miguel Batista and Greg Swindell had held the Yankees scoreless through eight, and the D-backs had scored twice in the fifth on solo home runs by Steve Finley and Rod Barajas off Mike Mussina, but Kim was unable to close the door. The lasting image from this game was Grace comforting Kim after surrendering Brosius' blast.
“Poor B.K.”, Grace said. “It's unfortuate. He's a baby 22 years old. And he has such a bright future. I hope he's OK. I haven't talked to him yet.
Asked what he told Kim at the mound following the home run Grace said: “I told him, 'You hang in there, You hang in there.' He's our guy. We have a lot of confidence in him.'
FOX Sports Arizona televises its first Phoenix Suns game –– a 103-99 loss to Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers at America West Arena. O'Neal led the Lakers with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Stephon Marbury had 26 points and 11 assists for the Suns.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 1, 2016