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World Series 2001
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10/28/2001 02:25 AM ET
Counsell, Miller badger Yankees
By Gary Rausch
MLB.com
Counsell rounds first base after hitting a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.
PHOENIX -- A couple of guys from Wisconsin made a noticeable impact on the big city boys from New York in Game 1 of the World Series.

"Never doubt the cheesers," laughed Arizona catcher Damian Miller after the Diamondbacks' 9-1 romp over the Yankees Saturday night.

Just how many players from the southwestern Wisconsin river town of La Crosse played in a World Series game, much less singled, doubled, drove in a run and caught Curt Schilling, one of the game's dominant pitchers?

"Probably zero," said Miller. More laughter.

The moment wasn't lost on Miller, who spent eight seasons in the Minnesota organization but played only 25 Major League games before Arizona took him in the 1997 expansion draft.

"I'm sitting there before Curt started warming up, thinking 'I've got how many million people watching? How many guys who played in the big leagues for so long, who never had a chance to be here? And for me to be a part of it is unexplainable."

Miller said the awe was still with him in the second inning.

"I'm standing on first base after I got that first hit and I'm thinking I've got one more World Series hit than a lot of guys," he said. "It makes you feel pretty good, but it feels a lot better when you get the 'W,' too."

Counsell, a product of Whitefish Bay, a Milwaukee suburb, didn't let down the eastern half of the state, He delivered a solo home run to right in the first inning, allowing Arizona to draw even at 1-1. He also made a spectacular diving stop of a Bernie Williams grounder, jumped to his feet and threw out the fleet Yankee center fielder to end the sixth.