In front of a packed house, Diamondbacks alumni players put on a show as part of the club’s 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday afternoon at Chase Field.

In the annual matchup honoring the team’s two different primary colors used in its history, Team Red defeated Team Purple 1-0 in Saturday’s three-inning exhibition. Fans were engaged throughout the game and were lined up outside Chase Field before gates opened.

Former Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder (2004-10) was 2 for 2 and delivered the go-ahead hit in the first inning. His single scored second baseman Augie Ojeda (2007-10), who also registered two hits in the game.

Team Purple had a chance to tie the game in the second inning after catcher Miguel Montero (2006-14) ripped a double in the second inning, but outfielder Luis Gonzalez (1999-2006) was thrown out at the plate.

Fans groaned when Gonzalez was called out by the home-plate umpire. Montero asked for a video review while standing on second base, but the request was ignored.

Gonzalez, remembered for his game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against Mariano Rivera and the New York Yankees, led Team Purple with two hits. Two other 2001 alumni in Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling served as honorary captains for the game.

Team Red brought in right-hander Jose Valverde (2003-07), the club’s all-time saves leader, to record the final out of the third inning — which he did after plunking the first man he faced in third baseman Shea Hillenbrand (2003-04).

Hillenbrand, who was born in Mesa and is now a full-time realtor based in the Valley, said he brought his GoPro to the game and looked forward to seeing what video he had captured.

“It’s a great experience,” Hillenbrand said. “We look forward to it once a year, us alumni. You can feel the competitiveness and it helps you realize how big a Major League Baseball field is. It’s special, but it makes you realize how old you’re getting.

“It’s cool to see the guys that we’ve got here. It also makes me realize how good of shape I was in before I got older.”

Right-hander Brandon Webb (2003-09) started the game for Team Red and pitched a perfect two-thirds of an inning. If the game were being officially scored, he would presumably be credited with the win.

One former Diamondbacks pitcher who did not take the mound was right-hander J.J. Putz (2011-14), who started the game in left field and notched a single in the second inning.

“I didn’t really feel like pitching this year,” Putz said. “After last time I threw like 58 pitches and I couldn’t move my arm for about three weeks. They said, ‘You want to play the outfield?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, why not?’ ”

Both Putz and Hillenbrand are no strangers to the alumni game, but the club’s 20th anniversary celebration brought out some new faces that fans remembered well.

“Some guys are hanging out and some guys have their own businesses and stuff like that,” Hillenbrand said. “I love seeing Steve Finley (1999-2004). I love seeing Gonzo. I love seeing Mike Fetters (2002, ’04); I don’t know if he’s around here. Tony Womack (1999-2003) I haven’t seen since I played with him.”

“This year, it’s good that Miggy’s back,” Putz said of Montero. “I had a really great time playing with him. Seeing the guys I played with — Cody Ransom (2011-12), Willie Bloomquist (2011-13) — and then seeing the guys that you kind of grew up with, it’s a great time seeing the guys.”


Richard Morin covers the Coyotes and Diamondbacks for azcentral sports. He can be reached at [email protected] and by phone at 480-316-2493. Follow him on Twitter @ramorin_azc