Old vs. new
It's all set: Yankees-Diamondbacks in 97th World Series
Updated: Thursday October 25, 2001 12:12 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Mark Grace will get to see Yankee Stadium a lot sooner than he expected.
Game 1 is Saturday night at Bank One Ballpark, with the Diamondbacks hoping their 1-2 pitching power of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson can derail Derek Jeter and the Yankees' bid for a fourth consecutive championship.
"Well, I think people are excited to see Arizona because they're new," Yankees star David Justice said. "They might not be excited to see us, but they're excited to see Arizona."
The Yankees have never played Arizona, either in the regular season, postseason or in an exhibition.
But New York had nine scouts at Turner Field, watching the Diamondbacks beat Atlanta 3-2 Sunday night to clinch the NL Championship Series in five games.
"I know I'm going to know more about them than we know now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said Monday night after a 12-3 win over Seattle won the ALCS in five games.
"When we get our scout reports, we'll know. I think we know enough to realize the series will be tough for us. We hope we can make it tough for them," he said.
New York and Arizona are scheduled to meet next June 10-12 at Yankee Stadium in an interleague series. Now, they'll see each other even earlier.
This summer, Grace was thrilled when he found out about Arizona's trip to Yankee Stadium next year.
"I'll go out and be like a little geek. I'll check out the monuments and everything. It'll be fun," the Diamondbacks first baseman said. "I've been to New York, but never to Yankee Stadium."
Craig Counsell, MVP of the NL Championship Series, is the only Arizona player with a World Series ring. He got his with Florida in 1997.
Manager Bob Brenly will try to become the first manager to win a title in his first year since Ralph Houk with the Yankees in 1961.
While the Diamondbacks won their first pennant in just their fourth year of existence, the Yankees won their 38th AL flag. They have won 26 World Series championships, including four in the last five years.
The Yankees, like the Diamondbacks, rely heavily on their starting pitching.
Clemens won 20 games and is the favorite for a sixth Cy Young Award and Hernandez is one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball history.
Mussina, signed to an $88.5 million deal as a free agent in the winter, won key games at Oakland and Seattle in this year's playoffs. He'll be making his first World Series appearance, knowing the Yankees must find a way to handle Schilling and Johnson.
"With those guys pitching four games, if not five out of seven, it will be a tough challenge for us," Mussina said.