Luis Gonzalez baseball outfielder
Luis Emilio González (born September 3, 1967), better known as Luis E. González (affectionately called Gonzo by many of his fans), is a baseball player for the Arizona Diamondbacks and plays left field. A Cuban-American, Gonzalez is one of the most popular players of Diamondbacks organization. He is a native of Tampa, Florida, but he and his family (which includes wife Christine and triplets Megan, Jacob and Alyssa) are residents of Scottsdale, Arizona.
González graduated from Jefferson High School in Tampa in 1985, attending the University of South Alabama. He earned Baseball America's All-Freshman Second Team honors while there. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 1988 amateur draft.
González broke in as a Major League Baseball player with the Astros in 1990, playing 12 games as a September call-up. He became the Astros primary left fielder in 1991 and played for the team until 1995, when he and Scott Servais were traded in mid-season to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for catcher Rick Wilkins. He came back to Houston in 1997 as a free agent, but was not re-signed and so played for the Detroit Tigers in 1998. He finally became a Diamondback when he was traded by Detroit to Arizona in December 1998 in exchange for Karim Garcia.
During 1990 to 1998, González was a good but not distinguished player, and in short not yet putting up the kind of batting numbers expected of a star outfielder. His best year during that period was 1993, when his batting average was .300, with 162 hits, including 34 doubles and 15 home runs.
It was in Arizona that González became a star. He helped the Diamondbacks into title contention immediately, hitting a career-best .336 in 1999 and helping them win the National League's western division that season before the team fell to the New York Mets in a divisional playoff series. In 2000, the Diamondbacks came in second place in their division.
In 2001, González astonished many when he hit 57 home runs, his personal best for one season and almost twice as many as he hit in any other season. The total is the second most in National League history for a left-handed batter (behind Barry Bonds's record 73). Gonzalez also won the Home Run Derby that year. The Diamondbacks also reached the World Series that year. González stroked the series-winning, hit in a tied Game Seven with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against the New York Yankees and feared closer Mariano Rivera, that scored Jay Bell.
González is frequently called "the nicest man in baseball."